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.
Evidently in the class I missed a couple of weeks ago, my professor gave an assignment for our journals. Here’s the assignment: If God gave you one wish, what would it be and why?
Of course my first response is “more wishes,” but I’m sure that’s not gonna qualify for a “good” answer. The truth is that this is really a tough question. I think that as humans, our initial reactions would be those selfish sorts of things like: wealth, fame, mansions, trips, health, etc. But then I think about what I should desire as a Christian and I come to more unselfish things like: for no hunger or pain in the world, or maybe I should wish for world peace, or for everyone to know Jesus. I also think about some specific people with specific problems that I’d like to make wishes for. I might even wish for some things for my beautiful bride. Another thought I have when I think about this question is “What would Jesus do?” or “Is there a Biblical example I should follow here?” I don’t know about what Jesus would do, but Solomon is a pretty good example and he asked for wisdom. God rewarded him for it too. Hmm. . . . .what about me though. . . . . .It’s really tough to decide on one thing. I have a few regrets in my life that I wish I could “do over” but nothing that would warrant a wish – I mean, I’ve really learned from those things and they help make me who I am today.
Man this is hard. There’s a part of me that would wish for a family of my own one day. I’d also wish to be a part of a starting a new church someday in the future. I would love to be able to study and teach the Bible for the rest of my life. And eat Blue Bell ice cream every day. I’d also love to have the ability to write songs like my friend Jon, or maybe a voice like Briscoe’s. I wanna travel the world and especially go back to Israel again. I wanna scuba dive the great barrier reef, and snow ski the swiss alps. I wanna see Hawaii & Australia, and I wanna visit my compassion international child, Yigremachew, in Ethiopia. I wanna do mission work for a minimum of about 6 months somewhere and if I had to choose right now, It’d be Africa – maybe with the “Mercy Ships” folks.
OK – I finally got to my real answer: If I could have one wish from God, it’d be that I could stay in the center of His will for me for the rest of my life. I don’t get there very often, but the few times that I’ve really been in step with Him have been amazing. Even if I wasn’t getting to do some of the things I dreamed about, those steps with Him were always incredible!
I wish I could say I’d give up all those other dreams, to be in step with Him, but the truth is that even if He gave me my wish, I’d probably still be wishing for something else – of course it wouldn’t be a “Godly” wish but I’m not very good at those kinds of things anyway. It’s sad, but also very true that I’m much better at selfish wishes.
How ’bout the rest of you guys – what would you wish be?