Today many people function in various capacities in the traveling ministry. Evangelists, teachers, musicians, missionaries, exhorters, and prophets to name a few. Even some pastors travel to other churches, various conferences, and foreign countries on short-term missions trips.
The traveling ministry is a mystery to many. Most people, Bible school students, and ministers do not understand it. Its call, role, and function are crucial, yet often misunderstood.
What most people see in the traveling ministry can look appealing. However, the visible part of ministry is small compared to what you must do behind the scenes to be successful. If you go into the traveling ministry based only on what you see, you won’t have the stamina to remain in ministry. It takes doing the behind-the-scenes things that most people don’t see and the abilities of God to stay strong emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
You must be willing to forfeit the glitter of recognition in exchange for the glory of God, which is found only at the place of obedience.
Those called to the traveling ministry must have a real spiritual call or vision of God to minister effectively. Habakkuk 2:2–3 (NKJV) says, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” The vision gives a person:
- A mandate to go.
- A desire to serve churches and people.
- An anointing to confirm the call, preach the Word, produce effective ministry, and get the work done.
- A grace to travel and be away from home.
- A guiding path on which to continue.
- An endurING strength to complete the work.
- A love for the people God sends you to.
Facts to Know
People’s experiences will vary as they travel. However, the following list is common to most ministers and is what you most likely will experience.
- It usually takes two to five years to build enough relationships to travel full time.
- If you cannot handle rejection, abuse, or misuse, you probably won’t make it.
- Marketing yourself is necessary. Jesus used the advertising methods of the times He lived in to market His ministry (Luke 10:1 NIV).
- Contacting ministers and developing relationships with them is a constant necessity. Remember that relationships are essential in the ministry.
- Sometimes you will travel long hours to get where you are scheduled to preach.
- Keeping schedules and deadlines is an absolute must.
- Scheduling meetings with churches will seem like a never-ending task.
- You may spend many lonely hours in hotel rooms.
- Working over 40 hours a week is necessary to be successful. If you are a nine-to-five person, the traveling ministry may not be for you.
- Trying to meet unrealistic expectations of people is a pressure that probably every traveling minister deals with. You must learn to spend sufficient time with God and His Word to overcome the temptation of trying to do things to please people.
- At times, you may not see any visible evidence that confirms you are in the will of God. During those times, remember that God has sent you forth.
- You must be willing to forfeit the glitter of recognition in exchange for the glory of God, which is found only at the place of obedience.
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