It has been eight
months since our
This has been a time for our community to invest time and energy to wrestle with some of the questions and ideas that we shared back in December. This season birthed new changes and some forward movement in the direction we want to go in the future. The purpose of this update is to share some important aspects of the journey we have been on.
Before we go further, we want to thank you for the way you have carried this place in your heart throughout the years. And also thank you in advance for taking the time to read the lines below.
God has been calling us into a new vision, one that puts entrepreneurship
as our central focus.
God's heart &
As we’ve prayed & dreamt about our future here at YWAM Restenäs, we have seen the important connection between this vision and helping young people grasp their potential for creating, together with God and others, a better tomorrow.
When we look at the world, we see a rising tide of young people who are looking for a way off the beaten path. They want the work of their hands to be truly meaningful, a fulfillment of God’s first mandate to fill the Earth and cultivate it, creating beauty, order, and abundance in a way that gives Him glory.
They understand and believe that they are called to be salt and light of the world, being living epistles of the Gospel, whatever the context God has called them into. They know that their faith is meant to be more than just Sunday morning christianity, that it should be the fuel for living lives of hope and speaking the truth into their communities, cities and cultures.
YOUTH WITH A MISSION
Going back to the beginning.
Looking back on how YWAM got started back in the 60’s, we can see that the championing of young people and daring to do new things in new ways were at the core of our movement. Those have always been a part of our DNA, and as we move into a new direction at Restenäs, we are reminded of the original vision of the waves. The waves of young people, crashing on the shores of all continents, announcing loud and clear, in words and in deeds, the Gospel of the Kingdom. And seeing individuals being set free, lives redeemed and entire communities transformed by God’s eternal truth.
Throughout history, entrepreneurship
has been at the heart of every
great societal movement.
Wisdom of old, wrapped in
a new packaging.
Entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of human progress. It is creativity and innovation, anchored in the Good News, that challenge the status quo and fight to pull communities out of cycles of lies, poverty, injustice, and hopelessness.
We have seen the significant impact even small projects have on the hearts and minds of the people they touch, as former Restenäs staff started a small business which provides empowering jobs with training and fair wages for women in remote villages of Nepal.
Or long ago, in India in 1818, it was a Christian missionary named William Carey, considered by many to be the “father of modern missions,” who used practical innovation and creativity to found the first degree-awarding university in Asia.
By God’s design, entrepreneurship and reaching the lost are integrally connected. Because entrepreneurship is a mindset, a way of thinking that says ''What do I have in my hands? What are the needs around me? And how can I, with the gift and abilities I've been blessed with, meet those needs in a way that glorifies God and points others to Him?''
The term ‘’entrepreneurship’’ might be a modern concept, but really, we believe the ideas it embodies are simply pointing us back to the role God always intended for us as believers - being salt and light of the world.
This insight pushed us to rethink our approach for reaching the world with the hope and truth of the Gospel, creating space for us to combine three key things:
1 - Meeting the needs
How do we take seriously Jesus’ words about feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoner, clothing the naked? Our world is broken and you don’t need to look far to find that there are needs all around us. Entrepreneurship offers unlimited avenues on how to meet those needs, all the while creating value, building community, and tackling societal issues.
2 - Leading people into a
relationship with God.
How do you connect with others around the topics of faith and beliefs in a postmodern society? How do you create space to meet your neighbours and share life together? We believe entrepreneurship enables us to do that in many different ways, helping us to build platforms through which we can, in tangible ways, show and tell people what our Father’s kingdom is all about.
3 - Growing into our
Being created in God’s image, our original mandate is to use the gifts and talents He gave us to take care of creation and our fellow human beings in a way that glorifies Him. Entrepreneurship taps into this potential and gives every kind of people, all kinds of opportunity to learn how to use their God-given creativity to be salt and light and bless those around them.
And all of this led
us to ask ourselves:
What if we used our massive property as a creative space to inspire, train and empower young people to develop, launch and run hands-on, entrepreneurial ventures & projects, imagining and innovating towards making Earth more like Heaven? An entrepreneurial playground with the proximity to meet the needs of our local community and the vision to meet the needs of our global community.
This question is what birthed the new vision for YWAM Restenäs.
A vision we call SPARKBOX.
Sparkbox is the new direction we are moving in at Restenäs. It's the dream and vision we have of growing into a community of entrepreneurs, here on the west coast of Sweden. Together and with God, being committed to creating and cultivating sustainable solutions for the problems facing our world today. We want our work to empower people with the truth of the Gospel and at the same time, drive social change to build a better tomorrow - one that makes manifest our Father’s kingdom, both locally & abroad.
As a community, we believe in the enormous creative potential of all individuals. There are God-inspired, innovative ideas out there, waiting to explode into brilliance… like a gunpowder box.
And all they need is a spark.
AN IMPORTANT DETAIL
We felt it was time
for a brave change
As we prayed and sought God in this last season, we sensed He was encouraging us to make a bold statement about the new direction in which we are moving. This is why Sparkbox is a new name and identity for our entire community. One that describes the essence of who we aspire to become and what we want to see at Restenäs.
That being said, we are still YWAM. We are still in Restenäs. And nothing will change that. The difference is that we will use the name Sparkbox, alongside YWAM Restenäs, to communicate our new identity and vision.
A LONG HISTORY...
...and how it all
Looking back on the history of Restenäs, God has been giving us many key pieces to help us focus our work and efforts. Whether by seeing this place built into a major University of the Nations campus, or sending people to the least reached & most vulnerable, or again by inspiring and mobilizing the Church in Sweden, especially the youth. We believe that all those different parts have and will continue to play a central role for the future of this place. Many have dedicated years of service to see those God-inspired pieces become reality, in and through Restenäs, and as we are now looking into the future, it is with thankfulness in our hearts that we look back on all that has been done in this place these last 40 years. We believe that God is now giving us a new key, through entrepreneurship and the vision of Sparkbox, to find fresh ways to bring together the afore-mentioned areas.
Sparkbox is not an end in itself; it is a holistic platform through which we aim to gather like-minded people in order to build entrepreneurial ventures & projects, and run them in a way that truly blesses our world - right here in our own backyard, as well as out there, in our global neighbourhood. And on our way, we want to invite the upcoming generation to come and tag along, inspiring, training and empowering them to go and do the same. And through all these crazy, risky and lively endeavours, this entrepreneurial playground, our hope is to see lives transformed by the truth and love of God and seeing even more individuals and communities get the ‘’spark’’ and join into the vision and mindset of Sparkbox.
So, how are we starting off?
As a starting point, we came together as a community and went through a process of identifying the gifts, interests and passions that each individual carried, and from that, re-organized ourselves into 4 new ventures that were formed based on shared visions that would contribute towards making Sparkbox a reality.
These ventures represent the core of who we hope to be: people devoted to each other, to our local community, and to the global Church. For the coming season our focus will be on the growth and development of these ventures with the vision of seeing them pave the way for a variety of new ventures and projects to be launched in and from Sparkbox in the coming years.
Alongside this, we are also planning on running shorter seminars & workshops with content directly connected to our new ventures. Through this focused training, we hope to effectively serve the local Church and at the same time, continue building a strong network locally, as we open our doors for others to get a taste of the kind of community we are building here at Sparkbox.
CALLING THE BRAVE ONES
join us on
We are excited and hopeful about this new season, but with all that being said, it is also important to understand that we are still facing big challenges. Low staff numbers and low finances in the face of major mandatory infrastructure projects are still an issue here, and many other challenges are ahead of us as we launch Sparkbox and our different ventures. Would you stand with us in prayer as we navigate this transition and consider giving financially?
One of the key elements needed for this vision to move forward is to see entrepreneurial individuals join us on the ground. We need a fresh wave of people who believe in the vision of Sparkbox come to Restenäs. People who are carrying innovative & creative ideas and visions for how to change communities for the sake of the Gospel. Could that be you?
So if the vision of Sparkbox resonates with you personally, would you consider taking a leap of faith and joining us in this start-up phase? Or perhaps, if you know someone who would be at home in this community and vision, would you share the news with them and invite them to contact us at ?
We cannot wait to welcome the next generation of trailblazers here at Restenäs!
Thank you for standing with
us in this new season!
The Sparkbox Leadership Council, together with the community.