Whether you are traveling as a missionary or in the midst of your personal profession, God would have you travel as Paul traveled. I observe four enduring principles that will help you maximize your effectiveness for Christ, wherever you may go.
1. When you travel, don’t go alone. Stay close to at least one other person, ideally your mate. If not your mate, a family member. If not a family member, a close companion. But stay close. Think back. Call to mind those with whom Paul traveled. If at all possible, avoid traveling alone. If you’re lonely, a companion is there to lift your spirits. If you get into trouble, a companion is there to help get you through. Two are better than one. Three are better than two.
2. When you travel, don’t lose touch with home. Stay accountable. Paul’s heart stayed close to home. While away, he stayed in touch. When he returned he gave his reports. When he was with his men, he willingly gave an account of his ministry. When he wrote the letters, he was often vulnerable.
3. When you travel, don’t believe everything you hear. Someone has said, “An authority is anyone who’s one hundred miles away from home.” Because I’m fairly well known, when I travel, people show up thinking they’re going to be impressed. If they were around me more, they’d know better. When you travel, occasionally you’ll meet folks who will almost worship you. (It happened to Paul.) Don’t let them. On the opposite extreme, others will reject and mistreat you. Don’t be derailed by naysayers. A few may even conspire against you. Keep your eyes on the goal. Focus on the Lord, and none of that will get you down.
4. When you travel, don’t become aloof. It’s easy in the busyness of travel to become a wax figure. Untouchable. Picking up the “circuit lingo,” the clichés of the road, and losing touch with reality. Resist that sort of superficiality. Stay available. Stay real. People need a real, authentic you. Not perfect, authentic.
By observing these four principles, you will maximize your impact for Christ and travel well.