Note: Currently no TEA Programmes are scheduled for 2010. However, this could change so keep checking back.
What is TEA?
TEA (Training, Evangelism, Adventure) is a 10-week discipleship and evangelism training course for young people run by Operation Mobilisation in New Zealand. TEA started in January 2004, and usually runs three teams a year, each no larger than seven people. Leaders take turns to travel and live with the team.
Teams travel around New Zealand almost from the very first day. There is a daily discipleship study as well as ongoing training throughout the 10 weeks. Team members also participate in a variety of adventure activities in the outdoors.
The team stays in holiday accommodations, such as backpackers lodges, holiday parks and campgrounds, as well as in back-country huts in mountain ranges, where they are encouraged to share their faith naturally with other backpackers, trampers and holiday-makers.
Ministry Plan & Outcomes
The TEA Programme exists to grow young people from around the world in discipleship and confidence in sharing Christ's Good News while travelling in a team around New Zealand.
We are committed to:
- Spending time each day as a team in a set discipleship curriculum
- Establishing evangelism as a lifestyle through training and practice
- Valuing and esteeming one another and seeking opportunities to love others
- Awakening a realisation of the value, power and joy of praying beyond themselves and meaningfully for the world
- Encouraging team members to set goals for their own Christian growth and learn to reflect on their progress
- Challenging team members physically and mentally through adventure activities in the New Zealand outdoors so they can realise and extend the limits of their own stamina and confidence
Ministry Objectives for a TEA Team
The success of each participant shall be measured by:
- a) Completion of the Design for Discipleship study curriculum
b) Participation in team discussion on study
- a) Participation in planned evangelism events
b) Initiative displayed in opening conversations and steering towards evangelism
- Servanthood displayed in team life
- a) Prayer journal kept including daily prayer for non-Christian friends
b) Participation with growing confidence in team prayer
- Discussion of goals and progress with team leader at set intervals during programme
- Participation in tramping and other outdoor activities
Each TEA team will involve:
- Working through the Design for Discipleship study curriculum
- Evangelism training and opportunities in a variety of settings
- Tramping in remote locations for team development, as well as on popular tracks for evangelistic opportunities
- Other outdoor activities such as kayaking, rock-climbing, rafting, snow-boarding etc, dependent on weather and season
- Travelling to popular tourist destinations around the country – tourism and evangelism
- Exposure to Maori culture (the indigenous culture of New Zealand)
- Joining people in their ministries to help and encourage them
Every TEA group will have a different itinerary, dependent on the seasons. Remember that in New Zealand spring starts in September, summer in December, autumn in March and winter in June. Every TEA team to date has had a different itinerary, most are planned but some have to change because of the weather or other circumstances. However we can say that every ten week team has had a schedule jam-packed with opportunity and plenty of excitement as we have seen God work in and through us.
We have a poster showing some of the activities on TEA that you can download here or contact us to have one sent to you (NZ$ 10 plus postage).
Who can join TEA?
- Christians aged 18 to 30
- Singles or couples – sorry, no children
- Those with a desire to know and serve God more fully
- English-speaking: Minimum required is the Pre-Intermediate level. If English is not your first language, we will send you a test to find your English level when you apply. If you are not yet at the Pre-Intermediate level, we can help you arrange to come before TEA to study English in our English classes, run by qualified staff of Operation Mobilisation New Zealand.
- Physically fit: From good to VERY good (there are plenty of mountains) – start training NOW! A good way to know if you are fit enough is to ask: Can I run for 3km without stopping?
There are some types of people we don't want joining us either. Read Ten short-termers we don't want by OM's founder, George Verwer.
How to apply
You must apply through the Operation Mobilisation office in your own country. To find the OM details of your country, visit http://www.om.org/contact/.
Before you come
Have a look at some of the New Zealand tourism websites to see what you will be letting yourself in for.
Once you have been accepted, you will be sent some orientation materials. This contains a list of the kind of things needed in the outdoors. There is no need to bring items that will be used commonly (like stoves, tents etc.). If you are in doubt about getting something, wait and buy it here if you need it. We do know where to buy these kind of things cheaply and can lend you some too. Remember that you will have to carry everything you bring, so pack light! When we are back in civilization, you will be going to church meetings and other functions. So bring some smart casual wear too. Kiwis hardly ever wear suits or dresses, but smart trousers and a good top would be nice.
Although we will supply all your food and accommodation, bring some pocket money for souvenirs, postcards and any extras you may want to buy.
Pray that this will be a time where God will work in your life for His glory and that you will have the chance to share His love with others here. Get a group of friends to pray for you as well.
There are three TEA leaders: Norm and Christy McCarren, and George Booth.
Norm and Christy are from the USA. They love the outdoors, discipleship and small group ministry. They spent time on Logos II before joining the team here in New Zealand.
George has been with OM since 1979 and worked on the ships and in Southern Africa before leading the OM New Zealand team. He loves evangelism and the outdoors.
These websites will help give you a better idea of what travelling around New Zealand is like:
To find your OM home office, visit http://www.om.org/contact/.
Contact us if we can be of further help.