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
- Broad range of modules to choose from:
- 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
About the BCM Internship
The year runs from early September to late July the following year. Since 1972 we have trained hundreds of people from every continent. The majority of them come to us just after finishing university. Others come after their A-Levels to gain some practical experience before going on to university or theological college. There are those who come to BCM after graduating from theological college to gain practical experience in evangelism before moving on to Christian work. A number of people who join the internship feel called to the ministry but are not sure in what area. They come to test their call.
All over the world people who have spent a year training with BCM can be found serving the Lord as pastors and vicars, while others are 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. Nearly all of BCM’s evangelistic staff have come through the internship.
As a Mission we want to reach as many people as possible with the Gospel, but our main aim for everyone taking up this BCM Internship is that their spiritual life will be deepened. We are sure, also, that their faith and trust in God will be strengthened and that gifts will be discovered and developed. There are regular times for prayer, worship and teaching, a winter retreat and pastoral support through the year.
The ProgrammeThe first three weeks will be devoted to orientation. After that interns will work with our experienced staff through a ‘hands-on’ programme to give them as broad an experience as possible. After the first term they can choose to have more in-depth exposure to one or more of our ministries.
There are two elements to the year – practical and study.
The Practical Programme
This takes place twice a week on market days when people come out to shop. We preach the Gospel, distribute tracts, talk to people and give them appropriate literature. A book table enhances the open-air work and attracts a lot of people. This enables us to talk to as many people as possible about the Lord.
This is systematic visitation of a district with the Gospel. This may include schools and old people’s homes in the area.
This consists of a Care Centre twice a week, where we feed clients and preach the Gospel. We also get alongside them and talk with them. We provide clothing and other items or refer people to our Resource Centre for food parcels.
BCM has a well-established and thriving children’s work. The Children’s Team is very active in primary schools and in training churches in children’s work. Anyone interested in children’s work will gain valuable experience with BCM’s Children’s Team.
- Schools – assemblies & RE lessons
- Weekly & holiday clubs
- Bible exhibitions
- Weekend camps in May & June
For those interested in youth work, the Youth Team will benefit them greatly. The Team is active in secondary schools across Birmingham. The opportunities for learning about youth work are endless. The ‘Fulfil’ event, once every three months, attracts over 200 teenagers.
- Assemblies and RE lessons
- Weekly after-school clubs
- Termly ‘Fulfil’ youth event
- Optional BCM Youth Camp
This is an important part of our work in BCM. A dedicated team of workers visit the elderly in their homes, befriend them and minister to them by reading to them and praying with them. Lunch clubs give opportunity for the elderly to get together and make friends. They are not only well fed but have hear the word of God. When they are sick and in hospital, the team visits them.
- Church-based mission weeks at Easter and in the summer
- Carnivals during the summer
- Christmas ToyLink programme which delivers gifts to over 1,100 families
The Study Programme
The study programme consists of lectures and seminars designed to:
- To help interns consolidate what they believe
- To help them articulate it and defend it
- To equip them to do their work
The lecture programme includes:
- The Life of Jesus
- Old Testament Overview
- Church History
- Events that helped the spread of the Gospel
- Early heresies
- Early church fathers
- The Protestant Reformation
- 18th Century Revival
- Christian Doctrine
- The Doctrine of God
- The Doctrine of Man
- Effectual Calling
- The Atonement
- The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
- Ecclesiology (study of the Christian Church)
- Eschatology (study of End Time)
- Biblical Theology: The unfolding of God’s revelation as it progressed through history
- Homiletics: The art of preparing sermons and preaching
Seminars will cover:
- Other religions & cults
- The Gospel
- Dealing with thorny issues
- 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 with the Mission. It would be helpful if one of our senior staff could visit your home church to talk about your work in order to generate both prayer and financial support. We would expect you to pass on regular news of BCM and your work to your church and friends so that they can pray for you.
What about accommodation and travel?
Interns will be accommodated in a furnished house owned by the Mission. Where additional accommodation is necessary, BCM will rent a house. The Mission will meet the cost of council tax and fuel bills. BCM will also give a weekly food allowance and a monthly peak time bus pass. Interns have to provide their own pocket money for other personal needs.
Do I need any qualifications?
The internship is open to committed evangelical Christians aged 18 and over who want a broad practical experience in evangelism and Christian social work. Although there is no qualification necessary to join the programme, a formal education to A-Level or equivalent standard is desirable because of the intellectual demands of the lectures.
Will I be attached to a church?
Interns from Birmingham will continue to attend their home church. However, those from outside Birmingham will be placed in a church (agreed beforehand wherever possible) which reflects their church background. BCM will keep in touch with the pastor or leaders of the church.
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 and Poland. Interns are expected to contribute towards the cost of this trip.
Will my progress be reviewed?
The Internship Team Leader and the Evangelism Co-ordinator will hold regular reviews of interns, including major reviews in December, April and June.
Is the year non-stop work?
We recognise the need for relaxation. The work is physically, emotionally and spiritually demanding. We build recreation time into the programme, with group activities like walking and games.
“I came to BCM not really knowing what to expect or what was going to be asked of me. And yet, looking back, I wouldn’t have changed this year for the world.”
“My year at BCM has certainly brought many changes for me. I feel much bolder about sharing my faith, I have learned to live more simply than before and I have been able to develop leadership abilities.”
“There has been a lot of hands-on experience and I have had wonderful opportunities to share the Gospel. What I have appreciated most is the time to build significant friendships. Through door-to-door visitation I got to know a lovely family who have welcomed me again and again into their home to study the Bible. There is always plenty of cake too!”
“This has been a year of much growing in knowledge and faith. A lady, whom Chris and I had visited many times, said to us one day, ‘Don’t give up on me’. This taught me just how important perseverance is. I thank God for getting me through this year. It has helped shape the rest of my life. I now want to serve God wherever he places me.”
“I have benefited through being involved in a wide range of ministry – from the homeless at the Care Centre, to children at the Bible exhibitions, to the elderly at Elderlink and in district work. Above all, I enjoyed preaching from the box in the open airs and the opportunity to share the Gospel with people from all nations.”
“I have had so many different experiences, each affecting me in different ways. And although things weren’t always easy, God has brought me closer to Him.”
Contact & how to apply