Everyone wants to be a visionary. In fact most people, especially preachers and creative types, like to describe themselves as visionaries. Why? Because we have lots of visions. Big visions. Awe-inspiring visions. As grand as that sounds, ‘vision’ is just a high-minded word for an idea that may or may not come to pass depending on what you do about it.
I used to think of myself as a visionary. These days I choose to think of myself as more of a strategist with visionary leanings. That’s because for years I had lots of ideas, lots of visions. They were great and creative ideas that would have been wonderful endeavors had I ever taken the steps to execute on them. In fact, I thought I was executing on them because I was praying about them and I was constantly visioning- that’s spiritual language for I was daydreaming about how great and wonderful it will be when my vision comes to pass. Year after year I would be frustrated and dismayed because God was giving me visions, but wasn’t bringing them to pass.
At some point I began to recognize that all of my journaling, vision boards, and goal-setting meant nothing without a plan of execution. Perhaps it was the academic process of my DMin program and conceptualizing research that produced papers. Maybe it was implementing a strategic approach to paying bills, which I talked about here. All I know is that my approach to ministry and anything I want to create is far more strategic and process-driven than it once was.
It’s all good to have a vision, but it benefits no one, not even the visionary, until it becomes more than an idea.
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When God gives you a vision, you should also seek God for the plan and the process to go with the vision. Then you should immediately start mapping out a plan from idea to execution. It doesn’t have to be a perfect plan and it may change several times along the way, but you ought to have some idea WHAT needs to happen to make your vision a reality. Knowing what you need to do creates forward movement. Not only do you need a plan, but you need a process for HOW you will get things done. You need to identify measurable and possibly repetitive steps that will get you to your end goal- the manifestation of your vision.
Once I started placing greater emphasis on execution, I stopped getting trapped in the visioning phase and started seeing fruit from my efforts. If you are finding yourself frustrated because you aren’t seeing your vision become a reality, try refocusing your energy toward your execution. I guarantee it will make a huge difference.