Sharing your faith can be rather intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. It can be as simple as finding ways to incorporate Him into your travel story. Whether you are traveling to work, across the country, or across the globe... the following concepts will help you take the Gospel along the way.
Why do we take the Gospel with us when we travel?
A commission is a sending. Multiple times in Scripture God gives us a commission that sends us out into the world, but the one that is most frequently referenced in the one before Christ ascended into heaven. His last commission for us: And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Yes, Scripture encourages to go see the nations, but we can't isolate that topic as freedom to go travel however we please. We must also look at the context around the "GO." God tells us to "GO" with a purpose. GO and make disciples, GO and teach them the Word of God, GO and bring God with us. Our purpose in traveling every day is to take God with us and share Him with others.
How do we take the Gospel with us when we travel?
Taking the Gospel with us looks different in a variety of settings and scenarios. We can look to Jesus and his conversation with the Samaritan women (John 4:1-43) as an example of things we should consider when we witness to others.
1. Build relationships: Jesus went and sat at the well, knowing that she would come to draw water. He took time to be with her. Just as we are called upon to take time to be with others. Our society often pushes us to do a lot. Climb the ladder at work, see as much as you can on your road trip, visit as many countries as possible. But God doesn't call us human doings. He calls us human beings. We are supposed to "be" with people and "be" with God.
2. Cross Societal Barriers: This woman was disgraced by society. Thus she went to draw water from the well at an hour when no other women would be there. On top of that she was a Samaritan, a group looked down upon by the Jews, which Jesus was a Jew. The disciples were shocked to find Jesus talking to her, but he didn't hesitate to cross cultural and societal barriers to be a friend. That co-worker that everyone gossips about? That community that everyone has labeled "bad"? That country filled with wars and anger? God called you to cross those barriers and spend time with those people.
3. Listen: It can be rather tempting to push our agenda on others, but Christ listened. He let her tell her story - even though it wasn't a perfect one. He listened to her hearts struggle. We can learn a lot by just sitting and listening. Our first response when silence happens doesn't have to be "Oh, I can relate.... my story is..." or giving advice. It can just be to sit there in the silence and let them continue to tell their stories.
4. Respond With the Gospel In A Non-Threatening Way: Christ offered her living water, life eternal, instead of just water that our earthly bodies need. He talked of the miraculous gifts of heaven. And He did it with love. That co-worker who is struggling at home? That community that lost a company that once supported their families? That country where chaos has cost so many people their lives? We are to listen and see where God is working in their lives and point it out to them. Their glasses may be tinted and they just need some help uncovering God's handiwork. And when they ask about us - where we are going and why - we have the opportunity to share our travel stories through the perspective that knows Christ is our Savior. It's our travel testimony.
How do I share my travel testimony?
Depending on where we are in our travels our travel testimony looks a little different, but the Gospel remains the same. As you tell your story think about answering the following questions.
Before You Leave For A Trip
When you leave for a trip to the grocery store, or to your relatives across country, or to a destination on your bucket list around the globe people often ask where you are going and why. This is a great opportunity to insert your Gospel mission into the conversation. Think through the following questions and how you can incorporate them into your response.
-Why is God calling you to go?
-What are you planning to accomplish there for the Lord?
-What is your biggest fear and how are you handing it to God?
-How can people pray for your journey?
While you are at your kids soccer game, at a concert in a different town, or snorkeling across the sea people will ask you questions about how you got there and where you are going. By thinking through the following questions ahead of time, it allows you to bring Christ into the discussion.
-What do you believe is God's reasoning for bringing you here?
-What have been some of the events along the way that reminded you God was present on your trip?
-What was your biggest fear in coming? How has God provided thus far?
-What has been the greatest joy on the trip so far? How do you see God in that?
-When you return home, what will you tell family and friends was the biggest God moment?
-How can they pray for you as you continue your journey?
-How can you pray for and support those you come in contact with?
After your travels you will eventually return home. For some of us that's a nice house, for some it is living with a friend or relative, and for others who live a nomad's life its a place we stay for the short-term. No matter what, the common factor is that we return to a place where we recuperate before traveling once more. Even in that setting though, our family, friends, and neighbors need to hear our travel stories. Here's some things to think about before sharing your travel story:
-What was the highlight of your trip and how did you see God in that?
-What was the hardest or saddest part of your trip? How did comfort or help you through?
-What was your biggest fear in traveling? How did God provide along the way?
-What are some memorable photos you will share? How can you point our Christ in those stories?
-What are some important events that happened during your trip that reminded you of God?
-How can they pray for and support the people you encountered on your trip?
Sharing Your Life Journey
All along the way people will ask you who you are, what you do, and what your goals are in life. They want to know your history and why Christ is so important to you. Having a short 2 minute life story that answers those questions, but also addresses how your relationship with God developed along the way can be a great conversation starter. It doesn't have to be super long and in-depth because the Holy Spirit will lead them to ask questions when the time is right for them. In the mean time here are some things to think about:
-If you made a timeline of significant events in your life, including your relationship with God, what would you include?
-What are some significant life and faith lessons that you've learned?
-What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? How has God been walking with you?
-Where is your life going now? How does being a child of God define that?
-What are you currently praying for in your life?
-What does your worship and Bible study life look like? What would you like it to look like?