574-267-6622 obmail@cenational.org
What makes Operation Barnabas different from other mission trips?

OB has a much different dynamic than the typical local church mission/ministry trip. Operation Barnabas is a ministry training program because there are guaranteed experiences and practical training that will be included and can be taken back home after tour. Students will meet like-minded teens from all over the country, will be poured into by quality leaders, will travel to several different states, and will see ministry in urban and cross-cultural settings. At the end of the tour, each “OB” member will have experience with sharing his/her faith, public performance, preparing a testimony and team relationships. He/she will have memorized a number of key verses of scripture, been a part of a discipleship group, have intentional focused time with God each day, and learned the meaning of working hard thru manual labor projects.  Lessons on 15 Godly character traits such as integrity, thankfulness, and purity are emphasized. Each young person also receives a personal evaluation from leaders while having an opportunity to learn about the joys of serving in local church ministries. He/she will know what it’s like to sleep on both a floor and a bed … eat church carry-in dinners and McDonalds … work in inner-city as well as rural settings…

And, students will make friendships that will last a life time! Ask anyone who has gone on Operation Barnabas and they will likely tell you that some of their closest friendships started with fellow team members on their OB team! It is a summer that is life-changing for most students, as they work together, learning, serving, and being a part of something bigger than themselves.

Where are the OB teams going in 2020?

After needing to make some adjustments due to the coronavirus, we are having one tour that will begin and tour in Northern Indiana.

What are the dates for OB 2020?

The dates for orientation and then tour are July 2 – 14.

When do I apply for Operation Barnabas 2020?

Our team is full for 2020.  Check back at the end of the summer for updates about OB 2021!

Can we apply for the team we want to go on?

We have ended up with only one team but when we have two or more teams, we ask students which team they are interested in and that is taken into consideration by the selection committee during the acceptance process.  Much depends on when students apply, ratios of guys and gals, and a variety of other factors we use to make teams as balanced as possible. 

What is the cost for OB 2020?

The adjusted price for our Comeback Tour is $1200. This includes…

  1. A non-refundable confirmation deposit ($200.00).
  2. Food and lodging
  3. OB discipleship materials, On Track Devotions, and other training materials
  4. Equipment (buses, rental vans, and/or rental trucks and trailers, sound equipment, tracts, mailings)
  5. Expenses on tour (ex. Food, laundry, shower rentals)
  6. If flying to orientation, transportation from the designated airport to orientation site and transportation to designated airport at conclusion of tour.
  7. Leaders’ salaries (transportation and training)

This cost does not include the following:

  1. Transportation from your home to orientation site.  It also does not include transportation home after Operation Barnabas tour is over.
  2. The cost of team shirt that you will keep (approximately $15)

Keeping costs low is very important to us and there are many opportunities and ideas given to assist students in knowing how to raise support.

What does that cost include?

Included in the OB support cost is the confirmation deposit, all food, lodging, and laundry expenses. It also includes tour travel and fuel on Operation Barnabas vehicles (buses and vans) and complimentary airport transportation to designated airports on specified dates for those flying to orientation or home after tour debriefing. An Operation Barnabas syllabus and numerous discipleship resources are also included. There is scholarship help available–we have never known a student who tried to raise their money not be able to go on OB simply due to finances. God does provide!

What is not included in the OB cost?

A Team t-shirt (approx. cost $15) and transportation to orientation and back home after OB tour is over.

Where do the OB leaders come from?

Our OB Leaders are experienced in youth ministry and love working with students! All of our leaders have to apply, receive positive references and each has a background check. Also, all of our bus drivers have their CDL, are part of a drug-testing pool, and are legally certified to drive.

Students will also receive training from CE National staff, including Ed Lewis, President of CE National.

How many are on a team?

Each year is a bit different, depending on the amount of applicants, where the tours are going, and leadership needs and ratios. A typical size team is around 25 students and 5 adult leaders.

Where do the students stay while on Operation Barnabas and what do you do to safeguard students on Operation Barnabas?

 This year, students will be staying on the CE National campus for the entire orientation and tour.

In a typical year, during orientation, OB students generally sleep on the floor, unless the training site has access to sufficient beds for our students, such as when orientation is at one of our Urban Hope locations.  Otherwise, orientation is generally based at a partnering church or school and we divide up guys and gals and stay in classrooms. Once the team is on tour, they will either house in churches (again, sleeping on the floor in classrooms) or in host homes (people from the church who have volunteered to house students in their homes).  Students are partnered by gender (no less than 2 per home) and the host family keeps them for the evening, sometimes providing a meal, and returns them to the church the next morning.  These times in host homes are looked forward to by our team members as they have the opportunity to get to know the people at the receiving church and experience their gracious hospitality (and enjoy sleeping in a bed)!

All leaders go thru an application process with required references and submit to a background check.

All leaders go thru standardized training regarding safety issues and wise decision making. No student is ever left alone, whether in a host home situation, out canvassing the community, or assisting the church with ministry. There will always be at least two students together.

Each team has one leader who is designated as the leader responsible for the health issues on the team—leaders travel with health information that parents/guardians provided on the health form of the application. Should a health issue arise with a student, leaders will do their best to contact parents/guardians to see how they would like the situation handled. All of our bus drivers are part of a state required standardized drug and alcohol testing program and have their Commercial Drivers License.

Is there a luggage limit and how much can I pack?

A packing list will be posted online in the spring to guide you in what to take on Operation Barnabas. You are limited to one suitcase, one overnight case or gym bag, a backpack, and one sleeping bag and pillow.

I have dietary restrictions – can I still go on Operation Barnabas?

Absolutely. Whether the student is diabetic, gluten free/celiac, lactose intolerant, or even allergic to certain food items like nuts, we are open to working with the student/family as far as what they may need to bring with them on tour and what we can provide. We would ask that if you have any questions about this, you contact Sherilyn at obmail@cenational.org

Am I able to bring my cell phone, iPad, or computer on Operation Barnabas?

OB students may bring a cell phone. Phones and chargers will be collected during orientation, and students will be given periodic access to their phones to call parents weekly and potentially update social media as applicable–students are encouraged and provided opportunities to call home.

iPads and computers should be left at home.

A blog for each team will be frequently updated with information and pictures so that parents and others interested in the teams can know what is happening.