This summer I had the opportunity to do something I’ve never done before – I went on a ‘BYE team’ (Baptist Youth Evangelism). So what is a BYE team? Well it’s a bit like a beach mission, where a group of young people go to a certain area to help churches there.
The team I joined was in a town called Thurles in Co. Tipperary, Ireland. And I was so nervous! I wasn’t at all sure what to expect and didn’t know any of the other team members (there were 13 of us including the team leader).
Of course, once in Thurles, I realised there was no need to be shy at all! Everyone was so friendly. So if you are thinking about going on a BYE team or beach mission and don’t know anyone, do not let this put you off.
Remember, you’re all brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s always a good thing to spend time with other Christians – after all, we are heavily influenced by those around us! On this BYE team I met some wonderful people who I’m sure will remain friends for a long time.
During the week we ran a Holiday Bible Club, which was a great experience. Each team member was able to contribute in a different way, like doing the story for one of the groups or doing the songs or memory verse.
On the first day, I was asked to do the story for the 4 to 6 year olds. I wasn’t overly enthusiastic at the idea because I’d never done anything like it before. But, of course, this too turned out to be nothing to worry about.
During the week, I found myself getting involved in ways I never thought I could. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the well-known verse, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13). But it can be easy to take verses like this for granted. Just take a moment to think about how amazing this promise actually is. All things! We are not told we can do just some things through Christ, but all things.
Perhaps you’re scared about having to do talks or give your testimony on teams like this? If you trust Christ to give you the strength to do something, anything, then he will.
A truly great experience
The Bible tells us in Mark 16:15 that we must go into all the world and preach the gospel. Summer teams are a great way for young people to do this. I would encourage any young Christian to use one week of their summer holidays to do just what this verse says.
Another excellent thing about teams is that they can really encourage you personally. Seeing what God can do through you and other young people really is a wonderful thing!
So why did I go on a BYE team to Thurles? People who had been on beach missions or other outreach teams had suggested I go. They assured me that it would be a truly great experience and I should go while I had the opportunity. Now, having done it myself, I strongly recommend that you too should get involved whenever you have the chance. I’m sure you’ll love it!