In Praise of Loren Cunningham

This morning I spent a few minutes flicking through some YWAM-related websites (I was actually wondering about trying to connect with ex-YWAMers in Cornwall) and was just struck with what a thoroughly remarkable bloke Loren Cunningham is.


I know it's not a competition, but has there ever been someone who has mobilised more Christians into mission and Christian action within his own lifetime?  It's a weird way to be thinking, but I am convinced that, in years/centuries to come, people will speak of Loren Cunningham in the same sort of reverent tones we reserve for the great Heroes of the Faith – the William Careys, Hudson Taylors, DL Moodys, the Gladys Aylwards, Amy Carmichaels, David Livingstones, the Thomas Aquinuses, William & Catherine Booths, and so on.

Williamcarey  Carmichael  Livingstone 

He really is something special.

But the thing is, a lot of organisations die with their founders – it happens all the time.  Therefore, I was doubly enjoying noticing how wonderfully Loren and Darlene have quietly slipped (somewhat) into the shadows in the last decade, allowing YWAM to be led and overseen by other people, and not being the kind of leader that wants everything to look like himself.  What a flipping good guy.

I've met him, and he's really nice in person too.  He loves people, and it shows.

And all that has made me wonder who else with whom we presently share the earth will we one day look back with thankfulness for, and wish we'd been more grateful for at the time?  Partly I'm thinking of people who most reflect God to us, but then there are others – Bobby Charlton is the example that springs to mind, for some reason – of people from outside Christendom who nonetheless it is a privilege just to exist on the same planet as.  And then that starts me thinking that flipping everyone on this planet is astounding in one way or another – 'there is no such thing as an ordinary person' – and maybe I should just stop and notice what an amazing thing it is to share a world with these bipeds.  Hmmmm …


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