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How to take your faith on tour

St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls

Your faith means everything to you, and shared faith is the very reason why your church group gets together to travel. So why should your faith take a back seat when you go on a tour?

We don’t think it should. Faith-based travel can mean traveling with people of faith or traveling to destinations with a strong religious heritage. But it can also mean so much more.

A great faith-based trip gives travelers opportunities to celebrate their shared faith, to build relationships and to grow in their own spiritual walks. With a little bit of creativity, faith-based travel groups can also find ways to make positive impacts on the places they visit and help advance their causes both at home and away.

We’ve thought of eight ways for you to take your faith on tour. Give some of these a try, and you may find yourself thinking of even more.

1) Visit places with a heritage of faith.
Almost anyone who has visited the Holy Land will tell you that the trip had a lasting effect on their personal faith. Seeing the places where Jesus performed miracles in Israel, walking in the footsteps of Paul in Greece or visiting the churches of the Revelation in Turkey are sure to inspire your group travelers.

The Middle East isn’t the only place to experience faith heritage, though. Groups can explore the roots of Catholicism in Italy and Spain or explore the history of the Protestant movement in France and the United Kingdom. And the United States has plenty of faith heritage, too. Groups can find inspiration in some of this country’s great churches and cathedrals or visit museums and other attractions that honor America’s Christian leaders.

2) Incorporate teaching and Bible study. Groups have a lot of success integrating teaching and Bible study into church retreats, so why not bring some of those elements into your tours as well? Tours can come with a lot of downtime during bus rides or after dinner in the evenings, which gives groups an opportunity to have short teaching times and Bible studies.

If you’re more comfortable arranging travel than planning a Bible study, that’s OK. Chances are that someone in your group would love a chance to share on the trip. You can invite your pastor to join the trip and to teach a few times during the course of the tour. You may also be able to find other faith teachers or ministers who would be eager to join your tours and share a little bit along the way.

3) Break out for discussions and prayer.  Small-group discussion and prayer can go hand in hand with Bible study during your group tour. After evening meals, make time for your travelers to break into smaller groups to discuss what they have experienced on the tour or learned during one of the Bible studies.

These small breakout sessions are perfect venues for travelers to build new friendships and strengthen old ones. They also give travelers a chance to pray together in an intimate setting.