Relay is a national discipleship and training year for graduates who love CUs.

Relay provides graduates with a unique opportunity to work alongside the Christian Union whilst learning loads and deepening their faith in Jesus. Relay is all about helping people love and serve Jesus with their heart, mind and hands whoever they are and wherever he has called them to be.

Relay workers are supervised by a Christian Union Staff Worker through one- to-one bible studies and prayer, ministry direction and feedback, and discipleship towards establishing a strong relationship with Jesus. Relay workers are part of the wider IFES Ireland team that benefits from further training and fellowship together as they work with CUs in their area.

Over the course of the year, Relay workers attend three specifically designed training conferences alongside UCCF Relay workers in the UK for bible teaching, worship and prayer. These are key times of learning in community and are a great chance to build friendships with other Relay workers. Relay also provides a weekly personal study programme focusing on key doctrines in the Christian faith, together with an elective study on a subject tailored to help each worker grow in their particular interests and gifts.

Relay internships

Relay also offers some extra opportunities to help people explore particular gifts and ideas for the future – Relay Internships combine a year of spiritual growth and CU work with the opportunity for Relay workers to practice their creative skills in a professional office environment. A Relay tech internship would include work in graphic design, web design and development, and video production.

Further opportunities

Relay Homestart is an option to spend the Relay year taking part in cross-cultural and language training, with a view to spending another year or more working within an IFES movement in another country. It is a great way to experience something of cross-cultural mission and to support the wider IFES community.

Paying for Relay

To take part in Relay you will need to raise your living and ministry costs. Raising finance can be one of the most rewarding ways to grow, live by faith and learn how to use money wisely. You will need £6-7000 depending on location, plus £600 towards training conferences and materials. IFES Ireland will support you through partnering with churches and individuals as you seek to raise finances for the year. To date no-one has had to drop out of Relay through lack of finances.

Why do Relay?

Relay is about investing in you: As a Relay worker, you have a team of people committed to your growth – your Staff Worker’s primary role is to support you as try new things, encourage you where you’re timid and correct you when you’re wrong. Observing and working with someone more experienced in the Christian life and ministry is an invaluable opportunity to grow in a life-on-life way. You’ll also be part of a regional team of other staff and Relay workers to spur you along.

Relay is about skills AND character: Relay has opportunities to learn all kinds of skills such as Bible handling, evangelistic speaking and pastoral ministry, but at its heart there’s a deliberate focus on growth in character and godliness. A strong distinctive of Relay is the detailed application of grace to every area of life and ministry. We all know that the gospel of grace is not only the entrance to the Christian life, but the engine as well. What Relay does is to actually work out that sound-bite in practice. Again and again the testimony of Relay workers is that they came to Relay feeling that they had so much to give to a CU, but then discovered that actually God decided to teach them some foundational lessons about pride and the depths of sin, and that sustainable and Christ-like living and ministry can only be empowered by His grace.

Relay offers a huge range of experiences: Your work with students will involve some of the most unique opportunities to support and develop creative outreach. In different CUs there will be opportunities to train Bible Study leaders, work alongside CU leaders, help organise mission weeks, give evangelistic talks, lead discussions with non-Christians, work with international students and much, much more!

Relay offers a unique study program tailored to you: Relay workers follow a unique study programme designed to ground them theologically and practically through diverse means of study. Relay is designed to have both training/study elements and that will be passed on through practical hands-on ministry with students. As well as the conferences, one morning/afternoon a week is devoted to core study which works through Biblical doctrines and another morning/afternoon requires elective study, where Relay workers decide upon a topic to study in depth.

Relay opens lots of doors: Relay is primarily a training year where others will be investing in you. There is no requirement that after Relay you have to go into full-time Christian work! In fact many Relay workers have gone into secular employment, but the lessons learnt on Relay have equipped them and grown them in godliness, not only to be fruitful Christians at work but also to be active and equipped members of their local church.

How do I apply?

Speak to your CU Staff Worker about getting an application pack, or click here to contact the IFES Ireland office.