In-Service Training

A year of evangelism and social work with BCM

Thinking about working in Christian mission?

Many of those who have been through the programme can be found serving the Lord as pastors and vicars, while others are serving as missionaries at home and abroad. 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 key staff are those who have come through the course. 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 that their faith and trust in God will be strengthened and that gifts will be discovered and developed.

IST offers three streams - General, Children’s Work and Youth Work. Following the first term of induction, one of the three streams can be chosen for the following two terms to give as much experience as possible in a particular ministry of interest.

General Stream

The General Stream combines evangelism and Christian social work. Participants will work alongside BCM’s experienced staff and spend one academic year learning different aspects of Christian ministry, including:

District visitation

This is systematic visitation of a district to share the gospel and may include visiting schools and care homes for older people.

Homeless work

Our Care Centre operates four days a week and we feed up to sixty people each day, share the Christian message and help them practically. We get alongside guests to befriend them and to help them move forward with their lives.

Mission Weeks & carnivals

We support local church-based mission weeks at Easter and in the summer, as well as do evangelism at carnivals in different parts of the city.

Work with older people

A dedicated team of staff visit older people in their homes, befriend them and minister to them by listening, reading to them and praying with them. Our staff also visit care homes and conduct services where the gospel is preached. Following the services they organise craft activities. The team often leads or participates in funerals and they have opportunities to minister to the bereaved family.

Christmas toy distribution

Every Christmas BCM gives gifts to up to 4,000 children from around 1,500 families struggling to make ends meet. Often these children would otherwise not receive presents. It is a massive project involving hundreds of volunteers who come from companies and churches.

Children’s Work Stream

The BCM Children’s Team seeks to reach 5 to 11-year-olds in Birmingham with the gospel and to lead, train, and encourage others to do so. Participants choosing this stream will have the 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 (assemblies) in schools each term, reaching over 50,000 children, many of them in Muslim majority areas of the city. Our engaging sketch board talks satisfy legal requirements and yet also proclaim the Bible’s teaching on sin, the cross and the hope of the resurrection. We use puppets for special assemblies at Christmas and Easter. These longer assemblies deal directly with big issues, such as the incarnation.We conduct RE lessons all year round and when staffing allows, we lead weekly Bible-based after-school clubs conducted in an appropriate manner on school premises.

Holiday clubs

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).

Junior camps

A ‘weekend away’ for children linked to churches is 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 Stream

BCM has a thriving youth work with 11 to 16-year-olds. We are active in 50 secondary schools in Birmingham. Those on the youth work stream will spend two thirds of an academic year working with our experienced Youth Team.


Our work in secondary schools consists of:

•          Lessons in a range of topics relating to Christian beliefs and practice
•          Assemblies on themes including Harvest, Christmas, and Easter; and 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 (11-16 year olds) to get away to the Christian Mountain 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.

Study programme

The study programme is for all participants no matter which stream they choose, and it consists of lectures and seminars designed to:

•       Help consolidate what they believe;
•       Help them articulate their faith and defend it;
•       Help to equip them to do their work.

Lectures include:

•       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

Seminars cover:

•        Other religions and cults
•        Apologetics
•        The gospel & working with children


IST is 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. A university level qualification is not necessary but a formal education is essential to meet the demands of the programme.


BCM does not have any houses of their own so it will be the responsibility of each participant to find appropriate accommodation. Once someone has been offered a place on BCM’s In-Service Training we will endeavour to work with them to find somewhere to live.


Participants who join us from Birmingham can continue to attend their home church. However, those from outside of Birmingham will be placed, following consultation, in a church which reflects their church background. BCM will keep in touch with the church leader.

Progress review

Our Evangelism Co-ordinator will hold regular personal reviews, with major reviews in December, March and June.


The work is physically, mentally and spiritually demanding, so recreation time is built into the course. In February we go on a retreat in Shropshire.


BCM does not charge for the IST programme, with all the training and experience that it offers, so those who join must fund the year themselves. This can be a substantial amount of money and it will differ for each person depending on whether they already live in Birmingham or come from outside the city and require accommodation. We will assist in talking to their home church leaders to encourage practical support.

Foreign trips

Each year we attempt to offer a cross-cultural experience in a foreign country. In the past we have visited the USA, Poland and Spain. Participants are expected to contribute something towards the cost of this trip.


I attended in 2002/03 and now I am the Vicar of the Church of the Ascension in 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.
Nejib Boumenjel

I attended 1994/95 and now I am the Vicar at Licky Birmingham. 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.
Sheri Gidney

I attended 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.
Giles Coghlan

I attended 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 churches and life backgrounds. And I made friends who loved me and pointed me to Jesus – and still do!
Helen Buckley

My highlight was working with children, as they have limitless enthusiasm to learn more about everything. This encouraged me to continue to seek God wholeheartedly. The biggest challenge was street evangelism. Speaking to strangers about the good news requires much bravery to step out of our comfort zone. But thank you, God, for a team which gave me great guidance in this area.
Judy Chan

Get in touch

For further information, contact our Evangelism Co-ordinator Paul Olise at
or call us on 0121 766 6603 (ext 5).