Travel advice from a Christian perspective is rare, so one well-travelled Australian pastor has attempted to remedy this. Stephen Liggins provides helpful frameworks in which to consider whether and how to travel.
It’s an easy read, interspersed with many anecdotes from his own life and ministry. The principles, many of which he repeats, apply just as well to life at home. However he makes a good case for these being even more crucial away from our community and routine: prioritize time in God’s word, in prayer and with his people; resolve to live as a Christian; be ready to share the gospel.
This could be a much shorter book without the repetition and the heavy reliance on anecdotes. On the plus side, it is neither shallow nor prescriptive. The advice is sound, and despite being detailed it applies to all types of travel and travellers. Liggins gets to the heart of matters related to leisure. He reminds readers that creation exists to display God’s glory and that he has ordained rest for our good, while reminding us to use our time and finances as if they belong to God. (Because they do.)
“What would it mean for you—in terms of your prayers, money, time and ministry—to prioritize the Great Commission?” he asks at one point. Far from putting a damper on travel plans, Liggins’ eye for gospel opportunities allows him to present richer possibilities for our adventures than we may have originally imagined.
Liggins’ emphasis on in-person relationships is a refreshing, recurring theme. He cites 1 Timothy 4:4 and 6:17 to make one of his key points: “relationships are central to God’s purpose for the world.” He uses personal examples of how long-term, gospel-focused relationships grew from travel interactions that were pursued intentionally and sacrificially (however randomly they first occurred), and points out that these encounters should be prayed for.
Intentionality runs through all of his advice. Both preparation for and follow-up after are part of his equation for making the most of the apparently random human interactions that happen on the road.