In his book Visioneering, Andy Stanley makes a clear distinction between these two.
“Dreamers dream about the world being different, but visionaries envision themselves making a difference. Dreamers think about how nice it would be for something to be done. Visionaries look for an opportunity to do something.”
I wanna be a visionary. He goes on to describe the situations which led to his church plant. It seemed like the furthest thing from happening, but he prepared himself anyway, and did what he could so that when the opportunity arose, he’d be ready. He also points out that Nehemiah did the same, when the circumstances didn’t allow him to move on his vision, he prayed. He did all he could when he could do it and prayed for opportunities to come.
If I wanna be a visionary, and God really is calling me to a church plant, maybe I should be working on drawing up a vision statements, outlines for a church structure/government, bylaws, and requirements/benefits of church membership. That way, when God gives me an opportunity, I’ll be ready. I’m sure I won’t be able to get it right, but at least there’ll be something to work with – some place to start. Maybe this is kinda like the old statement about faith – “If you pray for rain, you better leave the house with an umbrella.”
I’ve decided. I’m going to start working on these things and studying how others have done it.