Jesus paid the ultimate price for us to move freely in Him. In the ministry of movement, dancers who plan conferences, special events, retreats, concerts, etc., may need to fly someone in as a guest. On the other hand, going to conferences and events out of our local areas may mean that we need to make travel arrangements ourselves in order to get there. As I was preparing for an upcoming event, I realized the benefit of receiving the price paid on behalf of another.
Searching for airline tickets can be a challenge for many reasons. The following tips will help us make the process easier:
If you are purchasing a ticket for a guest, it is a good idea to consider the travel schedule. We may cause the traveler unnecessary stress by booking tickets with layovers that last several hours, do not provide enough time to transfer to a connecting flight, or involves multiple stops before reaching the final destination. If you've ever been in these situations, you may be able to identify with the need for extra prayer along the way.
Also, some travelers may need to arrive after a certain time or fly out early to honor previous commitments to work, ministry, or family. We should ask for these requests in advance and be able to collect this information in writing. When we purchase tickets early, not only will they most likely be cheaper, the best schedule will also be more practical to book.
If it is possible, we should not make our decisions simply based on what benefits our pockets the most. In the best of circumstances, direct flights are preferred. Unless the financial difference is major, blessing our guests with the least stressful journey will be appreciated and remembered.
Some airline carriers charge baggage fees, others do not. While many guests may not require us to pay for baggage fees, it's nice to not spend the price of a plane ticket getting the bags to and from the destination. When we are flying, we may decide to "travel light" based on baggage fees. I personally remember one trip where I has to pay over $100.00 in baggage fees alone because I was also vending at a conference! Unless the profit margin is phenomenal, this may not be good for business...
Praise God for rewards! Because someone else paid a price for a ticket, I have been able to reap the benefits. For example:
Free Flights: Many airlines reward frequent fliers with round-trip airfare after meeting so many miles or flight segments. In most cases, the person who earned the flight can give his or her reward to someone else! I have been able to fly for free or at a very minimal fee because someone decided to bless me with their miles or free trip ticket. I have saved LOTS of dollars not only for myself, but for ministry guests using this benefit. (Please Note: This is not the same as a "Buddy Pass" which often means that there is no guaranteed seating or schedule consideration. Let's not make things worse if we can avoid them.) Using the rewards system means a guaranteed seat and schedule.
Paid in Full
It is a blessing when someone is able to pay for a ticket to fly us to a ministry event! Even though the passenger benefits, the passenger does not necessarily have to be the one to pay for the journey. The "buyer" and the "flyer" do not have to be one and the same. The bonus is that the "buyer" does not get to claim the miles toward travel rewards, but the "flyer" does! How wonderful it is to experience the grace of God! Even though the flyer may not have had to provide the finances for the journey, it is still acceptable to earn credit for the flight.
Many times, the "price" paid for those invited to minister is a spiritual one. At the same time, we must not take advantage of the good will of others by then demanding first class seating, luxury vehicle transportation, and 5-Star accommodations. Some may have encountered less than ideal circumstances along the way that make this entitlement seem like a requirement. We must search our hearts and motives. There are people in the world who are suffering, sleep in huts, and walk by foot to every destination. We must be thankful for those who are able to provide for the laborers wages, but we must also be obedient to the assignment given to us, even if it means we must be responsible for the journey ourselves. Take flight!
(New King James Bible Version)
For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’
1 Corinthians 9:11-12
If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of
2 Corinthians 8:18-21
And we have sent with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches, and not only that, but who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself and to show your ready mind, avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us— providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.