Whether you work directly with a single church’s staff or partner with several churches for your faith-based travel group, it is essential to keep each church’s staff up-to-date with your travel program to keep it running successfully.
Planning a trip can get hectic quickly. People have last-minute emergencies, travel vehicles can break down, members have special requests for itineraries and the list goes on and on. One of the key ingredients that keeps everyone happy is good communication with the church or churches that you work with.
Since planning travel can be a very different set of responsibilities than other aspects of the church, it is helpful to convey your travel program’s goals and needs regularly. One way to spread the word is by attending periodic meetings with the church staff to announce all of the upcoming activities and tours.
You want to make sure the church’s staff is on the same page as you to avoid any confusion. A face-to-face meeting can also help you get church staff’s input about your travel plans. They may have ideas about how to incorporate the church’s faith or message into the trip. Adding meaningful religious touches to the trip can improve the faith-based travel program, even if the trip is not planning a strictly religious trip.
For example, if a church’s pastor recently read a book on daily meditations that he or she thought might work well on an upcoming tour, this could be a significant enhancement for the trip. This keeps the church tied into the travel program and visa versa, so you can better sell the trip to the church members.
This might also be a good opportunity to bring up any ideas you had about future travel plans that had not been decided on yet. If you were thinking of taking your faith-based travel group in a new direction, it is a good idea to talk about it with the church staff first.
For example, if you have only done day trips and you want to try a week-long retreat with your group, the church staff may have insight into how this would work best. Or if you wanted to try international travel for the first time, they might also have thoughts on what focus the trip should have.
You’ve got mail
Newsletters, both emailed and mailed, can also be a way of communicating with church staff. You can make sure they are receiving the same ones your members receive, so they can keep up even if you didn’t have a chance to meet with them. These newsletters should be fun, photo-filled and informative to get people excited about upcoming trips.
The newsletters can also encourage church staff members to come along on the trip, which can be the ultimate form of communication. Staff seeing first-hand what one of your trips is like can allow them to have a good time, while realizing all the hard work it takes to plan a successful trip.
Church staff can also get to know the church members more personally on these trips. The fellowship possible during travel is irreplaceable and long-lasting. There is nothing like going on a retreat with someone to get to know them better.
You should especially encourage the church’s pastor or any church leaders to come along on the trip. This can add a religious significance to a trip, whether it is just to a beach or to the Holy Land.
If church staff can come along on a trip, make sure to listen to what they have to say. They could always have valuable advice about an aspect of the trip that you may have overlooked.