This video features the Operation Barnabas ministry and gives a small taste of what students experience as part of an OB team. Operation Barnabas has been used by God to encourage young people to develop ministry skills and further learn to serve like Jesus since 1974. While it certainly is not the only means by which high school students may gain ministry experience, we are thankful for the role OB has played for our partnering churches and the 3,350+ people who have gone through this summer ministry training.
At the end of the OB tour, each Operation Barnabas member will have experience with sharing his/ her faith, being a part of a performance group learning many upfront ministry skills, giving testimonies, building team relationships, and so much more! He/she will be memorizing scripture, learn to spend quality time with God, be a part of a discipleship group, and learn how to work hard. Foundational character qualities will be emphasized and taught by pastors, national ministry leaders, and trained adult mentors. Each young person also receives a personal evaluation from leaders while having an opportunity to learn about the joys of serving in local church ministries. He/ she will know what it’s like to sleep on both a floor and a bed ... eat church carry-in dinners and McDonalds ... work in inner-city as well as rural settings. Teams generally have between 20 – 30 members, with the ratio of adult leaders to students is 1:5 to encourage quality training. Please bear in mind, a young person is chosen primarily on character and attitude, not talent. Each applicant must be recommended by his/her church to participate in this life-changing experience.
- Strong ministry training
- Ministry skill development
- Emphasis on local church ministry
- Strong adult leaders who are trained in youth ministry
- The excellence and tradition of 47 years of OB training
OB is for high school students who:
- Love Jesus!
- Are currently involved in their local church
- Want to learn and are teachable Apply for the Operation Barnabas program by submitting all required forms and references.
- Applications for 2021 will be available soon. Participation is determined by a selection committee that meets periodically.
OPTION 1: Meet with an older mentor & mentor a younger student
1. Put yourself under the leadership of a responsible, spiritual adult in the church (of the same sex and not a relative).
2. Meet at least once every two weeks with your disciple/mentor.
3. Your Discipler will report on your progress every month for 5 months, using the Adult Mentor Monthly Form – OB Faithfulness
4. “Disciple” someone younger than yourself. Depending on the age of the person you are working with, you may need to be flexible in how you work with him/her, but the idea is to interact with that person in a mentor role. A form to report your progress in these areas, Student Monthly Form – OB Faithfulness should also be filled out every month and given to your discipler to send in along with their report form.
OPTION 2: Start a new ministry
A Bible Club at school, sports ministry, sewing club, weekly guitar jam-sessions – the possibilities are endless for how you could use the gifts God has given you to start something that can be used for ministry, helping others grow in their faith, planting seeds for the gospel, and even bringing people to Jesus! You will need to find an adult, whether a teacher at your school, your youth pastor, or even an OB leader, who can help talk you through the process of getting something started. You will fill out a monthly report New Ministry Report Form and send it to the CE National office for a total of five months.
OPTION 3: Develop your own follow-up plan
Since participating on Operation Barnabas is not an end result but rather a step in the process, it is an expectation that Operation Barnabas Alumni be involved with the OB Faithfulness Program for at least the 5 months immediately following their tour on OB. We understand that when OB students return home, there are a number of circumstances that can vary, depending on your sending church, your age, and what is available to you. With these variables in mind, there are three options you may choose to be involved as a participant in the OB Faithfulness Program. With all of these options, there is an expectation for you to be actively attending your sending church/home church on a weekly basis. (if in college away from home, you need to find a local church there to plug into) and using On Track Devotions (supplied monthly on this OB website page) on a daily basis.
Sometimes it is hard to find someone who is willing to commit to a structured discipleship plan with you. What can you do to remain accountable in
your spiritual walk? How are you incorporating evangelism into your routine? What are you studying to remain faithful to the Lord? Basically this option
involves coming up with a follow-up plan that will work for you and reporting to us on a monthly basis for 5 months, using the Personalized Follow-up
Plan Monthly Report
Throughout these next five months following tour, Operation Barnabas discipleship group leaders will be following up with students to see how things are going as students assimilate back into their communities, homes, schools, and life in general! For the OB Faithfulness award, students need to have five monthly reports turned in to the Operation Barnabas home office. If these reports have been received and you have faithfully fulfilled the requirements, you will be eligible to receive a certificate stating that you completed the program. All those who have completed the program will be announced by July of the following year and names will also be forwarded to Grace College and Lancaster Bible College for scholarship information. (All OB participants receive a $1000 scholarship for their first year at Grace College or LBC. Those who complete the OB Faithfulness Program are also eligible to receive $1000 for the next three years, provided all requirements through the school have been fulfilled—all of this information is accurate as of July 2020, but could change at the discretion of the schools involved—please talk to your chosen school if any questions).