A Christian Man’s Travel Plan

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Traveling away from home seems to provide a unique time of temptation for me. Maybe it’s because I’m out of my routine or away from my family, but I find myself more susceptible to laziness, lust, and other kinds of deadly sins. To help fight it, I keep three basic things on my mind when I travel: family, purity, and ministry.

Family

Whenever I’m gone, I want to make sure my family knows that I love them and that I’m thinking about them. I do this with phone calls, but I also do a couple other things.

  1. For my wife I write her a card for each day I’ll be gone. The card usually has a short prayer or a couple sentences telling her something I love about her, and then a verse of Scripture. It takes about 20 minutes to do these cards (depending on how long the trip is) and I’m pretty sure it blesses her more than I realize.
  2. For the kids, I try to rally them together before I leave and show them on a map where I’m going. I ask them to pray for me while I’m gone and tell them what I plan to do while I’m there. I don’t always leave them something to open when I’m away, but I always bring them something back to let them know they were on my mind while I was there.

Purity

I know that while I travel I will face temptations in ways that I don’t always when I’m at home. I may be a pastor, but I’m still just a dude, so I’ve got to be on guard. To do this, I make sure of the following:

  1. I’m prayed up. I do my best to intentionally ask God to protect me during my trip from wandering heart, wandering eyes, and wandering feet. While I travel, I strive with extra effort to have solid devotional times. It is easy to neglect this discipline when I’m on the road because of the change in my routine, but there’s always excuses to not draw near to Christ—so I fight it fervently. Keeping my eyes on Him is my only hope to honor God, so I do my best to draw daily upon His grace during my trips.
  2. I’m partnered up. I don’t like traveling alone, but when I have to, I enlist several brothers to help me. These men know my weaknesses and have committed to pray for me while I’m gone—and sometimes they’ll even check in on me during my trip. I’ve been 100% transparent with these brothers about my struggles and they know the tough questions to ask me when I’m gone. I’m too weak to fight this fight alone, so I’m thankful for these brothers who keep me accountable.
  3. I’m planning to kill the TV. As soon as I step into the hotel room I unplug the TV and promise God I won’t plug it back in. Me + hotel room + TV = trouble, so I don’t flip through the channels—and I don’t give myself the chance. I also don’t get the internet in my hotel room. I figure people lived without the .com for a really long time and I can go to the lobby if I really need it. God tells me to make no provision for my flesh and I have to obey Him (Rom. 13:14).

Ministry

While most of my trips are ministry related, there are some basic things I try to do, just because I’m a Christian.

  1. I pray for God to set up divine appointments. Regardless of why I travel or where I travel, I am an ambassador for the King of Glory (2 Cor. 5:20). In light of this, I ask Him to set up encounters with people He wants me to talk to about Him. Whether it be on the plane, in a taxi, in a restaurant, at the hotel, or wherever I am, I ask Him to make me attentive to the people He has placed around me. I pray for Him to open doors for me to share the Gospel and to point people to Jesus. We must always be available to be used by Him. Ask Him to set up divine appointments.
  2. I bring a tract and an extra bible. One of the things I’ve found to be profitable is to have a copy of a non-goofy tract like 2 Ways To Live that helps people understand the Gospel message. I don’t always use it when I’m sharing the Gospel, but I do think it’s good to leave something with them to read after our conversation is over. I also bring a pocket sized bible that I can part with, so I don’t have to decide if I am willing to part with my personal Bible in the case that someone needs a copy of God’s Word.

These are a few basic things that I try to make sure I do each time I travel. Please let me know of other ideas you have about traveling as a Christian man. May God be honored in our lives, wherever we may go.

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16 thoughts on “A Christian Man’s Travel Plan

  1. Joe

    Great recommendations. But pack some extra clothes if you are going to Alaska (AK) instead of Arkansas (AR).

    Reply
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  3. Scott Thomson

    Great post with solid advice. I travel frequently for ministry purposes, so your post really hits home.

    Personally I make every attempt not to travel alone. While there are many reasons my wife and I have chosen to home school– one of the reason is to provide us with maximum family flexibility. I make it a point to bring one of my children with me.

    For us it has worked really well. In fact each of the kids look forward to their next adventure with dad.

    Reply
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  6. Jack Vosteen

    Most of us travel every day of our adult lives each time we open a door and step out into a public place … and before each trip we should pray … begging God for his protection: not forgetting ourselves as regarding temptation … but also on any chance meeting of another in need or distress … Further we should ask God for guidance to better praise and glorify Him as we move about His world

    Reply
  7. Clint Lovelace

    Awesome article and great points! It is refreshing to see a Pastor who will be transparent in the “open”. Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Steve

    Succinct and thoughtful. Thank you for posting. A one without kids now at home, my wife joins me on my business trips as much as possible. That is very much appreciated by myself. Insures that I get appropriate rest, eat well and actually remember to enjoy the areas I am at even though the day, and some evenings, are taken up by work. Quite often, she is quite outgoing in a positive way, customers will invite her along for the dinners, which, honestly, makes them more interesting as she is quite inquisitive.

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  9. Mark B. Hanson

    One thing I would add under the Family section. Whenever I arrive, if I have an office I put up a picture of my family. If I arrive at a place, I ask at once how my wife can get in touch with me (this defuses any temptation to “play single”) – although I haven’t travelled much since I got my own cell phone.

    I do this because when I began corporate travelling, I noticed that whenever I arrived in a strange office there was always a sort of flirting dance that went on between me and any women in the office – and that this was completely defused as soon as I mentioned my wife or family. So I did.

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  10. LeeAnn Cheeley

    This was quite helpful for me as a woman also. Thanks. And I do appreciate your transparency…I’ll ask my husband what he does!

    Reply
  11. John T. "Jack" Jeffery

    My wife and I were never separated overnight for the first 16+ years of our marriage. I counsel young couples in both premarital and post-marriage sessions to make every effort to find creative alternatives to separations. Families are a sanctifying influence, and we were not meant to be alone. Therefore, I know, along with the others who have commented, that your words of wisdom are just that, and should be received as such. I have no doubt that if your counsel and example is followed it will make a great difference in avoiding and resisting the very real temptations that face us when we are away from our families. Thank you!

    John T. “Jack” Jeffery
    Pastor, Wayside Gospel Chapel
    Greentown, PA

    Reply
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