Birmingham City Mission’s one-year training programme in Christian evangelism & social work in the city of Birmingham has been run since 1972. It’s all about hands-on experience in urban mission. The city is a challenge. The work we do is a challenge. And there are many personal challenges to deal with on the way.
- A one-year hands-on training opportunity
- No fees required
- Accommodation, food & bus pass provided
- Children’s work, youth work and general programmes
- A wide range of experience, including:
- City centre & estate evangelism
- Youth work
- Children’s ministry
- Reaching the homeless
- Supporting the elderly
- Social action projects
- Church ministry
- Cross-cultural engagement
- Relevant seminars
- Overseas mission experience
- Study programme
About the BCM Internship
The Internship runs from early September to late July of the following year. It has existed since 1972 and hundreds of people from every continent and walk of life have gone through the programme. The majority of interns feel called to Christian work but are not sure in what area. They come to test their call.
Ex-BCM interns can be found serving the Lord as pastors and vicars, while others are serving as missionaries. Some of them work for their churches as evangelists. A number have gone into secular work, where they use their training to reach their work colleagues. Some of BCM’s staff have come through the Internship programme.
As a Mission, we want to reach as many people as possible with the gospel. However, our greatest concern is for the spiritual life of all participants to be deepened. We are sure, also, that their faith and trust in God will be strengthened and that gifts will be discovered and developed.
The Programmes are very much hands-on, to give interns as broad an experience as possible. They will work with our experienced staff after a period of orientation.
BCM offers three areas of specialism: Children’s Work, Youth Work and the General Programme.
Children’s work programme
The BCM Children’s Team seeks to reach 5-11 year olds in Birmingham with the gospel; and to lead, train, and encourage others to do so.
Interns specialising in children’s ministry will have opportunity to see and be involved in selected elements of the work of the children’s team, both in and out of school.
Our work in primary schools
We lead about 170 Acts of Collective Worship in schools each term, reaching over 50,000 children, many of them in Muslim majority areas of the city. Our engaging sketchboard talks satisfy legal requirements and yet also proclaim the bible’s teaching on sin, the cross and the hope of the resurrection.
We use puppet ministry for special assemblies at Christmas and Easter. These longer assemblies deal directly with big issues, such as the incarnation.
We facilitate and engage in ‘Open the Book’ dramatised assemblies.
We conduct RE lessons, especially at Christmas, Easter and Harvest.
We lead weekly bible-based after-school clubs conducted in a manner allowable on school premises.
We lead holiday clubs in October and February half-terms, and the first week of the summer holidays. The February and July clubs are somewhat different from what you may have experienced in the past, as they take place in Muslim majority areas of the city. Being involved brings a deeper understanding of what it means to speak about the hope we have with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).
Two ‘weekends away’ – one for church-based children, the other for outreach linked children – are held at a countryside log-cabin site, where there is much fun, engaging with the bible and learning what it means to live as a Christian.
Youth Work Programme
BCM has a thriving youth programme to meet the aspirations of those interested in youth work (11-16 year olds). We are active in 50 secondary schools in Birmingham. Interns on the youth work programme will spend one academic year working with our experienced Youth Team.
Our work in secondary schools
· RE lessons in a range of topics relating to Christian beliefs and practice
· Assemblies on themes including Harvest, Christmas, Easter; generosity and friendship
· Lunchtime and after-school clubs, friendship or ethics related clubs
· Visits to local church youth groups to deliver talks and resource churches
‘Fulfil’ is BCM’s termly youth event (March, July and November). This event attracts almost 200 young people from about 20 youth groups in the Midlands for an evening of fun, entertainment and a gospel presentation.
Camps are opportunities for young people (years 11-16) to get away to a Christian adventure centre in Wales for a week in the summer, where they enjoy supervised activities such as canoeing, rock climbing, gorge walking, beach games, sailing, archery and more. It is a time for the young people to be enriched spiritually, personally and socially.
The General Programme combines evangelism and Christian social work, working alongside BCM’s experienced staff team. Interns will spend one academic year learning different aspects of Christian ministry, including:
Open air evangelism
This takes place twice a week on market days when the city is busy with shoppers. We preach the gospel, distribute tracts, talk to people and give them appropriate literature. We have a book table which attracts passers by and helps conversation.
This is systematic visitation of a district to share the gospel and may include schools and old people’s homes.
Interns experience working with homeless people in our centre where we feed them, share the Christian message and give a change of clothing. We also get alongside guests, get to know them and help them move forward.
Mission weeks & carnivals
Interns will be involved in church-based mission weeks at Easter and in the summer, and take part in carnivals in different parts of the city.
A dedicated team of workers visit the elderly in their homes, befriend them and minister to them by listening, reading to them and praying with them. Lunch clubs give opportunity for elderly guests to get together and make friends. They are not only well fed but hear the word of God. When they are sick and in hospital, the team visits them. When the Lord calls them, the team often conduct or participate in the funeral. They have opportunities to minister to the bereaved families.
Christmas toy distribution
Every Christmas BCM gives gifts to thousands of children from families struggling to make ends meet. Often these children would otherwise not receive presents. It is a massive project involving hundreds of volunteers.
Interns on a general programme will also have opportunities to learn about children’s and youth work. Training will be hands-on and include seminars on relevant topics. Interns will attend external training as well as relevant conferences. The General Programme also gives opportunities for learning about preaching. Those with this gift will have preaching opportunities in different churches.
The Study Programme
The study programme is for all interns and consists of lectures and seminars designed to:
· help interns consolidate what they believe
· help them articulate their faith and defend it
· help to equip them to do their work.
· The life of Jesus
· Old Testament overview
· Biblical theology – the unfolding of God’s revelation as it progressed through history
· Church history
· Christian doctrine
· Homiletics – the art of preparing and preaching sermons
· Other religions and cults
· The gospel & working with children
How much will it cost?
There is no charge for the BCM Internship but we do ask interns to encourage their home church and friends to support BCM during their year. BCM is a faith mission and the cost of each intern to the Mission is considerable. We ask interns to encourage their home church and friends to support BCM during their time with the Mission. We ask that one of our staff visit their home church to talk about the intern’s work with BCM in order to generate both prayer and financial support. We expect interns to pass on regular news of BCM and their work to their church and friends so they can pray.
What about accommodation?
BCM will accommodate interns in a furnished house and will meet the cost of council tax and fuel bills. The Mission provides a weekly food allowance and a bus pass, but interns need to find their own pocket money for other personal needs.
Do I need any qualifications?
The internships are open to committed evangelical Christians aged 18 and over who want broad practical experience in children’s work, youth work or evangelism and Christian social work. No qualification is necessary, but a formal education is desirable to meet the study demands.
Will I be attached to a church?
Interns from Birmingham can continue to attend their home church. However, those from elsewhere will be placed, in consultation with the intern, in a church which reflects their church background. BCM will keep in touch with the church leader.
Will there be an opportunity to travel?
Each year we offer interns a cross-cultural experience in a foreign country. In the past we have visited the USA, Poland and Spain. Interns are expected to contribute something towards the cost of this trip.
Will my progress be reviewed?
The Internship Team Leader and Evangelism Co-ordinator will hold regular personal reviews, with major reviews in December, March and June.
Is the year non-stop work?
The work is physically, mentally and spiritually demanding, so recreation time is built into the programme. During February we go on a retreat in Shropshire.
I was an intern in 2002/03 and now I am the Vicar of the Church of the Ascension Hall Green. I really enjoyed the training course which contributed immensely to my formation and growth as a Christian person and as a minister of the gospel. I really loved it.
I was an intern in 1994/95 and now I am Curate in the parish of Cofton Hackett and Barnt Green. My year at BCM gave me a solid foundation in all aspects of sharing the gospel both in word and deed with some of the most vulnerable of our city.
I was an intern in 2004/05 and now I am a Chief Currency Analyst for HYCM. My time at BCM taught me to preach the gospel and help the most vulnerable. It tapped me into the very lifeblood of what drives a city and it was a privilege to work alongside such a gifted team of people. I made some lifelong friends and just thinking of my time there makes me smile.
I was an intern in 2001/02 and now I am the Children’s Worker at St Stephen’s Church, Selly Park. During my year at BCM I learnt just how big Birmingham is and how to navigate it using the bus. I met people from all sorts of different church and life backgrounds. And I made friends who loved me and pointed me to Jesus – and still do!
I am an intern this year at BCM. My highlight so far is working with children, as they have limitless enthusiasm to learn more about everything. This encourages me to continue to seek God wholeheartedly. The biggest challenge is street evangelism. Speaking to strangers about the good news requires much bravery to step out of your comfort zone. But thank you, God, for a team which gives me great guidance in this area.
Contact & how to apply