- How to prevent drift and come back to our original mission and DNA? What are some practical steps?
God already began speaking to us several years ago about this, through a Scripture in Revelation 3:1-3:
I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. 3 Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.
So we’ve begun working on this issue. Realignment is already in process. We just finished our KKI Leadership meeting in Steenwijk, Netherlands, where we addressed this Mission Drift dimension and tried to identify what are the main drift factors in our midst. Our international leaders reacted very positively to this processing. The following chart shows us which factors are perceived as the most real and which don’t seem to be so dangerous. The highest bars represent what our leaders perceive as the most significant drift risk factors, and the lowest bars representing the least threatening risk factors:
From this chart, we can deduce that our international leaders perceive the loss of our Levitical anointing and the danger that our ministry doesn’t flow anymore from the presence of God as the two main threats. The main theme of our meeting was taken from Exodus 33:15: “Without your presence, we will not go any further.” The lack of parent involvement, the lack of linking between the generations and the lack of supporting community leading to isolation are also among the top five risk factors.
On the other hand, failure to address the spheres of society is not perceived as a threat, nor is the multiplication of KKI expressions. Distance from the rest of YWAM doesn’t seem to be perceived as a major problem either.
Our leaders also mentioned a few other drift risk factors:
- In our relationship with God. Lack of intercessory prayer from which we receive the heart of God for countries or situations and calling for specific outreaches; lack of using “teachable moments” to help participants understand and process situations where they have seen God move; decrease in “heart preparation” that is so key to prepare our hearts for any activity.
- In our leadership Poor or lacking leadership, sharing of roles in the leadership team, lack of accountability, isolation (losing the culture of relationships and relational contact outside of the outreach context, not enough “gathering” of leaders and families); lack of comprehensive member-care strategies, effective leadership release and recognition (lack of clarity sometimes about the equipping, releasing and recognising of local, national and regional KKI leaders. Can a non-YWAMer be a KKI leader? Can someone who hasn't done PCYM lead a PCYM? Can any base or op-loc appoint their own leader and start a KKI ministry? How are we in KKI processing leadership appointments with the appropriate national or regional YWAM leaders? ...).
- In our partnerships: Linking with the Body of Christ and local churches, cooperation with other YWAM ministries (Frontier Mission, Mercy Ministries, Family Ministry…)
- Miscellaneous: Kingdom mentality, Heart for the unreached, dysfunctional communication, wanting to be relevant (to churches or society), financial pressures, blurred vision, no support for KKI alumni engaged in the spheres of society…
At the point where we are, I think there are several ways to address potential mission drift. In the next few months, we can:
- Clearly communicate what we are sensing to our KKI leaders around the world, exhorting them to consider these drift factors in their own ministries and to take action to correct anything that is going in the wrong direction. Communication should be done extensively through e-mails, Skype calls, Facebook, our new website and blog, personal discussion, videos, teachings in national and regional conferences, in our PCYMs…
- Provide questions to be processed and prayed over as a team for our ministries around the world. I will take this Mission True section of my Integration paper to make a little brochure that I will send to every KKI leader around the world.
- Continue to encourage alignment in the personal lives of our staff. Are we really living our values on a daily basis?
We intend to take several practical steps in the next few years to bring life and correct any drift tendency. Most of all, we need the grace of God and His Spirit of resurrection, and I believe we also need the prayers and support of the wider YWAM community as we obey the Lord and do our part to move in the right direction. In the next few months:
- Our family will begin several years of traveling around the world, living close to our KKI leaders, including our founders. We will do our best to model KKI DNA with them, mentor them and help renew their vision. We will start in the Pacific region, then on to Africa, after which we’ll see where He leads us. Our goal is to bring “oxygen in the body”. Other initiatives of this kind are happening around the world.
- We want to organize a KKI leadership workshop in July and August 2016, probably in Ivory Coast, where we could gather some of our KKI founders and leaders that want to invest in this process and develop a common understanding and strategy of where the Lord wants to lead us in this coming season. Thus we want to develop a group of motivators and influencers, a “cohort” that carries this move together. Let me quote Loren Cunningham, himself quoting Tom Marshall, in a letter written in 1993 about necessary changes to avoid drift:
In an organization like YWAM, with over three decades of existence, he said we are clearly not just dealing with structure but with culture, i.e. a YWAM culture. Therefore we must see a change in our cultural ways of doing things in order to see structural change come.
He went on to say that there must be a core of influencers in the mission who will act as motivators for change. They must buy in first, and they must become a movement through which change comes. With a group the size and age of YWAM, everyone is totally immersed in “the culture”.
To have change, it must be deliberate, intentional, and radical or the natural “drift factor” will bring us back to where we are now, even though people embrace new concepts in their heads and hearts. The core group must be totally committed to this change and willing to slug it out and pay the price to see it come. There are, of course, some scriptural guidelines and boundaries that we must not cross.
I underline the aspect of a core group of influencers who will act as motivators for change in a deliberate, intentional and radical way.
- We will have our KKI international Leadership Assembly where we expect several hundred people in Ivory Coast, in late August of 2016. This will be a key time to speak out over these issues and concretely and prophetically take a stand.
- Dale Kauffman is working on his book with a clear presentation of the history and the values of KKI. Carol Kauffman is also writing a book with early KKI stories illustrating our values. These will be invaluable tools to affirm the foundations and the identity of KKI and correct the drift tendency.
If we do not come back to our roots, we will lose our anointing. And if we lose our anointing, we lose our purpose, our raison d’être. If we want to see a new season of multiplication, we need to realign with our original purpose and strengthen our fundamental values and principles. If we let the Lord search our hearts and ministries, He will show us whatever needs to be strengthened, changed or even cut off. And as we humbly and radically obey, make difficult decisions and receive His correction, I believe His favor and anointing will be renewed, and the best is yet to come.
 Darlene Cunningham, History of YWAM Governance, December 2011, working document given to the participants of the Executive Master in leadership of the University of the Nations, San Antonio del Mar, February 2015.