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 two months 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.

Action Team Instagram


Saturday 1 December 2018 (now fully booked)

Saturday 12 January 2019

To take part in Action Teams you’ll need to come along to Encounter! This is a free taster day at our training centre in Birmingham, which gives you the chance to find out more about Action Teams and meet other people thinking about joining the programme. It’s also a chance for us to get to know you and to see if we, and you, feel that Action Teams are right for you.

At Encounter you’ll find a friendly and inclusive community, amazing worship, relevant teaching, a chance to meet people who have done the gap year before and all you need to know about the Action Team programme, and the different locations.

Coming to Encounter doesn’t mean you’ve signed up for Action Teams. It’s a chance for you to figure out if the programme is right for you in a fun, safe and no-pressure environment.

“I was a little bit nervous before going to Encounter, but the BMS staff helped me to settle right in; meeting down-to-earth Christians and seeing that God doesn’t only move in ‘Holy’ People”. (Jenny – Brazil Action Team)


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)


Below is where we are sending our Action Teams in 2018-19. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates about where we will be sending our teams for 2019/20.

India Kolkata

The India Kolkata Action Team will spend their gap year helping with a number of social action projects, including education programmes for street children, and sharing Jesus with people in rural parts of West Bengal.


The Thailand Action Team will be helping to plant churches and to disciple local believers amongst a largely unreached indigenous Thai Buddhist people group. The team will also spend time in Chiang Mai, helping at a home for disabled children.


The Peru Action Team will be based in the capital Lima, and will be supporting the local church in an education programme, helping to support church medical campaigns and running outreach projects in a deprived area outside the city.


The Kosovo Action Team will be based with a small local charity, getting involved in all kinds of ways! They will be running English classes for pre-schoolers, elementary students and adults as well as computer classes. They will also spend time investing in relationships in the local community and getting stuck in with a local church.

India Delhi

The India  Delhi Action Team will be helping in a local school, engaging in women’s empowerment projects and playing sports. The team will also get involved in a local church where they will work with youth, help to lead worship and visit and pray with people in their own homes.


The Mozambique Action Team will be based in Beira. They will be working with the local church, helping to teach at a pre-school education programme for disadvantaged children and getting stuck into social action outreach.


The France Action Team will have the opportunity to share their faith in an increasingly secular society. They will be based in the Paris area for 3 months, and then in Nice for 3 months. In Paris, they will be getting involved in a local church, foodbank and youth work; and in Nice they will set up up a cafe.

Ready to apply or still not sure?

Click the button below to start the adventure of a lifetime, and see God work in your life in incredible new ways.

We’ll send an application form over for you to complete. Once we’ve received it back, we’ll invite you along to Encounter, our selection events that take place at our training centre in Birmingham. You can read more about Encounter below.

We understand. It’s a big step! Come to an open day first and we’ll help you figure out if Action Teams is right for you.

After you come to an open day, we really hope you’ll be convinced to take a life changing gap year! At that point you can complete an application, and come to Encounter, our selection event.

Those important dates!!!


1 December 2018

12 January 2019


26 January 2019


15 – 16 February 2019

1 – 2 March 2019


September 2019


October 2019 – March 2020


April – June 2020


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 £4500. 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.