Explore: Our short-term and teams programme

Explore: our short-term and teams programme

Our EXPLORE programme covers placements of different shapes and sizes, usually from two weeks to two months - but if you’re interested in a longer placement then let us know!

You could serve through:

  • Joining a team led by Serving In Mission. Some years we recruit for participants to join a programme that we have already scoped out. This will usually be led by an SIM staff member. Anyone can apply to join but places will be subject to a successful application and being a suitable fit for the team. See below for information on planned team trips.

  • Bringing a team from your church. Your church may already support SIM and want to take a team to visit mission partners you know, or you may be in a church without active or prior mission links with SIM. We welcome both! For church teams, we usually work with you to tailor-make a programme. The team leader is usually appointed by the church, and the application process and cost will depend on SIM’s level of involvement.

  • Doing your medical elective or Bible college block placement through us. We welcome enquiries for these and many of our overseas teams are experienced in receiving students for short placements. We will always work closely with you to find the right option that will serve you and our teams well.

  • Serving on a short-term individual placement. If you are interested in exploring mission, but only have a short time to give, it’s still possible to do an individual placement with SIM. We’ll chat one-to-one with you and explore whether any of our overseas teams could receive you for a short placement. Typically, this would be 1-2 months in length, but could be more. If you have longer to give, it may be that our Immerse internship programme would be good for you (more details below) – we can look together at all the options. 


SIM is passionate about crossing barriers to make the gospel known. We seek to send where there is an urgent need for more gospel workers to be mobilised to serve. We work in some challenging and hard places, and have trusted, experienced teams serving on the ground in over 70 countries. We work in close partnership with the participants, the sending church, and our receiving teams to ensure a placement is appropriate for the team or individual. The placement process is a prayerful pursuit of where God is leading.



We are focusing on church-centred sending, so we would love churches to get excited about one of the opportunities below and commit to sending the core of the team, possibly remaining open to others joining them too. Some opportunities tor teams in 2019 are:

  • Ethiopia (Addis and/or Mekelle)

    • We’ve had a request for a team that would be willing to run a children’s programme for newly-arrived missionary families in Addis Ababa, while the parents are in their own programme. This would run each morning and the afternoon would be free to rest or visit other SIM projects and see the breadth of work and ministry taking place in and around Addis. Dates for this team will be approx. August 5-18. We’re looking to send a team of eight adults and it would be suitable for families.

    • Mekelle Youth Centre is an hour’s flight north of the capital and is keen to receive a team over the summer – teaching English, sports, IT, with freedom to use the skills of the team in creative ways. Dates are flexible.

    • It could be possible to spend part of the time in Addis and part of the time in Mekelle.

  • Mozambique:

    • SIM Mozambique are looking for a team to serve with the children’s and youth work and worship leading for their annual Spiritual Life Conference. The dates are June 23-30. The only cost involved is the flights, one night in Maputo ($15 at a missionary guesthouse), and the visa for Mozambique ($50). All food and lodging would be paid for by SIM Mozambique.

  • Paraguay:

    • SIM Paraguay are willing to receive a team, and the programme and dates will be shaped to suit the team. This would be focused on prayer and exposure to unreached people and ministries that are taking place in the cities and rural areas.

  • Europe:

    • After a successful team to Greece in 2018, we are looking to send another team to engage in migrant ministry as part of our #HowWillTheyHear campaign. The programme and dates can be worked out with the team and sending church. There are a number of opportunities with our partners in Greece engaging in a range of ministries. There are possibilities in Italy too.


SIM’s Sports Friends ministry has a number of options for short-term teams or individual placements. These teams will have a specific focus on supporting sports camps through which Bible teaching and discipleship is central.

The team does not have to be especially gifted at sport, although having an interest is helpful! A love for young people and God’s word is essential.

2019 opportunities include:

  • Ethiopia: Availability to host teams during July and August

  • Kenya: Flexible, but timing would be best during spring or summer.

  • Nigeria: would be thrilled to receive a team, open to discussion on when.

  • Thailand: Team must have a heart for Asia. Dates flexible.

Note: teams from the US are already in the pipeline for some of these places,. It may be possible to overlap with a team from the UK. Individuals from the UK could join a team sent out from the US if we are unable to recruit a full team here. Tentative dates for the US teams are: Ethiopia – June 28-July 6; July 5-13; July 12-20. Kenya – July 24-August 3, plus another team with dates to be confirmed.

We have Sports Friends staff willing to lead a team from the UK, dates permitting.

In 2020, Peru, Niger, Senegal and Ghana are all possible team opportunities with Sports Friends.

Longer-term placements with Sports Friends are also very welcome, let us know if you’re looking for more than a short-term placement. 


This year we have exciting new short-term opportunities in the Philippines and Kenya for anyone with an interest in creative arts (music/visual art/drama/photography etc.)

  • Philippines: Ethno-Arts Internship. June 30-July 15.

    • One week spent receiving orientation and training in Davao, followed by one week in a rural village of Bukidnon.

    • The focus is on helping locals use indigenous art forms to express themselves. An opportunity to see and understand art as a tool to break down barriers in communicating the gospel and building relationship.

    • No qualifications or experience in art required.

    • There are 15 places on the internship, and individuals can apply to be part of this wider team.

    • Cost will be $500 US for all costs in-country. This does not include flights, vaccinations or SIM sending office fees.

  • Kenya: Arts Residency. This is a three-week conference for artists looking to develop their own skills and understand how these can be used in mission. This ran successfully in February, 2018 and is now being planned for 2019. Suitable candidates are encouraged to register their interest. Dates to be confirmed. 


We welcome and facilitate students who are in their training stages. Electives and block placements are usually between two weeks and two months, and we have a number of experienced receiving teams who are able to facilitate these placements. Please contact us for further information about where you can serve.

We have previously facilitated medical electives in Niger, Nepal, Nigeria, India, Angola, Zambia, Madagascar, and others! We have a medical brochure for those who would like to know more about the medical ministry that we are engaged with.

Bible college block placements can also take place all over the SIM world depending on the type of ministry experience you are looking for. We’ve had block placement students teaching summer courses for theological colleges, and others choosing to do sports ministry. We’ll work with you to identify the right opportunity. 


Our placement process is relational and prayerful, and our mobilisers seek to get to know enquirers well enough to discern an appropriate ministry opportunity.

SIM is working in over 70 countries, and the need for the gospel is great. This means that there are ample possibilities and we can’t list them all here! We do have a search function on our website that allows you to filter through many of our ministry opportunities across the SIM world.

We have more than 100 opportunities for placements of less than a year, with a broad range of skills needed – IT, Media, Comms, Finance, Pastoral, Children’s and Youth Work, Maintenance, Teaching, Medicine and many more! Get in touch with us to talk to a mobiliser who can help find an opportunity that fits your skills.


There are a number of costs to be aware of, and we’re happy to talk those through with you. For short-term teams, or very short-placements, it is important to understand that the cost of flights will usually be significantly greater than the cost of the placement. Candidates need to be ready for this reality.

All placements are self-supported, and we know fundraising can be daunting. Doing it with us means you will be supported with ideas and resources, and you’ll get the additional 25 per cent Gift Aid on eligible donations. 

You will need to have the funds for your full placement before you fly. You will receive a personalised budget for your placement. This will include a number of items such as:

  • Fully comprehensive travel insurance (organised by SIM through Banner)

  • Visa

  • International flights

  • In-country travel. accommodation and food costs, dependent on the itinerary

  • Vaccinations

  • Admin fees to cover the support offered to you by SIM UK, International and the team receiving you on the ground

  • Health check process

We will explain all of these costs to you and talk through the process of support-raising. Your mobiliser is there to support you through any questions you may have. If you are support-raising, SIM is able to claim Gift Aid on donations from UK tax-payers. If you use your own funds, these are not eligible for Gift Aid.


Our mobilisers are here to help and support and journey with you and your church.  Please get in touch with our Explore short-term coordinator, Hannah Hitchin (hannah@sim.co.uk) who will connect you with the mobiliser for your region.

Start the process by filling in our enquiry form, which will help us work out how we can best help you. You will put you in touch with the right people to answer any questions you might have.

Tim Allan