Andy Stanley: How To Visioneer

Entrepreneurship from a Christian perspective is an interesting topic, a fundamental topic if you are a Christian exploring if entrepreneurship is our life’s work.  Whether you are creating a for-profit or non-profit business, Andy Stanley in Visioneering has some thought-provoking and spiritually-challenging things to say.  Here are my favorite quotes:

visioneering

Introduction:

Honoring God involves discovering his picture or vision of what our lives could and should be.  Glorifying God involves discovering what we could and should accomplish.  We were created and re-created with his purposes in mind.  And until we discover his purpose–and follow through–there will always be a hole in our soul. (p. 13)

As Christians, we do not have the right to take our talents, abilities, experiences, opportunities, and education and run off in any direction we please.  We lost that right at Calvary.  But then, why would we dream of such a thing?  God has a vision for your life.  What could possibly be more fulfilling than that? (p. 14)

The hole you are trying to fill has an eternal and spiritual dimension that only matters of eternity and spirituality can satisfy.  This is why it is imperative that you discover and participate in God’s multifaceted vision for your life.  It is what you were made for.  Your homespun visions–as challenging and demanding as they may be–fall short.  They will always leave you wondering. (p. 15)

Chapter 1:

Visions are born in the soul of a man or woman who is consumed with the tension between what is and what could be. (p. 17)

There is always a moral element with vision.  Vision carries with it a sense of conviction. (p. 17)

Vision requires visionaries, people who have allowed their minds and hearts to wander outside the artificial boundaries imposed by the world as it is. (p. 18)

Nehemiah’s vision didn’t begin as a vision.  It began as a concern, a burden. (p. 19)

Not every good idea is vision material.  But every vision begins as an idea.  Not all burdens are vision material.  But every vision begins as a burden.  Time allows us to distinguish between good ideas and visions worth throwing the weight of our life behind.  Waiting gives us a chance to examine our emotions and sort your minor concerns from major ones. (p. 20)

God is sovereign.  Keep that in mind.  Your vision is simply an extension of his vision. (p. 22)

There seems to be a correlation between the preparation time and the magnitude of the task to which we are called. (p. 24)

If it is God who has begun painting a picture of what could and should be on the canvas of your heart, over time you will begin to sense that not to follow through would be tantamount to an act of disobedience.  Your vision will begin to feel like a moral imperative. (p. 25)

If the idea or burden you are mulling over is from God, there will be an overt connection between it and God’s providential will.  It will become apparent how the thing you feel compelled to do connects with what God is up to in this generation. (p. 26)

Chapter 2:

Prayer is crucial to vision development.  Here’s why: We see what we are looking for; we often miss what we don’t expect to see. (p. 30)

Prayer keeps us looking.  Prayer keeps the burden fresh.  It keeps our eyes and hearts in an expectant mode.  Prayer doesn’t force God’s hand.  But it keeps us on the lookout for his intervention. (p. 31)

Our tendency is to pray for miracles.  But in most situations, it is more appropriate to pray for opportunities.  (p. 31)

Pray for opportunities to build character. (p. 31)

Focus your prayers on what you know needs to happen in order to get your vision off the launching pad.  Pray for those people who have the power, resources, or influence to make your vision possible.  Pray that God would give you favor in their presence.  Then start preparing your speech. (p. 34)

In many instances, opportunity apart from preparation results in a missed opportunity.  There are opportunities you will not be able to take advantage of if you haven’t done your homework.  (p. 36)

One of  the exciting things about being a believer is watching God unveil his plan for our lives.  On one hand we have no idea what he desires to do through us.  At the same time we are called to make ourselves available.  Envisioning the future and planning for it are parts of the availability process. (p. 37)

Chapter 3:

[It] is always the case when God puts something on our hearts to do.  The task always appears to be out of reach.  And the reason it appears this way is because it is.  God-ordained visions are always too big for us to handle.  We shouldn’t be surprised.  Consider the sources. (p. 42)

You don’t know what God is up to behind the scenes of your life.  You don’t know how close you are to a breakthrough.  It is no accident you are where you are.  And it is not necessarily a problem that you are not where you assume you ought to be.  God is very much in control.  He works all things to the good of those who are “called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).  His vision for your life is his purpose. (p. 45)

If you are “seeking first” his kingdom where you are, then where you are is where he has positioned you.  (p. 45)

Success is remaining faithful to the process God has laid out for you. (p. 46)

Chapter 4:

What always preceded how. (p. 55)

You are not responsible for figuring out how to pull off God’s vision for your life.  You are responsible to do what you know to do, what you can do.  And then you must wait. (p. 56, 57)

People with vision live with a sense of expectancy.  They look for God to do something.  They live by faith in the truest sense of the word.  That is, they are living as if God is going to do what they believe he has promised to do. (p. 57)

If you feel overwhelmed, remember, you are invited to tap into the inexhaustible resources of God.  He is not expecting you to come up with everything that is needed to accomplish the vision he has birthed in your.  If, on the other hand, your healthy self-esteem deceives you into thinking that you have what it takes to get the job done, remember: this is a God thing.  God has called you.  He is not depending upon you.  You are a player.  You are not the whole team. (p. 61)

Chapter 5:

Pursuing a divine vision is really an act of worship.  It is a declaration of our confidence in God.  It is a proclamation of how important we believe his vision to be.  And God is honored.  (p. 63)

The difficult thing for us is that the more contrary the circumstances, the more honor God receives.  That is, the more unlikely the fulfillment of our vision, the more faith is required.  And consequently, the greater the potential for God’s glory. (p. 64)

Before God can entrust you with the rewards that accompany success, you must be dependent.  He brings you to that place by stretching and even straining your faith. (p. 69)

Chapter 6:

Remember, God-ordained visions will often appear to be impossible from a purely pragmatic perspective.  But upon further investigation, if it is, in fact, a vision from God, there will be an element of confirmation mixed somewhere within the data you accumulate. (p. 78)

Before you can successfully cast your vision to another person or group of people, you must have a firm grip on current reality.  You need to know what you are up against.  More importantly, you need to know what you are leading other people up against.  (p. 81)

Chapter 7:

All divinely inspired visions are in some way tied into God’s master plan.  Whether it is loving your spouse, raising your kids, witnessing to your neighbor, or starting a business.  As a believer, there is a larger, more encompassing context for everything you do.  For you are not your own.  And your visions are not isolated islands of ideas.

You cannot effectively caste your vision to anyone until you are convinced not only that it could be but that it should be.  Should be comes as the result of discovering the why behind the what of your vision.  And once the answer to why has gripped you heart, your words will have the potential to penetrate the hearts of your listeners. (p. 99, 100)

Bill Hybels echoed these sentiments…It really is important to keep a vision in front of the collective body of Christ.  And when people have a sense that they’re on a journey, they’re becoming–they’re achieving–they’re growing–they’re developing into this bride of Christ….People don’t ask the why questions when they have an exciting, God-honoring vision put out in front of them. (p. 106)

Chapter 9:

All of us have been impacted by the visions people intentionally or unintentionally cast for us.  Understanding this simple concept will help you grasp your potential as a visioncaster in the lives of those around you.  Just as people’s words have set a course for your life, so you too have the potential to set or alter the course of another. (p. 110)

The New Testament casts a compelling vision for each of us who have been trust Christ as Savior.  It is clear from even a casual reading of the text that God has no problem whatsoever seeing and relating to us as we will be, not as we are. (p. 116)

Words are powerful.  They are life-shaping.  We can use them for good or evil.  (p. 120)

Chapter 10:

There are so many unknowns associated with a vision.  There are dozens of opportunities for things to go wrong.  There is no guaranteed return on your investment.  Sacrifice and risk-taking are unavoidable. (p. 125)

Visions don’t become reality until somebody is willing to jump in.  Launching a vision always involves committing wholeheartedly to what could be. (p. 127)

The difference between those with a burden for inner-city kids and those who actually do something is not resources.  It is a willingness to take risks and make sacrifices.  The people who make a difference in this world commit to what could be before they know where the money is coming from.  Their vision is enough to cause them to jump in.  Money usually follows vision.  (p. 129)

If God has birthed a vision in you,it is only a matter of time until you will come upon the precipice of sacrifice.  What you do at the juncture will in all likelihood determine the future success or failure of your vision.  It will certainly determine your capacity to garner the support of others. (p. 135)

When you give sacrificially or in some other way abandon your comfort zone in order to pursue a God-ordained vision, something happens on the inside.  At that point you become a follower as well as a leader.  Through sacrifice we submit ourselves to the thing God wants to do.  We sign on in a tangible way to his agenda at the expense of our own.  The net result is that we submit ourselves to God.  That simple act of humility almost always sparks renewal. (p. 137)

Your vision has not truly captured your heart until it has captures your wallet. (p. 138)

Chapter 11:

As long as you respond to criticism by evaluating your potential, you will be tempted to give up.  But when you respond by remembering who it is who has called you,…it is a different story. (p.153)

Chapter 15:

Above and beyond the achievements associated with your vision, [God] wants to draw people to himself.  Our visions are means to a greater end.  Namely, the glory of God and the salvation of men and women.  (p. 225)

Chapter 16:

When God intervenes, the attention shifts to him.  Divine intervention, when it is recognized, results in authentic worship and unquestioned obedience.  This is God’s ultimate agenda fro the visions he has given you.  He is at the end of visions he has authored.  Your visions are for his glory.  He is end of the line. (p. 241)

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