Volunteer - COmMISSION

COmMISSION is an exciting mission programme which takes the good news of Jesus to children and young people in Scotland.

Each year around a hundred young leaders receive training helping them to recognise their potential and then go on placement with SU Scotland teams and live out the COmMISSION adventure. Join with them, and then gather at the end of the summer for a massive celebration and review with other teams to hear amazing stories of how God has changed lives; and you'll get to share your story of how God used you!

How does it work?

Designed to help you get involved and develop the skills you need as a volunteer in Christian children's and youth work in Scotland, the programme includes three steps.

Training

Attend a weekend or a full week at Basecamp or LeadUP to help equip you as a leader. Bible teaching, workshops, team building, small groups, worship and prayer will help prepare you to work amongst Scotland's children and young people.

Action

This is where the training is put into practice! We will work with you to prepare an tailored programme of events as part of teams at SU Holidays, beach missions and church-based mission weeks, on international events, or a combination of these, including any events happening in your local church.

Review

Come together to reflect on your experience and share how you have seen God at work with children and young people as well in you; then consider how you can continue being involved. 

Costs

Taking part in a ministry like this costs money. We ask each person to play a part in raising support from their local church, friends, family, and fundraising events. We're not expecting you to raise the full cost of all three parts of COmMISSION - which would be £400-500+. We're setting you the challenge of raising around £275 as a contribution towards these costs. 

We've put together a pack with loads of tips and ideas to help you raise support - download the Support Pack

It may be that you can only attend a training event rather than the entire programme - the contribution for these is £60 for a weekend or £120-£150 for a week.

Why do COmMISSION?

Every year there are more and more young people involved in SU Scotland events for whom the good news of Jesus is completely new. Previous knowledge of the Bible is increasingly scarce. Families and communities are fragmenting, and the children suffer most. Scotland is now a priority mission field, and Scotland's young people desperately need to hear about Jesus' love for them. 

Mission together

The name COmMISSION refers to Jesus' words at the end of Matthew's gospel, "Go and make disciples of all nations", often called the Great Commission. The name indicates that:

  • we are responding to Jesus' command.
  • this is "mission together", both as part of a team at an event and as part of the wider SU Scotland family.
  • the Holy Spirit is a key player as well!
  • your church, friends and families are also part of the team, to help with prayer and (when appropriate) financial support

Benefits for your church

Tapping the potential of your young people - impacting the life of your church

Training young people for ministry plays a vital role in the life of the church - we believe that proper training and discipling are a positive experience for young people as they serve in a variety of ways. The benefits of this training are of long-lasting value to their own churches as well as to SU Scotland.

Our mission and discipleship programme equips young people for the immediate challenge of helping in church ministries, and gives them skills and confidence to grow into leadership in their churches and in school, college and the workplace.

"I have found through my own experience that these training events profoundly impact the lives of the young people that attend them.  If you work with people in that age bracket then please encourage them to be part of these events."

Ali Laing, Youth Pastor, Queens Park Baptist Church

Would your church consider sponsoring a young Christian in your fellowship to enable them to participate in the COmMISSION programme? Prayer and financial support are both greatly appreciated to help them make the most of the opportunity.

Benefits for school

If you are still at school and looking to attend the Basecamp Kingscross or LeadUP training events this may well involve asking for permission to miss classes. We have always been happy that the training we provide at these events can be applied wider that the SU Scotland context and stands you in good stead for the duties and learning expected of you as a prefect or senior pupil.

Our position was endorsed by Youthlink Scotland when they selected the COmMISSION programme as a good example of how non-school groups contribute to the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence in their document Building Capacities through Experiences & Outcomes.

Basecamp

Basecamp is for you if are 16-18, in S5 or S6 at school, or have recently left school.

All Basecamp events include worship, teaching, training sessions, activities and time to relax. Over and over again people talk of the huge benefit of Basecamp as a place to go deeper in your faith, get into the Bible, learn new skills and develop lasting friendships.

You choose one of the three Basecamp training events (see our events section for full details). The weekend Basecamps at Pitlochry and Lendrick Muir provide an essential introduction to being a leader. The six day Basecamp at Kingscross is an in-depth introduction with more time to delve into the issues, have fun and learn together.

All the Basecamps include excellent Bible study through first class Bible teaching and group discussion. You'll also meet with a training adviser who will help you develop your own training plan. Workshops are designed to help you develop the skills you need to work with children and young people and introduce them to the Christian faith. You will have opportunities to:

  • Learn how to assist in small group teaching
  • Find out how to help and care for your group
  • Explore how to relate appropriately to children and young people
  • Consider how best to answer young people's questions
  • Learn the basics of preparing a short talk
  • Understand the purpose of games, and how to lead them
  • Discuss how to promote positive behaviour
  • Find out why memory verses are important, and how to make them memorable

LeadUP

LeadUP is for you if you are 18+, a student or a graduate of Basecamp. At LeadUP we'll help you take the next step in your leadership skills and in serving Jesus with others wherever you are involved with mission among children and young people.

You will:

  • Grow in your understanding of how faith develops in children and young people
  • Have opportunity to explore how to give a good Biblical talk
  • Explore how to effectively lead a small group
  • Consider your leadership style and the role you are likely to play in a team
  • Discover how to positively respond to the pressures of mission and ministry
  • Learn skills of reflection throughout the week and how this can aid personal growth.

The programme is packed with opportunities to put your learning and new skills into practice, much of this in teams where you do these things together. This all happens alongside quality Bible teaching and time for personal reflection to help you move forward your Christian faith.

This week long event is based at Alltnacriche, our residential centre on the edge of the Cairngorms. It is a week of leadership training and personal discipleship that will stretch, challenge, inspire and help prepare you for wherever you are serving over the summer and beyond.

What past participants say

"The COmMISSION programme was an absolutely incredible experience. At times in the past few years, it has sometimes felt like leadership was just the next stage in my life but this year COmMISSION gave me the courage and opportunities to go out and make a difference.

Basecamp was amazing and full of surprises as I went with no idea with what was ahead of me but I loved every minute of it and it was great preparation for being part of a leadership team. I had been to camp for multiple years but being a leader at one was so different to what I had expected and Basecamp had really prepared me for any situations that were thrown my way. It was amazing to feel as though I were out in the world doing God's work. Thank you so much to all who help run and contribute to the COmMISSION programme, for making this summer possible!"

Ella Pollitt, Basecamp 2012

"This summer, I took part in the LeadUP event as part of the COmMISSION programme. This followed on from Basecamp last year which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I wanted to push my skills as a leader further and challenge myself. My motivation for being a volunteer group leader for SU Scotland came from witnessing the amazing work God was doing in the lives of leaders from previous camps, and wanting what they had! I also feel it is vital to share the good news of Jesus Christ to as many people as we can.

LeadUP helped me to assess my response to working under pressure and having greater responsibilities within the running of the camp. I was also able to identify my strengths and weaknesses so that I can make the best contribution in team working circumstances. The rest of the summer consisted of mission work at Prestonpans Holiday Club in East Lothian, where I lead a small group of Primary 3 kids and LM6a residential camp at Lendrick Muir. The whole experience gave me more confidence in my own ability. I found it a very rewarding summer and made some great friends. Seeing God visibly working in so many people, in so many ways, all over the country is all the encouragement I need to volunteer again next year. It was definitely a summer to remember!"

Callum Cruikshank, LeadUP 2012

 

"The week of training at Basecamp prepared me in a whole host of ways, from teaching me how to handle a group of kids when leading games, to sharing my faith. It gave me the confidence I needed to approach my role as a trainee with enthusiasm and pure excitement.

I had the privilege of being part of both Elie Beach Mission and an SU Holiday week at Lendrick Muir. Having never done a mission I arrived at Elie not really knowing what to expect. It was a week of excitement, silliness and sharing Jesus with children as young as three or four - and I loved every moment. The prospect of then being a trainee at the Lendrick Muir camp where I had grown in my own faith was slightly scary, but my anxieties about making the transition were completely put at ease within the first day. I felt completely part of the family and was able to share my faith with so many youngsters in a way that I didn't even know I could do."

Sarah Mackie, Basecamp 2012

 

"In June I took part in Basecamp at the Kingscross camp site, the place where I'd started my SU Scotland journey with KX2 six years previously. Across the week I learned ways to help share God's message with campers, ways to run worship and group time, whilst also meeting some fantastic new people and sharing time with them. After the week ended it was down to me to put into practice what I'd learnt during a week at Lendrick Muir.

I worked with a group of campers for the week, supporting them and teaching the word of God. It was a week full of ups and downs, where I found myself having to adjust and learn quickly "on the job" but I had a fantastic time! Before I came I had been worried that I would struggle, but I trusted that God would be with me and he certainly provided me with the support I needed during some of the more challenging times."

Stephen Hedges, Basecamp 2012

 

"SU Scotland has been a huge part of my life so I decided to go to Basecamp and be a trainee leader at a summer camp - not only to give back but also because I was keen to help other young people meet Jesus.

It was an incredible experience: I became more confident not only in my leadership abilities, but in my faith and have grown so much closer to God. Last summer the thought of speaking to a group about God and having so much responsibility was daunting but the training and help from leaders at camp made it an exciting challenge. Volunteering for SU Scotland has been one of the most amazing experiences and I would encourage everyone to take the chance and sign up."

Sarah Muir, Basecamp 2012

The small print

We know it's a tad boring, but it really is important!

  1. Alternative placements: If you are unavailable for placements during the school holidays, contact us to discuss alternatives. These might include residential weekends or helping to lead school SU Groups during the academic year. If your church is running a summer holiday club or other outreach event, these could also act as your placement.
  2. Placements in your own church: Different financial arrangements apply for placements in your own church. Contact us if you would like to discuss this.
  3. Payment: We ask you to pay your contribution towards the cost of the programme (£275 suggested) in advance if you are able to, otherwise not later than the Review weekend. We are happy to receive it in several installments. Download our support pack for suggestions on support-raising. If you would like to attend a training event but you are not sure whether you will be available for a placement this year, the cost of the training event alone is £150 for LeadUP, £120 for the week-long Basecamp at Kingscross, and £60 for the weekend Basecamps at Pitlochry and Lendrick Muir.
  4. Travel to and from events: Organising your travel to and from all events is your own responsibility. We will do our best to link you up with others travelling to the same event as you. For some training and review events, we may arrange minibus or coach travel from Glasgow or Edinburgh. Details will be sent to you about 3 weeks before the event.
  5. Volunteer application process: Once we have received your application, we will ask you to complete the SU Scotland Volunteers application process and apply for Membership of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Scheme (PVG Scheme), which now replaces the Enhanced Disclosure police checks for working with children. Everyone involved in SU Scotland's ministry among young people is required to complete this paperwork.
  6. After COmMISSION: If you attend a Basecamp, we would encourage you to return the following year to participate in LeadUP. All participants are also encouraged to continue in mission with SU during the school year, e.g. through helping to run school SU Groups and residential weekends.
  7. How does my age affect my involvement in COmMISSION? Basecamps are for those in S5 or S6 at school, or who have left school but are under 18. If you are in S4, we ask that you wait a year before attending Basecamp, even if you are 16. LeadUP is for those over 18, and for those aged 17 who attended Basecamp the previous year. LeadUP is aimed primarily at the 18 to 25 age-group, but there is no upper age limit. In some cases we may suggest that those who attend Basecamp at 16 should attend an advanced stream at Basecamp Kingscross the following year, before attending LeadUP when they are 18.
  8. Photographs and video: photos and videos taken at SU Scotland events may be used for publicising SU Scotland. Please inform your event leader if you do not wish your photo to be used for this purpose.