Malcolm and I have made quite a few trips within the 2 years we have been married. With both sets of parents living hours away, friends getting married in a few states away, ministry taking us from place to place, and climbing looking so much cooler than the boulder in our backyard (yes, I am a devoted wife to a climbing junkie), we have put well over 10,000 on the Subie! Though the buns get tired and the traffic gets under my skin, I actually enjoy when I get to spend time with just my best friend with no distractions.
Though I’m not always the best traveling companion, nor perfect in doing anything missionally (oh boy do I have so much to learn!), I have come up with some ways that make our car rides more memorable and missional – and let me know if you have tips too!! I’m always up for more ideas.
9 Ways to Make your Road Trip a Missional Adventure
1. Start your trip with prayer. Ask God for Him to get the glory out of your driving time and to use the time at your destination wisely. Thank Him for giving you the resources to travel, and even the car that He has provided for you to use. Praise Him for His artwork of creation, etc.
2. If you’re bored, then pray more! Pray for those you disciple, world missions, the persecuted church, your local church, people that don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ yet – you name it! You’ve got the time to spend a good chunk praying with little to no distractions.
3. Listen to Scripture and/or a devotional. Malcolm and I keep a couples devotional in the car that we even read and discuss in the car, even if we are just running errands around town or heading up to work on campus. It’s pretty short, but it brings up good things for us to talk about and help facilitates things to pray about. Malc also had an app on his phone that reads scripture, so we plug that in and listen together, then discuss what we just listened to together.
4. Listen to an audio book. I’ve become a big fan of audio books in the past year, and it has become a fun way to entertain, and it encourages better discussion than the radio or music of our own. Whether it’s fiction, self-help, historical – whatever it is, make sure it’s engaging driver and passengers alike.
5. Listen to talk radio. Many radio programs bring up different views and topics that you may or may not agree with, but it does help you to understand the world we live in better, and help you work out the issue for yourself. That way you can research God’s Word to see what He has to say on the subject and be prepared with a defense when other family, friends, and acquaintances bring those issues up.
6. Share the Gospel! This one I have THE HARDEST TIME with!!! I get so scared to start conversations with strangers, but just because I get scared doesn’t mean I should avoid it. Think about ways you can get into a spiritual conversation with people you interact with at the gas station, the restaurant, the National Park, etc. One very easy way that my friend Nate Herbst started doing is telling the person, “When was the last time you heard Jesus loves you?” If you only have a short time, then you can easily share the Gospel in a condensed form from there. If you have more time, than you can easily transition into sharing the Gospel in more detail and answer their questions. You can write a short note on your receipt that the waitress can see. You can start talking to bored looking people at rest stops and transition into the Gospel. I’m sure the Holy Spirit can easily show you who and how to share! For more fun evangelism ideas, you can visit Eternityimpact.blogspot.com
7. Use the time together to debrief. Discuss likes and dislikes, and plan how to do things differently, if need be, for the next time you travel. Most women need to process the trip they just came, so use your time in the car to talk instead of spend it in silence. If you are traveling time with kids, ask them questions about what they liked and didn’t like. They have opinions too! You could even use the time to plan an even more exciting trip – be visionary for future fun.
8. Bring a book to read that’s fun, easy to read quickly, and fascinating. Cheesy jokes, Guinness Book of World Records, random facts, baby names (odd, but Malcolm, my sister and I had a good time reading through names on one car trip), or even BrainQuest cards are fun ways to interact and learn at the same time.
9. Get out and explore! Although getting to a place in a timely fashion is nice, you may be setting yourself up for a boring trip and you can easily miss out on some cool things to discover! Find some interests that you (and your traveling buddy/buddies if applicable) enjoy. For example, my husband loves rock climbing and enjoys trying out different places to boulder. We usually have a crash pad in the back of our car, and Malcolm is really good at finding boulders to climb up! Especially on longer car rides we try to figure out places where we can stop and climb for at least an hour. My favorite thing to do is to go to National Parks, so a lot of our bigger trips usually include us visiting a park near by. We bought a park’s pass last July and have visited around 12 parks and at least one monument - $80 National Park’s Pass that got us into over $160 worth of parks in one year!! And if you don’t have time to get out and do a lot of activity, then stop at the pull out and learn something about the area you’re traveling. Or eat somewhere that isn’t fast food to try something different (even if it’s gross, you’re building memories)! Drink lots of water if you have to have forced exiting of the car time!! Whatever it is, life is too short to spend all that time in the car! Get out there!!
These are things that I found to be fun, worthwhile, and the drive a lot less boring. I know everyone is different, so the best part is experimenting to see what will help your trip to turn into a missional adventure!!
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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