Posts Tagged ‘the road’


I know I just did two pieces meant to be a kind of reality check for all the aspiring traveling ministers out there, but it never be said that I ever attempted to dissuade people from pursuing their calling. Today I want to give you some great things about traveling ministry.

It can best be described by the definition of a noun. Nouns are people, places and things and those are also the great things about traveling ministry.

First off, People. I have met some great people on the road. It is really cool to meet people I never would have gotten to meet any other way. From the pastors to the children and every one in between, the blessings I have received from these people are too numerous to mention. I have made many lifelong friends, discovered a whole new kind of ministry. I’ve been inspired and humbled by so many over the years. It’s truly a blessing. Of course there is no greater blessing than when someone with tears in their eyes, comes to stand before you to pray to receive Jesus Christ, or to rededicate their live to the Lord, or even just to open their hearts and minds to the Lord’s call. There are very few feelings that can compare with realizing you have been used by God.

Places: It’s always an adventure to go to a new place—to see what doors God may open. Camps, churches of all sizes, conferences, festivals, and all kinds of other venues. I’ve been to all of these and more, but what’s most satisfying about the places is seeing all the many different ways people “do church.” Staying within one’s denomination can sometimes give us a kind of spiritual tunnel vision. Getting out among more of God’s people, and moire expressions of His worship, can’t help but open our eyes to new possibilities.

Things: Don’t go too narrow with this, I’m not talking about money or possessions. I’m talking about a lot of more intangible things. Like seeing God’s faithfulness over and over again, the aforementioned opportunities and experiences, etc. Spiritual growth, learning to be flexible, and even coming to the end of yourself and realizing my total dependence on the Lord for everything. The road can teach one a whole lot of lessons, if we will take the time and be open enough to learn.

I’m sure there are many more things I could mention here, but suffice it to say, if God is calling you to traveling ministry, He will make a way. Trust Him, be faithful and put yourself out there.

More on that later.


I’ve decided now that I am in the midst of what has been a rather long stretch of traveling, that it might be a good idea to share some thoughts and reflections for those of you who envision more of a traveling ministry. First of all let me say, I rejoice to have this calling, I get to live the best of both worlds. As a pastor, I have a strong church family to come along side me and support me both when I am with them and on the road. Case in point is my friend and brother in the Lord, Matt who actually made a three hour drive last night to support me as I ministered here at the beach after which he and his brother, Mike drove home in time to get a very short amount of sleep before going to work. I appreciated that so much.

Of course I am also blessed by all the people who take the risk to bring me in to speak to their congregations, audiences, etc. Any time a person in leadership puts someone new before the people with whom God has entrusted them, requires a certain degree of risk. I never want to take these opportunities lightly, and I pray that God will always allow me to bring my best.

Being away from home is an adventure. Going to new places and meeting new people is always wonderful, but that being said, it can also be hard at times. It only takes a few days on the road to make me realize how much I miss my family. There are times where I miss things to do this. This is not a complaint, but it is a reality to be considered that goes along with this calling.

The times that I get to minister are wonderful. I can really be in the moment and I can see God moving and let me stress again, I love what I do. Those in-between times are usually spent studying, cleaning up, loading and unloading, getting ready for church and getting ready to do it all over again. Again, you may get to go to cool places, but the road is work.

I think the biggest thing though about an extended run, is how hard it can be to concentrate, especially in prayer. I’ll start off trying to really get involved in prayer, but before long, my next travel route or the next message or something that is going on at home, or whatever starts running through my mind and before long I realize I’ve been side-tracked and I’m off course. Focus sometimes comes hard on the road.

I hope this doesn’t sound like whining. I know there are a lot of people who would love this life, and remember, I am one of them. This is more of a “count the cost” piece for those who are feeling the call to the “open road.” It can be a really great life, but you have to be ready.