Who wouldn’t want to take a trip to Israel? The lands, the culture, the beaches; everything the eye can see gives us reason to write Israel on our bucket list. But what is it about Israel that should make every Pastor want to visit? Here we will look at key reasons why every Pastor should visit Israel.
1. To Bring the Word of God to Life
The Bible reveals story after story of Jesus’ walk here on earth. Where he was born, where he grew up, what it looked like and the many places he journeyed sharing the Gospel. Imagine though, as you read through the Word, experiencing the places, people, sights and culture. Tangibly experiencing everything you’ve read. You can begin to see that visiting Israel and seeing firsthand where Jesus walked would bring the Word of God to life! Walking where Joshua battled, where David presided and where the prophet Elijah called down fire is an experience that one can only put into words once they have been there. It’s inspirational to say the least and those who have visited will tell you that you that they have been forever changed.
Encountering the places, people, sounds and historical sites will transform you in a way that surprises you. It provides context to the Bible; giving you a greater understanding of God’s word. You’ll leave interpreting the Bible differently and therefore, teaching it differently as well. We can spend all the time we want in the classroom but often times what we learn outside of the classroom is what has the greatest impact. Visiting Israel is a real and tangible way to stand where Jesus stood and experience the Holiest of Holy Lands.
2. To Deepen One’s Spiritual Walk
Experiencing the Word of God come to life on your visit will undoubtedly deepen and strengthen your walk. It’s said for those who have visited Israel, that 99% agree that experiencing the land of the Bible has strengthened their personal relationship with God. Being that Israel is such a biblical landmark it’s no wonder that this is the case yet, it’s not just the historical roots that make an impact.
As long as we’ve known, Israel has been a place of conflict. We see it all over the news and social media platforms. Much of what we have learned about current affairs have come from these sources but what we view via a screen is nothing compared to real life. When you visit Israel you will have real life encounters with those that live and do life there. You’ll hear their stories and begin to see and understand things from a different perspective. Their testimonies will move you in ways that may lead you to intercede for their nation or pray more for your own. They may inspire you to get more involved with world missions or start small groups that focus on praying for this land and its people. Whatever the case may be, one cannot deny how active God’s hand has been in Israel. It’s a miracle that it stands today. A living story of God and His people and a story that will deepen one’s walk when they come to visit.
3. To Inspire Your Congregation
If experiencing Israel leaves you inspired than imagine how that can carry over to your congregation. The impact and influence that your trip to Israel has marked you with will not only pour out as you share of your travel experience but even more so, as you share the Gospel with newfound perspective. What may have seemed to be a leisurely visit for one to personally enjoy turns into so much more!
Greater knowledge and understanding of God’s Word boosts your confidence and you’ll find yourself excited to share this with others. That excitement for the Word of God is contagious. It causes people to ask questions and yearn for more. They may find themselves wanting to visit the land of Israel for themselves after seeing how it impacted you. The just of it is, we all long for inspiration in our lives. We want to be moved. We hunger for more. Visiting Israel is not just a trip one can take as a vacation. Though it is certainly worth it, whether one visits for business or for pleasure, it Will leave you inspired!
It’s very likely that you or your Pastor has never visited the very places that are talked about from the pulpit. Bible study videos, travel videos and other places we may see Israel do not do it justice. Many who visit leave feeling the urge to already come back because there is so much to see and explore. Tours are often at least ten days because they want to encompass the best of what Israel has to offer and even these just touch on what one can experience. When you think of all the money spent on attending conferences and other things that strengthen you as a leader; why not think of visiting Israel in the same way! What you gain from experiencing Israel firsthand will enhance your knowledge and understanding and absolutely change you for the better as a leader.