Ministry work never ends. Which is exactly what makes it so rewarding and the mission so worthwhile. While there is virtually no shortage of tools available for Pastors to overcome their ministry challenges, there is one strategy that you may have not considered before. A trip to Israel. Here are three ministry goals that you’ll accomplish when making a trip to the Land of the Bible a regular part of your ministry strategy.
Ministry Goal #1: Spiritual Growth
The author of Hebrews explains the progressive nature by which Christians mature in faith with an analogy. He compared it to children drinking milk at first until they’re able to eat solid food (Hebrews 5:12-14). The writer pains for those who should have been teachers of the Word already. Instead, they needed to be taught the basics of the faith since they had not matured spiritually. They were not “skilled” in the Scriptures. Likewise, Pastoral teams spend a lot of effort and time helping Christians mature in faith. They work to design Discipleship strategies as people go from becoming Christians to achieving maturity in Christ (Eph. 4:13)
Now, imagine if you could take all the newcomers to your church on a one-week intensive Bible class and equip them with all the theological understanding necessary for growth! The truth is that traveling to Israel as a church will help those who are beginning their faith journey understand more of the Bible in one week than they could in years of attending Sunday services and engaging in sporadic Bible study groups. Certainly, this is not an attempt to diminish the importance of regular spiritual disciplines. Instead, this is an opportunity to take people on a life-transforming journey.
Must-See Israel Christian Sites
During a trip to Israel, participants can go to the Sea of Galilee. They can swim in the waters where Jesus walked as if they were solid ground. Travelers can go down the Jordan River and get baptized with their fellow church-members in the same river where Jesus was baptized. Then, they can go to Jerusalem and learn about the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper in the room where Jesus explained it to His Disciples. Likewise, a participant can learn about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the same room where the faithful were filled with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost.
Most importantly, Christians can go to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is where they can step into the place where Jesus was crucified. Depending on their tradition, they can go to the Garden of the Tomb and step inside an empty burial cave while reading at the entrance: “HE IS NOT HERE FOR HE IS RISEN”.
Ministry Goal #2: Growing in Fellowship
Whereas personal Spiritual maturity is a primordial goal for all Christians, growing in corporate fellowship is the reason why we have churches. We come together in the Name of Jesus to grow in knowledge of the Lord and fellowship with other brothers and sisters. Some of the greatest friendships that I have seen in churches started on a trip to Israel. For instance, my wife was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her roommate during an Israel trip in college. Likewise, her friend was a bridesmaid at our wedding.
Imagine spending a whole week with your church friends, taking bus rides through the Judean hills, sharing every meal for a week, praying together at Mount Carmel where Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal, worshiping Jesus together on a boat at the Sea of Galilee, baptizing a new brother or sister at the Jordan river. The bonding that happens on a trip to Israel between Christians is unmatched. With the Spirit’s guidance, the friendships and memories will last a lifetime.
After the trip, it won’t be hard to notice the enhanced unity and fellowship within the church. People will go from only greeting each other on Sundays to doing life together throughout the week as brothers and sisters.
Ministry Goal #3: Strengthening the Church Financially
Traveling to Israel is not an expense for the church. It can actually help the church meet its financial goals to continue sharing the Gospel. Any experienced travel company will allow you to build in the ability to raise funds for the church. Many churches use their trips to Israel to fund global missions. Some even raise funds to pay new staff positions or contribute to a building campaign. We will be happy to answer your questions about this and mediate to help you find the perfect travel company for your church.
No church that has ever been to Israel regrets it. Only positive things can come from taking people to visit the places where Biblical events took place. Our team based in Atlanta will be happy to speak with you about why a trip to Israel might just be the ministry strategy that unleashes unprecedented spiritual growth in your ministry. We hope to welcome you in the Land of the Bible soon.