FirstServe Programmes

We have three different FirstServe options available depending on your availability, skills and interests – FirstServe Standard, FirstServe Compact & FirstServe Practical. Each of these options has a ‘discipleship’ element, covering various topics, including prayer, personal character development, evangelism and more. Read on to find out more about what each programme offers you.


Step 1 – Learn to Serve

The programme kicks off at Tilsley College in Motherwell, Scotland, living in community with fellow students. These 4 weeks offer the chance to delve into God’s Word and explore the character of God before heading off onto your UK and overseas placement.

“My time at Tilsley consisted of various classes on Biblical wisdom and poetry, spiritual formation, Bible studies and cross-cultural mission, among others.  The classes were excellent and it was a true blessing to learn from and alongside such wonderful people.  Tilsley was a wonderful way to begin the programme.  The students were so warm and welcoming, and I learnt a ton about God and the world.” – Liz, 2019

Step 2 – Serve Local

For 4-6 weeks you’ll serve at a UK church, introducing you to skills you’ll need for your overseas placement. You’ll meet other Christians and get involved in the activities on offer at the church, which may include working with children in after school clubs, assisting church workers, preparing and leading Religious Education classes, devotions or children’s talks, working in the church café, helping with community events and much more!

You will be matched with a church that offers you opportunities to use your particular gifts and explore ministries that interest you.

“My programme here is really varied and gives me a great opportunity to work in and experience different ministries and groups of people.  Although I’m supposed to be here serving, I feel I am being blessed much more than I am blessing or helping the community here.  I cannot praise this programme highly enough, purely just for the exposure to being surrounded with such incredible Christ-centred people at every stage, and being bolstered to have that passion and excitement for God.” – Lizzie, 2018

Step 3 – Serve Global

From serving in a children’s camp, deep in the Amazon rainforest to assisting medical staff in the African Bush, there’s a range of places and activities you can choose from.

Depending on how much time you have available, you will spend 3-6 months in one of the countries we have to offer.

Overseas placements teach you to depend on God in new ways and allow you to get involved in activities such as children’s outreach, construction, evangelism, medical care, teaching, work amongst street children or youth ministry. Supervised by experienced mission workers, you will gain significant insight into how mission works and the challenges faced by long-term mission workers.

The mission worker will be responsible for arranging and overseeing your programme, and will provide accommodation, food, mentoring and pastoral care during your stay.

We’ve got overseas opportunities in Bolivia, India and Zambia, to name but a few. However, we have placements available throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and South America, so please get in touch for more details.

“Looking back, FirstServe has had a massive impact on my life.  I learnt so much about God and about myself.  My time overseas really did shape me as a person.” – Emily, 2016

When you return from your overseas placement, you’ll return to your UK church placement for one final week to share your experiences, continue to serve in the church and strengthen relationships you’ve already made.

Cost: £2,950* – this price is based on 3 months overseas, and includes all accommodation, training, insurance (excluding excesses) and travel costs throughout the duration of your programme.  Please see our FAQs for more information.

*Extra charges will be necessary for certain countries due to the cost of flights. Please get in touch for more information.


This is a shorter version of the FirstServe Standard gap year programme, aimed at those who have a limited amount of time. If you are looking to spend 10 weeks of your summer in a meaningful way, this programme will be just right for you!

The programme kicks off with an induction to FirstServe, which will include an overview of what is involved and seminars exploring what mission is all about. Then, depending on how much time you have available, you will spend 8-10 weeks in a country of your choice.

Cost is dependent on choice of country and time availability.  Please contact us for more information.


Got the skills to be more ‘hands on’ during your gap year? This is definitely the programme for you! FirstServe Practical has been developed for those who want to be involved in building and electrical projects, mechanics or anything that can stretch your handiwork skills! The programme is hosted in conjunction with Brass Tacks, a partner organisation of FirstServe.

The structure of FirstServe Practical is entirely dependent on your particular interests and time availability. Please get in touch with us for more details about the cost of the course.