From Pastors who have sent students on Operation Barnabas:
“Operation Barnabas is a great springboard for our student ministry. My teens come back from OB with a deeper passion for doing ministry and a desire to be growing spiritually. They also display a hunger for leadership opportunities within our youth group and are also actively sharing their faith with their peers at their school campus back home. I don’t know of a ministry that does a better job of training and equipping young people in the areas of discipleship and evangelism than OB. Our church has greatly benefited from the ministry of Operation Barnabas over the years.”
“We are birthing a new girls high school small group and I just asked one of our girls who went on Operation Barnabas this summer to be the student leader in it. I wanted to have someone to anchor the group and attract others and underclassmen. This means leaving her comfort, friends, and group she has come to know and love. She didn’t even hesitate and answered “leadership is not being in a comfort zone” I love it. She was impacted from her summer with you all. Thanks for your ministry>”
“Operation Barnabas does in one summer what many student pastors take four years to accomplish. Our kids come back with a refreshed urgency for the lost while actualizing their redemptive potential inside their schools and families. OB challenges this generation to see the world differently and chase Christ with all they have. The tools our students learned -such as private devotionals, leadership development, and general social skills -will serve them in high school and beyond. They have seen the value of the local Church as the bride of Christ and are fierce at wasting their lives to advance it. I cannot praise OB enough! They have helped us build something special in our student ministries.”
From churches who have hosted Operation Barnabas teams:
As a result of the OB team being here, our church’s vision and ministry will be more outwardly focused. Send them to us anytime!
Having an OB team at your church provides a great opportunity for 34 youth and adults having an impact on your church and your community. And it also provides you and your church a great opportunity for impact on 34 youth and adults on the Operation Barnabas team!
When an Operation Barnabas team is in our area, I am always willing to host a team—they add a spark to our ministry, help us make a difference in the community, and help us move ministry forward.
The OB students were great and because of their ministry our students are changed—they have a whole new perspective on what teenagers who love Jesus are capable of and are excited about taking a step forward in their own spiritual journeys.
Our church loved having an Operation Barnabas team. It was neat to see the love they demonstrate for Jesus. They did a great job at doing ministry and really gave our church a spiritual boost!
The OB team was a great boost to our church but more importantly, they reached out to our neighborhood with a great response. We loved them and want them back again!
What Parents Are Saying About Operation Barnabas:
As a parent, I love what you are doing. There is such great training on so many topics, including boy-girl relationships, leaving a place better than you found it, service, full time ministry, etc. etc. Very God-centered!
Last year, when my daughter sent in her application, my husband and I were a little hesitant, but this was such a wonderful, growing, life -changing experience for her that we would send her again if we could! This is such a great program for these teenagers and for the people they touched this summer—and for all those they will touch in the future because of what they’ve learned on OB!
I want to thank you and I am eternally grateful for the time and energy that you OB leaders invested in our child’s life this summer. Thank you for stretching him, teaching him, and encouraging him in his walk with God. I can’t even begin to tell you how much my son opened up his heart to Jesus and others…and grew this summer. He has allowed God to take the throne of his life and it is sooo exciting to see and hear the changes in him. His servant’s heart has grown larger and there is a softness that is even stronger and connected to his savior. To God be the glory!!
Both of my children have been a part of Operation Barnabas teams. The experience for them both was life changing. They both returned more committed to staying in the Word and more sincere prayer time. Their leaders were wonderful and my kids appreciated them so much.
Operation Barnabas is an excellent program all around. God is truly at work through you and this ministry. Thank you for investing in my child’s life!
The communications from OB staff and leaders were always helpful, timely and parent to parent. There is much wisdom shared and we appreciate the emphasis on returning home after the tour and making a difference in your school, home, church and community.
How did you do in three weeks what we’ve spent the last 17 years trying to do?! Our daughter is much more even tempered, more helpful, more considerate. She has been trying to reach out to others more and we have seen her greet strangers we encounter in daily life with a smile and kind word—what an example to me! Thank You – Thank You—Thank You!!
Thank you so much to each and every person who had a part in preparing, training, and leading my son on Operation Barnabas. I felt such a peace from God while my son was away, knowing what a life changing trip he was taking. I continue to cry tears of joy as I read the stories of what the kids did and those whom they were able to minister to and also were ministered by! This program is a model for all churches to follow. To God Be The Glory, Great Things He Has Done. We are looking forward to our other son doing OB next year! May God continue to bless this ministry.
We recently were reflecting back when our daughter was on the first OB team ever to be deployed. What marvelous things have happened over those many years as OB teams have traveled around our country. The impact that these young people have had is beyond calculation. Thank you for what you have done and are doing to serve, to encourage, to train, to challenge, and to motivate the youth of our Fellowship. May the Lord continue to bless all of you and make you a blessing.
What Students Are Saying About Operation Barnabas:
Because of being on Operation Barnabas, I have grown more confident in myself, I have found my identity in Christ, I have felt the Holy Spirit at work, and I love God more than I ever have before—I feel like a totally different person than I was before OB! I am also so much more passionate for encouraging other people. The way that my teammates and leaders have poured into me and befriended me is incredible.
I know it seems cliché, but I truly feel I better understand the power of prayer after my time on OB. I know I have struggled with trusting in God for all things, but God has really worked through OB to teach me how to give up my burdens to him. Now I feel a lot more confident in what I believe and sharing it with people, knowing that I’ve seen God truly work in my life and that He keeps His promises to us.
I grew up in a family that loved and lived for Jesus, but I never really did, not deep down. I wouldn’t do bad things, but I still didn’t share my faith or truly have a personal relationship with God. Because of the Lord working in my heart this summer, I have truly fallen in love with god and want to grow closer to Him every day. I also have a much bigger heart for the lost, and have realized that it’s my job to share the gospel with them.
What this ministry has meant to me is that it’s not about us—it’s about Jesus, about sharing His love with other, and then them coming to know Him as their Lord and Savior. Also, that to live a life for Jesus is not easy, that there is a lot of things you’re not going to like or be comfortable with, but you’re going to do them, because it’s what He calls us to do. When we are living a life for Jesus, we are doing what he would have done.
Operation Barnabas has helped me take the next step in my faith by equipping and training me to be a vessel of the gospel. I have developed deep friendship and have been challenged to make my relationships with people deeper than surface-level. During OB I was poured into by leaders and got to experience discipleship for the first time. I have grown so much in these weeks and am so grateful for OB!
OB has opened my eyes to what I need to be doing in my home church. I am so glad that I went on Operation Barnabas. God has taught me many things. I am now more comfortable starting conversations with people. I have learned the power of prayer. I have learned that I don’t need to worry about things—God is in control. I have grown closer in my personal relationship with Christ.
This summer really changed the way I look at my relationship with God—it solidified my beliefs. I’m committed to prayer, studying the Word, and sharing my faith now because of the experiences on OB and the godly leaders who help guide us.
My world was boys, trends, music, friends…in a nutshell, ME. Through OB, I’ve learned that a relationship with God is the most important thing.
Here is a list of some of what I learned this summer: to trust Him; see him through the tough times, knowing He’ll see me through; forgiveness; the power of prayer; self-confidence; inner joy; that even I can be used by God; the existence of divine appointments; the power of the holy spirit; and a ton more!
Being on OB has been one of the best experiences I have ever had. It has shown me that I need to step up and take more leadership responsibilities, and that I don’t need to wait for adults to tell me what to do. I am old enough that I need to take initiative. I have grown so much in my faith and I am really excited to take what I have learned back to my community.
Being a Christian is so much more than just going to church on Sunday—I have learned that Christianity is a lifestyle and the role model is Jesus Christ. I learned to fall in love with the Bible and realized that it is necessary to be in the word daily. Ministry with Operation Barnabas has literally changed my entire view of the Christian life.
My time on Operation Barnabas was a “wake-up” call in my life. I have learned skills to help me step up as a Godly man and leader in my school, church, and home. I am excited to see what God has in store for me.
It is weird to think of what my summer would’ve looked like if I had followed my fears and stayed home and not gone on Operation Barnabas. I would probably be sitting in front of the TV, doing absolutely nothing. But I did go and this experience has been incredible. God took away my doubt and fear and I saw how God can use my in spite of myself!
Through this summer on OB, I feel like there’s so much more I’m capable of and that I can apply back in my church, community, and school. Operation Barnabas pushes you to do things and be exposed to things you wouldn’t normally get to experience. God has definitely showed Himself to me this summer.
Operation Barnabas has strengthened me in my walk with the Lord and also just who I am as a person. I realized this summer how much God loves and cares for me! OB has also taught me that I can share my faith and have nothing to fear. Going home, I feel like I am so equipped to not only impact my youth group, but my whole church, school, and family as well. God has done amazing things in me and this was a summer that I will never forget!
Operation Barnabas is not a magical event. It is an equipping ministry. I thank God for Him using OB to show me how to serve Him better. I encourage Operation Barnabas to anyone that has a passion for pursuing a stronger relationship with the Lord.
I have learned so much on Operation Barnabas! I learned that my walk with God isn’t about being comfortable and that God wants to stretch me. I’m beginning to see people in this world as lost and I now know that it is my job as a Christian to witness to them. I realized my own selfishness and I’ve learned to see the needs of others before they express them. I’ve also made amazing friends that will help to keep me accountable for all of the things I want to take back home.
This was not a spiritual high or a “wow” experience—it is a lifestyle change. I see things differently, my priorities have changed, and my trust in God has tremendously grown. I am no longer in control of my life but He is. I have seen great examples of leadership and the different ways that can look and am learning what my leadership style is. I have also experienced a taste of healthy community and how to attain that through God-centered relationships, Christ-like confrontation, and Jesus-like attitudes.
God used Operation Barnabas to change my life and I thank God for this program and that I had a chance to be involved in it! I also thank God for CE National. For all of you who are involved with CE are truly servants of Him. Thank you for all the time and effort that you put into making my personal experience on OB a great one!
OB has helped me so much this summer. I have learned so much about my faith and how to approach people with it. I thought that maybe I shouldn’t come this summer, since it was the time between my junior and senior year and should I be earning money, but I am so glad that I did come! I feel like my senior year will be 10x better than what I expected it to be. I will have more confidence to talk to people about their need of Jesus. I am very excited to go home and apply everything I have learned.
OB is not about a summer, but about giving and living everyday, every moment for God. OB doesn’t change people, but God does, and I should never be satisfied just living in my comfort zone, but living as a reflection of Christ. I want to stay consistent in the small things and trust God through all circumstances, making the constant choice to present myself fully to God everyday, every part of me.
Here is how the ministry of OB has affected me:
- I have made many great Christian friends
- I have a want to read the Bible now, like I’m hungry for it
- I am becoming more of a servant
- I am becoming more humble
- I have seen great leadership in action through my leaders
- I have been given experiences that will help me in future ministry
OB has been the best choice I’ve made for a way to spend my summer. God has taught me so much. He’s taught me a lot about having faith and trusting Him. OB has helped stretch my comfort zone and make me more outgoing. It has given me a new passion for God and that excites me. I’ve had amazing leaders this summer that have been great examples to me, and I am very excited to go home and try to be an example to the people I know. I’m so glad that I decided to do OB this summer.
On Operation Barnabas, I have been shoved out of my comfort zone so much that I don’t even recognize myself! The leaders and experiences have shown me to look to God for everything; I am so much more conscious of His presence and leading in my life.
OB has completely transformed my idea of following Christ. I just thought following the ten commandments, avoiding things I know are wrong, trying to read the Bible, praying, and being nice to people were the only things required of me. Now its hard to believe that that’s how I was living my life before this summer. I now realize following Christ has a much simpler method although it’s a little more difficult to attain. You just have to love God so much that you make everything you do an act of worship. Whether it’s sharing your faith, talking to a friend, listening to an authority figure, or pulling weeds, its all for the glory of God. I want to add to the glory of the King, not take away from it.
Being on OB has further motivated me in my spiritual growth. It has also equipped me for going back home. I can’t wait to tell you an awesome testimony about OB, but my OB testimony will only begin when I go back home and put into practice all I have learned. Check back with me in a year!