The information below provides some more information on what you can expect from being involved in CBM work. The CBM is always looking for willing volunteers to help. Opportunities are available for baptised members of the central Christadelphian fellowship. The process for applying to volunteer for CBM work is set out below. If you are facing any issues in registering your interest, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CBM trips: if you are interested in going on a CBM trip, it’s best to think about where you might want to go, for how long and what you can contribute. Trips to Africa generally are two or three weeks in duration and involve visiting ecclesias, speaking, teaching Sunday School and Sisters’ Class, providing practical help and helping with Bible Schools and youth camps. Trips to Europe are usually shorter in duration, perhaps over a long weekend and activities will include visiting brothers and sisters in isolation, teaching and preaching classes and Bible weekends.
Current opportunities are advertised here. If you are keen to become a fieldworker, but there are no current opportunities advertised, contact the Area Secretary linkman for the region/country you are interested in for an informal chat and we may be able to find you a place on a trip – or at least you will have registered your interest for future trips.
Before applying for CBM work, you need to think about the following, all of which are important. In particular, it is useful to have experience of preaching activities in the UK. If you haven’t, perhaps give some thought to going on a Bible Campaign to gain some experience.
If the answer is ‘no’ to any of the following questions, don’t be put off, because some of these only come by experience and the trip leader might be willing to help and mentor you where you feel you need support:
- are you in good health?
- have you been involved in preaching work in the UK?
- are you confident to engage in conversation on a wide range of topics?
- are you aware of the religious, social and cultural beliefs and practices you may encounter overseas?
- have you attended a CBM publicity event?
- do you have a valid passport and able to travel overseas?
If you feel that you can offer your assistance to the CBM as a Field Worker, complete the following steps:
- Go to the Members section of the CBM website and click on “register now” or click here to go directly to the registration page.
- After a couple of days you will then be able to log in and then complete the Field Worker application tab and fill in the form. If a paper form is required please download.
- If you are part of a team, advise the Linkman or trip leader that you have completed the application.
What to Expect on a CBM Trip
There are all types of activities to get involved with on a CBM trip. You won’t be pressured into doing something you don’t want to do, so you will need to discuss your role on the trip with the linkman and/or team leader and team, but these are some of the activities you might get involved with:
- Preaching – as the CBM is mainly a preaching organisation, our main aim is to get involved in facilitating or helping with the spread of gospel where help is needed. There are all types of preaching activities:
- Teaching – either through public talks or seminars
- Talking about the gospel – sometimes this could be to a new contact or perhaps someone we have known for longer that is looking for help in their understanding of the gospel
- Helping with advertising – through house billing, literature tables, designing leaflets or designing newspaper adverts
- Teaching – we all need encouragement and fellowship, whether we are part of an ecclesia or we are a brother or sister living in isolation. In the first century Paul and Barnabas “remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also” and Paul also said that we should “encourage one another and build one another up”. Teaching can take a number of forms:
- Exhorting and Bible Class – Timothy was sent as a missionary to the ecclesia in Thessalonica ‘to establish and exhort you in your faith’
- Sisters’ Class
- Baptism classes
- Sunday School – teaching the young is also a form of preaching. We are told to teach the word of God ‘diligently to your children’ and to ‘make them [God’s teachings] known to your children and your children’s children’. Teaching Sunday School is a wonderful way of getting involved in CBM work.
Children singing in Cameroon
- Pastoral visits – many of our brothers and sisters live in isolation and following the example of Paul, it is necessary that we visit them: ‘Let us return and visit the brothers [and sisters] in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are’ (Acts 15:36). Visits to brothers and sisters in isolation provides enormous comfort and help. A visit will usually include:
- a breaking of bread – sometimes these visits are often the only opportunity our isolated brothers and sisters are able to break bread with other
- a chance to chat, read the Bible, pray, talk about life in general, provide encouragement and listen to any concerns or questions. It’s also nice to share a meal, perhaps at the home or by going to a local restaurant/cafe.
- practical help
Visits will often include a welfare element – we have a duty to care for our brothers and sisters: ‘So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith‘ (Galatians 6:10).
The Role of Sisters
Sisters play a massive role in the work of CBM, whether at home or abroad. For example, when visiting sisters in isolation, sisters which are part of the CBM team will frequently provide advice and encouragement and pick up on and discuss issues which are more difficult for a brother to discuss, or not even noticed by a brother!
In this video, some of our sisters who have been involved in CBM work give an account of why they like to be involved in the work:
These are just some of the activities that we need sisters to help with:
- help with pastoral visits and welfare issues
- prepare and teach Sunday school classes
- teach at Sisters’ Classes
- provide support during pastoral visits
- translate both written and spoken material
- write blog posts or content for the Bible Missionary or newsletter
- write study materials
- one-to-one bible study
- baptism classes and assisting in baptism interviews
- social media
- admin for CBM trips
- friendship and support- for husbands and fellow missionaries
- choose appropriate hymns and teach them, and make a CD/youtube playlist
- organise a sisters day
CBM Bible Weeks and Weekends
A really good way of learning about the work of CBM and meeting brothers and sisters from overseas is to attend a CBM Bible week or weekend. Below is a video all about the 2015 Kazan Bible School in Russia. Bible weeks or weekends happen in most CBM UK territories. If you are interested in finding out more, contact one of the Area Secretaries or linkmen.
Language skills: much of the CBM’s work has been in English-speaking countries – for obvious reasons. But there are also many opportunities to preach in non-English-speaking countries – opportunities which are often missed because there are not enough people who speak the language. This is especially important in the early stages of work in any country, until there is a nucleus of local brothers and sisters who can carry on the work.
The CBM is always looking for people who can speak a foreign language. A look through the country list will show what languages are needed.
French is useful, because it is spoken in African countries such as Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mauritius and Togo. Portuguese is useful for Mozambique. Spanish is useful in the Americas (the responsibility of the CBMA).
The new opportunities in East Europe are frustrated by language problems too. Anyone with a knowledge of Russian, Hungarian, Romanian, Czech, Estonian, or any other East European language would make a very valuable contribution.
Languages are most easily learned when you are young, so these are things to bear in mind when choosing a subject for further education or evening classes!
Get a TEFL qualification
Do you speak English? Your command of the English language is a valuable asset which could be used to further the work of the CBM. It gives you the chance to work overseas as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher.
It provides a way in which you can live in a foreign country with sufficient income to maintain yourself and the opportunity to do missionary work.
There is a continuing need for resident workers – people on the ground who can maintain interest and support contacts in a way in which six-monthly visits from the UK cannot, and who are able to support themselves as best they can. Until now it has been difficult for those wishing to spend extended periods overseas to find suitable opportunities to be able to do this, but now there is a great demand for English teachers.
The minimum qualifications are usually a native command of English, a degree, and a basic EFL qualification – this can be obtained in a four-week intensive course at many colleges throughout the UK.
Jobs are regularly advertised in The Times Educational Supplement and the Education Guardian.
If you are a graduate and would like to give a year or so to the Lord’s service, why not consider this possibility?