There is a difference between dreamers and visionaries. A vision is a mental picture of what could be, fuelled by a passion that it must be and dreamers only possess the first part; a mental picture. Without passion and motivation, there will be no determination to see a vision to completion. So, are you a dreamer or a visionary? Is your team made up of non-committal dreamers or determined visioneers?
I love Andy Stanley’s formula for a visioneer:
A Visioneer = Inspiration + Conviction + Action + Determination + Completion
The best way to evaluate the level of your team is by these five things. Are they inspired by the vision? What is their inspiration level on a scale of one to ten? Do they have the conviction that we have the right solution, the right team, and the right timing? Does each member take action and play a part in the solution? Do they each have the determination to see this through the inevitable obstacles that will arise? Finally, will they complete their tasks and see the project through to the end?
The Planning Phase
In the Bible, Nehemiah received a vision to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem but he waited four months before he made his vision public to the King. In that time, he planned, investigated, and when the time came to present his vision to the King, Nehemiah was ready.
The planning phase of your vision cannot be overlooked. When a vision becomes public, you will inevitably be bombarded with questions. Planning ahead of time will give you answers to these and, in turn, will give people more confidence in you and your vision.
But remember, be flexible with your plans and be sure those around you know that you are. The vision remains the same but the plans are subject to change.
Wishful Thinkers, Dreamers, or Planners?
In Visioneering, Stanley writes, “Opportunity apart from preparation results in missed opportunity.” He goes on to ask, “If you were God, to whom would you give opportunities? Wishful thinkers, dreamers, or planners?”
I would answer this question with planners, Nehemiah being proof of that. There are opportunities you and I will not be able to take advantage of if we are not prepared for them. If you don’t know what to do with an opportunity, you will not recognize it as an opportunity.
I believe it is vital for every leader to develop the skill of foresight. This can be done in three ways:
Be a historian. Study trends of the past in order to plan for the future.
Be an analyst. Study the trends of today. Analyze your own organization as well as others that are having great success.
Be a prophet. Ask God to give you insight into the future. Pray and listen. He can give you insight into what is coming so that you can plan for it.
Living Faithful in the Process
The key here is trust. You have to trust God and you have to trust the process. Not one person that God called in the Bible avoided going through a process of preparation before they were released into their calling.
In my life, that trust has required me to focus more on the journey than the destination. By doing so, you avoid becoming discouraged and disillusioned in the process. You can also enjoy the journey more and can hone in on what you are learning through it that will benefit you later.
If you think about it, God is perfect and we are not. So, in essence, we are all in the process whether or not we feel we have arrived or not. God isn’t impressed with what we do, but rather more focused on who we are and who we are becoming. If we can allow Him to continue to work in us, He will continue to work through us. I, for one, want to continue to grow and allow Him to work on me because the mission of the church is so big and we have so much yet to do. And as we say every week, the church really is the hope of the world and we have been given a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.
Visioneering by Andy Stanley
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