I just finished reading Visioneering by Andy Stanley and I wanted to share a few things that I learned. I had a little trouble getting into the first half of the book. I don’t know if it was just me, but the book really didn’t grab me until the later chapters. Andy Stanley weaves in leadership and vision lessons as he takes us through the story of Nehemiah rebuilding the wall. He tackles how visions are formed through prayer, how and when we should share visions, how to handle criticism, and how to maintain your moral authority in striving to achieve God-ordained visions.

For me, this was exactly what I needed to read at this point in my ministry. At times, I have been a hesitant and reluctant leader and I have let other people hijack the vision that God has put in my heart. I am learning how important it is to …

  1. Stay connected to God through prayer and Bible study so I can clearly listen to his voice
  2. Maintain moral authority by living a life that honors God
  3. Ignore distractions and criticism that would bring me down off the wall. I agree with what Perry Noble shared at Unleash. I will only listen to criticism from those people who love God and love me. Criticism from others does nothing but tear you down.
  4. Share the vision clearly and passionately so that others can see God at work and so that God will get the glory

I want to leave you with the closing quote from the book. I think all leaders are burdened. They aren’t satisfied with the way things are. Leaders are able to see how things could be, and that vision creates an inner struggle at times. Our tendency is too give up when things get tough, or to push so hard to achieve the vision that people are hurt in the process. We must maintain our focus on God and the vision he has given us, but we must honor Him in how we lead others. Here is Andy’s quote.

Everybody has a mental picture of what could and should be for his life. But not everybody will pay the price to turn that mental image into reality.
If you are consumed with the tension between what is and what is and what could be, if you find yourself emotionally involved … frustrated … broken-hearted … maybe even angry … about the way things are, and if you believe God is behind your anguish, then chances are you are on the brink of something divine. Something too important to walk away from.
Pay the price.
Embrace the vision.
After all, everybody ends up somewhere in life.
You have the opportunity to end up somewhere on purpose.

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