Adventures In Leadership 9-13-day Israel Experience
No longer accepting new applications for this team. Use contact form to be placed on a waiting list. Thanks for understanding! All stops below are flexible as to what is going on in the land and how quickly we move as a team.
Click for the 5 minute IVC trip video.
Full Itinerary: March 18-30, 2022
note: Some of the locations below are clickable for more info. This amazing team-building leadership experience for IVC will remain flexible throughout our time. No location stop can be guaranteed, as is the nature of travel. We have rescheduled for spring break 2022.
Day 1 (March 18th) Travel Day
Meet at BHM airport on Friday night and board our international overnight flight. Details on flight TBA. (or meet us in Tel Aviv if you want to add a European Layover before or after your trip or use airline points to cover your flight).
Day 2 (March 19) Arrival Day (Saturday/Shabbat)!
Fly and fly then grab your luggage and meet our guide in Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport (hopefully a mid-afternoon arrival). Ride in our air conditioned bus into ancient Joppa on the coast (that we just flew over) and enjoy a walking tour that includes a stop at the door to Simon the Tanner's house (people live there so we can't go in). Get back on our bus to take the coastal highway north to Netanya to check into our hotel. Dinner at the hotel with optional time to walk the beach before bed.
Day 3 (March 20) - Port and Transition South Day (Sunday)
After a delicious Israeli buffet breakfast we will pack up and check out of our Netanya hotel by 8:15. Ride over to explore Caesarea, an ancient port city and see an on-site film about King Herod the Great's crazed building frenzy. We'll make a short stop to see the still-standing ruins of the ancient Roman Aqueduct at the Mediterranean shore. Then ride south to the Valley of Elah where David beat Goliath. We'll make our way through the Judean Wilderness and stop for communion at an overlook of the Dead Sea region's soft colors. Our ride will drop steeply below sea level by 600+ meters! After checking into our resort hotel for the night. You'll have a few hours to explore on your own, soak in the pool, relax in the property's many lounge chairs, or enjoy a long Dead Sea float before dinner. Team meeting out on the shores of the Dead Sea to view the same sky as Abraham when God promised him descendants as plentiful as the stars of the sky. (You can get back in the water after if you have the energy).
Day 4 (March 21st) Desert Wilderness Day (Monday)
Enjoy a bountiful Israeli breakfast (best of our trip, you don't want to miss this one for a few minutes of sleep!) Pack up the bus for our first stop: Masada (video), Israel’s last stand in 73 AD. [You may take a strenuous climb up the “snake path” (no snakes) in 40-50 minutes ~1800 feet from the valley floor; it is very hot. Or take the cable car to the top.] We’ll learn the story of Herod’s Fortress in the Desert and tour the massive grounds. Then we head north along the Dead Sea to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul and hike up to David’s waterfall. Bring wet/dry sandals for hiking and a bathing suit because you can climb into any number of enticing blue pools or waterfalls and the desert air will dry you off before you return to the bus! From there, we'll tootle a few miles down the road to Qumron where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Then settle in for a drive north to the Galilee region. With a timely departure we might have time for a stop at Gan HaSlosha (the three gardens/three pools), a beautiful 3-tiered swimming hole with manicured lawns and turquoise waters. We'll clean up and continue north around the Eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee to Ein Gev Kibbutz for exploring what it might be like to live in a shared community, and have dinner together here. Then we continue on to our hostel, located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. You can crash in your room or go see if you, too, can walk on water.
Day 5 (March 22nd) Northern Israel & Modern War Stories Day (Tuesday)
After breakfast, we will drive north and visit Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus asked Peter, “But who do you say that I am?” and discover the significance to His phase “and the gates of hell will not prevail against (the coming of the Kingdom).” Then drive to a 30-minute stair-hike to hidden Banias waterfall. Then head over to a short raft or kayak down the Jordan River at Kfar Blum. Anyone who would like, may be baptized (again or for the first time) by a person of your choice during our route in the Jordan River. And we will take commemorative photos. We will head up Mount Bental to the Syrian border and see Mount Hermon and do some intercession and coffee/tea or lunch.
If there is time in the evening en route home, we might stop to climb the ruins of Nimrod’s Castle. We will participate in The Beautiful Land Initiative outreach and enjoy dinner in Tiberias and some free time on the boardwalk before driving back to our hostel. Team worship & debrief on shores of Galilee--bring your flashlight. Midnight swim, anyone?
Day 6 (March 23rd) Christian Sites around the Sea of Galilee Day (Wednesday)
After a nice Israeli breakfast, we will visit the Jesus-Biblical sites today. We will start with a contemplative time at Magdela, the home town of Mary Magdalene and a 2009-discovery of a 1st-century synagogue where Jesus would have preached! Then on to St. Peter's Primacy, where Jesus cooked the fish breakfast and Peter found forgiveness. Then on to Capernaum to see Peter's home near a 300-B.C. Synagogue. We'll stop to see the Jesus Boat Museum and take a 50 minute "cruise" on the Sea of Galilee. Then have the option to either have another contemplative stop at the Mount of Beatitudes and have a free afternoon OR drive west again over Mount Arbel toward Mt Carmel north where we can see where Elijah slew the prophets of Ba'al and the Valley of Armageddon on our way back to Tiberias for a pizza dinner al fresco.
Check out this video of the 2019's experience of this day here.
Day 7 (March 24th) Transfer to Jerusalem (Thursday)
It is an early check out from Karei Deshe for a full day of exploring. We begin by driving south past Jericho and enter the Judean Wilderness again for a minute before turning toward Jerusalem. Where we may stop for a steep hike (or hire a donkey) to see the monastery clinging to a cliff side a.k.a. "the Valley of the Shadow of Death" and where Jesus' temptation is said to have occurred. You'll have a chance to meet some Bedouin peddlers who sell their wares at the top of the cliff. Another 25-30 minutes of bus time as we "go up to Jerusalem" and read the Songs of Ascent (Psalms 121-136) together just as they did in the ancient days.
Our driver will drop us off at the top of the Mount of Olives for the iconic view of the city. Then we will walk down the (paved) pathway called the Palm Sunday Pathway, past the Tomb of the Prophets to the Garden of Gethsemane, and stop to view the Golden Gate (Gate Beautiful). Our driver will pick us up there. Then we will ride over to a Jerusalem neighborhood called Gilo for a view of Bethlehem where we can do some more intercession. Then drive by the new American Embassy to see what all the fuss is about! Before we are dropped off at our hotel in Jerusalem and say good-bye to our guide and driver at check in. [The remainder of our day(s) we will explore on our own.]
Day 8 (March 25th) Jerusalem of Gold Day (Friday)
We're going to pack today as full as possible because everything closes early. We start with a 30-minute walk through New Jerusalem’s streets over to the Old City's Jaffa Gate before climbing up the ramparts to walk on top of the Old City Ramparts (walls), over Zion Gate and then walk out the Dung Gate to the City of David (active archaeological dig video) & submerge into a 533-meter underground tunnel containing the Gihon Spring up to 2.5 feet deep in Hezekiah’s Tunnel. It's very close quarters (as small as 20 inches wide in some places & definitely watch your head!) for 1 KM, and completely dark so bring a flashlight or headlamp! If you’re claustrophobic or just need a break you’re welcome to grab an ice cream and chill or talk to some locals on the shaded patio and wait. We will come out at the Pool of Siloam and take a taxi back up to the entrance of the City of David. We stop for a visit at the Temple Institute to view some of the actual implements that have been restored and created for use in the coming Third Temple! We'll grab a quick lunch near the Cardo and maybe some quick souvenirs before everything shuts down for the Sabbath. We’ll have free time from 2:30-5:30 (you can wander the quiet streets, or head back to the hotel for a nap). At 5:30 we will walk back to the Old City and take some personal time at the Western Wall (Live video feed) (a.k.a. “Wailing Wall,” but please don’t call it that) for prayer for the Nations and contemplation. Then head over to Focaccia for dinner out around 7:30 (so snack as needed!).
Day 9 (March 26th) Shabbat in Jerusalem (Shabbat/Saturday)
We will start by all packing our bags and put them in the hotel storage room for the day. (This is the final day for those on the mini-itinerary). Then we walk the Christian and Arab side of the Ramparts walk to Damascus Gate while interceding for the sons of Ishmael to see the Living God as their own Savior. At Damascus Gate we climb down and head to the Garden Tomb for a British-guided tour and enjoy the quietude of the Garden where we will see the empty tomb, view the Place of the Skull up close, and have some alone time with the Gardener of our Souls. We will weave our way through the narrow streets taking part of the Via Delorosa back through the Arab Quarter for an early lunch stop, then wend our way through the Old City's narrow twisting cobbled streets, coming out Zion Gate where we will go to the Upper Room for some "Come, Holy Spirit" time and stop by King David's tomb (not much to see, but to say you were there). Then we'll walk past the Southern Steps where Jesus and His disciples taught, on our way over to Caiaphas's house to see the cistern where Jesus was held before his crucifixion. Then we trek uphill back into the Old City through the Dung Gate and a final view of the Western Wall, Mount of Olives and Garden of Gethsemane overlook to our relaxing Finale Dinner after the sun sets and restaurants open back up. Possibly some later shopping on Ben Yahudah Street back in the new city on our way back to the hotel. And a leisurely last walk back to the hotel or Air BnB to pick up our luggage and meet your ride to the airport between 8-11 pm (depending on flight time.)
For the Full-itinerary group: we will transfer to our new home for the next 3 days. After we settle into our AirBnB, we’ll go explore a grocery store and get breakfast for the next couple of mornings.
Designed specifically for Inverness Vineyard Church leaders and pre-leaders.
1. Following Jesus' ministry route, starting in the desert, up to the Galilee, and ending in Jerusalem
2. Planned over Spring Break and two weekends to cost you fewer vacation days.
Mini-itinerary=5 vacation days.
3. Leadership development through spiritual formation exercises and team meetings to build relationship among the IVC leaders team
4. Must be a member & volunteer at IVC to register. (Or related to one. i.e. spouse or child)
I'm ready to apply for this trip via Google Forms!
Land only = $2840.00*
Flight: plan for ~$1350-$1500 from BHM or ATL
Easy Payment Schedule:
$500 due with each application
$600 due July 1, 2021
$600 due September 1, 2022
$600 due November 1, 2022
Balance on account due in full January 17, 2022. (~60 days ahead of travel).
If you need to pay on a credit card, please add 4% to the cost of each payment as these prices do not include any office or admin fees.
If you need help arranging your flight, just let us know. Payment on that is separate and will need to be paid at time of purchase. Plan for early Summer 2021 to purchase our flights.
We will try several different levels of accommodation, Boutique Hotel, Hostel, AirBnB, and Resort-and Spa-level, so you can experience the wide variety that is Israel. Please pack your own pillow if you're a finicky sleeper.
There is a ton to learn and catch up on, even if you know your Biblical history. This will be like a college level course, so we require some pre-req. reading or video-course watching so we all have an equal grid of understanding when arriving in Israel.
We offer our team two opportunities to serve the people and ministries of Israel during our trip. We suggest packing a pair of work gloves and a flashlight.
It is not required, but we highly suggest going unplugged at least during the day while you are on mission so you can fully engage in where you are. Share with friends at home & on social media at night or when you return. If your phone is your only camera, decide to use it only for taking photos or ask around and see if you can borrow a camera for the trip . (PS you may want to practice going unplugged once or twice before you leave the country! We know it can be hard even for non-millennials!)
If you want to purchase trip insurance to ensure your travel, trip interruption, or emergency medical evacuation insurance you'll need to contact your personal insurance specialist or try our favorite here: Insurance.
Check out our packing suggestions here! Due to bus space, we are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on sized bag. We suggest a back pack that rolls for ease of transiting long international terminals.
We will have 1-2 team meetings on Zoom or live before we leave the country to prepare you and get questions answered.
Lunch and snacks are on your own. We suggest bringing a box or two of protein bars in case lunch is delayed by our adventures. We don't want any one to get hangry!
Day 10 (March 27th) Transfer to Airport or Air Bnb Day with options (Sunday)
Mini-Itinerary: Hop on a shared taxi bus to Ben Gurion Airport back near Tel Aviv and pass through about 15 security checks as a group, then board your flight(s) home between midnight and 3:30 AM. Flight details will be available closer to time. Then you fly, fly fly! Should be home to BHM by evening on Sunday. (longest day ever--especially if you have to go back to work Monday morning. Sorry, not sorry.)
Full-Itinerary Group: You’ll enjoy a full night’s sleep and we will walk to Jaffa Street in the morning to hop on the light rail to visit Yad Vashem, the world’s premiere Holocaust Memorial. We’ll take a recovery minute and debrief as we walk back to catch the light rail back into City Center and the shuk. We will turn you loose to buy lunch. Then we’ll have our first option: 1. Walk to the Old City for shopping and wandering, early-ish dinner at Mamilla and then worship at Succat Hallel and back to our AirBnb. OR 2. Longer free time at the shuk, and an early dinner, visit a local Church (King of Kings) for an English service 5-7pm, desert back with some local friends to hear their story either at our AirBnb or in their home.
Day 11 (March 28th) David's Citadel and "catch-up" Day (Monday)
Today will be a slow morning on your own. Wander the neighborhood, find a café and/or catch up on your journaling. Around 10:30 AM we will make our way to the Old City and take a tour of David’s Citadel. We can make up any stops we’ve missed, or return to some place we want to see more of. On the way home, we will stop and shop for dinner items and in the late afternoon we’ll return to the AirBnB and cook and host dinner for some local friends and hear their story of Aliyah.
Day 12 (March 29th) Finale Day (Tuesday)
Today is our final day in the land, so we will pack up in the morning and straighten the AirBnB and store our luggage. The take our final walk into Old Jerusalem, for a powerful underground tour of the Rabbinical Tunnels, afterward we will head over to see the Pool of Bethesda (no water for swimming or healing anymore) and explore the ruins, and sing a song in the beautiful acoustics of Saint Anne's Church. Then we will trek back to the Cardo area for lunch and viewing the street-level in Jesus’ day and previous times. There will be time for one more visit to the Western Wall for prayer. We will enjoy a second finale dinner and then head over to pick up our luggage and meet our sharut driver who will take up to the airport. We’ll go through security as “together” as possible and board out midnight flight home.
Day 13 (March 30th) Travel Day (Wednesday)
Fly, fly, fly, and arrive home in the late afternoon or evening.
About two weeks later...
After returning home, we will have a final team meeting and debrief about our time together.