Beginning in 1960, ‘Youth With A Mission’ (YWAM) focused on giving youth opportunities to reach out in Jesus’ name through short-term mission work.
Currently thousands participate each year in YWAM through ‘Discipleship Training Schools’ and other courses, as well as through short- and long-term outreaches. Our full-time staff of over 18,000 lay missionaries serves in over 180 countries and more than 1,100 locations worldwide.
Although it has roots in the Pentecostal movement, YWAM has always nevertheless endeavored to cultivate a “heart” for all of God’s people. As doors of service opened up with Catholic groups in Spain, Austria, Poland, and elsewhere, it was only logical to walk through these, even if many “YWAMers” had little, in any previous contact with Catholics, much less training on how to sensitively serve them.
Much was learned over the years, and by the early 90’s YWAM not only had an ever-increasing amount of ministry in and with Catholic groups, but also a growing number of Catholics working on staff in some of the ministry centers. As one can imagine, this encouraging development was accompanied by a unique set of challenges. Foremost among them was to create space in this predominately Protestant mission for Catholics to participate in YWAM’s calling, and at the same time have these Catholics remain rooted in their church and be free to express their Catholic faith.
An international group of 35 Catholic and Protestant YWAM leaders met in Dublin in the summer of 1992 to examine this and other related questions. This “Dublin Consultation on Evangelization in the Catholic World” laid the groundwork for what eventually became Kerygma.
‘Kerygma’ in Greek means ‘proclamation’ and refers to the core message of the gospel in Catholic theology. This name was chosen for our ministry, because we want the proclamation of Jesus and drawing people into relationship with him as central to all that we do. Our desire is that all that we do as a ministry will build and support cultures that evangelise.