Action Teams is a Christian gap year programme for 18 - 23 year olds to serve God around the world.
One month's training, six months overseas - in Africa, South America, Asia or Europe - and a two month UK mission tour.

It’s a chance for you to get involved in what God is doing across the world. An opportunity to plunge yourself into another culture, share the love of Jesus in practical ways, inspire others for mission and let God work in your life every step of the way.

Applications for 2020-2021 Action Teams now open!

Ready to apply for the adventure of a lifetime and see God work in your life in incredible new ways?

Fill in the form at the bottom of the page to request an application form.


Training: September

Your four weeks of training in Birmingham will include radical discipleship, team building, preparation for crossing cultures and leading people to Christ, church placements and much, much more.

“Training was incredible! There was such a community feel and I made some lifelong friends. It was amazing to be able to worship, learn and step-out in faith alongside other Christians my age.” (Ben – Italy Action Team)

Overseas: October - April

“Overseas was six months of learning from other cultures, tasting weird and wonderful foods, putting our awesome and challenging mission calls into practice, growing in faith and love for God and being able to reach amazing people. It’s a transformative, inspiring and life-changing experience. Do it!” (Beth – India Kolkata Action Team)

Step out of your comfort zone, connect with another culture and make a difference in people’s lives. From empowering marginalised women in Asia, to teaching street kids in South America; from youth work in Africa to bringing life to churches in Europe – we’ll commission you out in teams to share your Christian faith in practical ways to one of our many locations around the world.

UK Tour: April - June

The UK tour is a unique opportunity to inspire others for mission. Eight weeks spent at eight churches leading youth and children’s events, taking lessons and assemblies in schools, leading church services and anything else that comes to mind…all focussed on mobilising people accross the UK to act against poverty, inequality and injustice.

“I loved tour but it was the most challenging part of the gap year and stretched me the most as a Christian. I have realised that through God’s power I am able to do so much more than I ever thought I could.” (Tom – Nepal Action Team)

2019-2020 Locations

This is where our Action Teams are off to this year!

We’re currently exploring potential locations for 2020-2021.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates!

Action Teams 2020-2021: Those important dates!!!


Saturday 30 November 2019

Saturday 11 January 2020


Sunday 26 January 2020


14 – 15 February 2020

28 – 29 February 2020


September 2020


October 2020 – March 2021


April 2021 – June 2021


How much does it cost?

The cost of the 2019-20 programme is £4800.

Do you take graduates onto the programme?

Yes we love to take graduates onto our gap year programme!  Click here to read reflections from some of our recent graduate participants.

Who is BMS World Mission?

You can find more about us by going to the about us page, or get an introduction from the short video below.

What kind of people are BMS looking for?


Throughout the bible we see examples of God using the weak, the unlikely, the underqualified and those who are a bit rough round the edges. It is with that firmly in mind that we approach our selection of Action Team members. We’re not interested in perfect Christians – whatever that even means – we’re looking for ordinary people prepared to put their faith in an extraordinary God.

Our programme is very popular, so we do receive more applications than we have places. We choose those who we think best meet our selection criteria, which can be summed up like this:

  • Team players who are willing to work in partnership with others
  • Committed Christians with a desire to live out their faith in another culture
  • Servant hearted and willing to work under the authority of supervisors overseas.
  • Flexible when situations change at short notice
A full copy of our selection criteria can be found here.

What does the cost cover?

The cost covers all food, accommodation and basic living costs for both the UK and overseas sections of the programme. It includes all your training and debriefing fees, as well as your programme related expenditure and travel both in the UK and overseas. Your payment for flights is made to a separate travel management company but is also included in the £4800. It also a covers a contribution towards a team holiday mid way through your time overseas. It covers your visas and your insurance.

It does not cover personal spending money , the cost of vaccinations, minor medical costs, nor any insurance excesses. It does not cover your travel to and from a London airport, or our training centre. A more detailed breakdown is available at Encounter or on request.

Do I get to choose my location?

We’re really excited about our locations for next year and we hope you are too. We’d also like to add though that we think who you go with is probably more important than where you go, and it will certainly have a bigger impact on how much you enjoy the gap year.

Ensuring we send teams who are going to get along and work well together is our main priority when placing people on the programme. We also take into account health restrictions, gender balance, matching of appropriate skills, your personal preference and of course lots of prayer. This means that we can’t promise to give people their first choice location. However, you don’t have to accept your place on the programme until you find out where you are going – which you’ll find out soon after the Encounter events. We’ll explain more about all of this at Encounter.

How will I raise the money?

We know that one of the biggest obstacles to people coming on an Action Team is the cost. But we say don’t worry about that or let it put you off – we’ve never had a team member who hasn’t been able to raise the money before. We’ll tell you more at the Encounter event about different ways of raising the money. See also our guide to raising support. We may also be able to help subsidise applicants who think they will be unable to raise the money.

BMS World Mission operates an equal opportunities policy and encourages applications from all sectors of the community. To this end, we actively work to ensure that the financial contribution is not a barrier to people coming on the Action Team programme – particularly those with lower socioeconomic status. We have access to a trust fund to support such applicants, more details of which are available on request or at our Encounter events.

How will I be supported?

We realise that going to a different part of the world for six months can seem like a really scary thing. We’ve been running this programme successfully for over 25 years now and pride ourselves on supporting our team members really well. At every stage of they year, they’ll be people responsible for ensuring your safety and well being.

  • BMS UK staff, who you will get to know well, will provide overall support
  • Your overseas supervisors are carefully selected and prepared. They are accountable to BMS and invested in the Action Team programme.
  • Your team will be a crucial place to give and receive support, and we are extremely thorough in training our teams to work well together
  • We work closely with your church to help co-ordinate their ongoing prayer and pastoral support for you

Do I have to be from the UK?

Yes, we only accept UK participants onto the programme.

Do I have to be a Baptist?

No. While most team members are from Baptist churches, this is not a requirement. We welcome applications from people of all Christian denominations with a genuine, living and active faith in Jesus.

Does BMS operate under the Global Connections Code of Best Practice?

Yes, BMS World Mission is recognised by Global Connections as operating under the Code of Best Practice in Short-Term Mission.

Do you carbon offset your flights?

Ah, we thought you’d never ask. Yes we do! BMS is committed to creation care as part of our integral mission. See our Future Shape videos for more information.

Anything else?

Acceptance for all programmes is subject to medical screening though Health Link 360, obtaining an acceptable criminal record disclosure at enhanced level (DBS) and satisfactory completion of training.

Is it safe?

A very important question which deserves a page of its own click here!
The headline is YES! The safety and wellbeing of our participants is of paramount importance to us, which is reflected in our conformity to BS8848:2014 –the British Standard for organising and managing visits, fieldwork, expeditions, and adventurous activities outside the UK. This is a rigorous set of standards, which govern our approach to supervision, risk management, security, contingency planning, crisis management and more. Read more about how we’ll keep you safe.

Interested in finding out more about Action Teams?


Action Team Instagram



BMS World Mission is a Christian mission organisation, working in around 30 countries on four continents.

BMS workers and partners strive every day to make Jesus known and share the full life he brings. From legal work to surgery, food projects to education, BMS works with local partners, providing help where it is most needed, among the most marginalised and least evangelised people in the world. We do this thanks to the support of UK Christians, individuals and churches, who share our vision for a world made better through Christ’s grace.

Get in Touch

Phone us: 01235 517700
Write to us:
BMS World Mission
PO Box 49, 129 Broadway
Didcot, Oxfordshire
United Kingdom
OX11 8XA