26 March 2017

Visioneering: A Blogging For Books Review

I gained a lot by reading Visioneering by Andy Stanley. It definitely took me out of my comfort zone, as I tend to shy away from a) nonfiction and b) books I perceive to be telling me how to live my life, but isn't leaving our comfort zones exactly how we grow?

First things first, the book is very approachable. Andy Stanley has a great talent for delivering truths boldy and simply without making the concepts feel dumbed down. I've had the pleasure of hearing him preach at Buckhead Church in Atlanta and his writing is a true reflection of his speaking and teaching style. His voice came through so well that I could hear him speaking the words as I read. I admire that quality in a writer and enjoyed having a somewhat personal connection to the book.

The text revolves around one main concept: discovering and maintaining personal vision. Insights and examples from Mr. Stanley's life weave in and around the biblical story of Nehemiah to help the reader better understand how to recognize and follow God-given visions in our own lives. "Building Blocks" and end of chapter questionnaires help drive home the main points from each section and provide a more interactive reading experience. The book is geared towards those who already have an idea of the vision they've received or those who are in the midst of determining whether or not their vision is truly from above. In other words, it guides the reader how and when to act on a vision.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and gleaned several important pieces of knowledge for my own life. I'd like to highlight here the two main ways I think I benefited from reading Visioneering. First, I learned in detail about a story in the Bible that I had limited previous knowledge of (or at least had no memory of...). I like that I can walk away from this book feeling smarter and more familiar with the Bible. Secondly, my perspective of what constitutes a "vision" has been radically changed. I'll be honest, I began reading with a bit of self inflicted shame - I had no vision. I didn't want to plant an inner city church or head an organization aimed at ending the child sex trade or even sponsor a Compassion Child!! To me, God-given visions had to be big and I braced myself to be told that for 300 pages. But that's not what happened. To Andy Stanley, God-given visions were those big things but they were also things like being an honest and fair employer/employee, raising Christian children,  and maintaining a Godly marriage. Big things in smaller ways. I like that I am leaving this book with a renewed perspective on what visions we are granted from God, and some insight as to how I can act on those visions in my life.

Side note - I read The Magnolia Story in the middle of reading this and talk about two people that are acting on personal vision. Wow!!

Obligatory disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. More info can be found here.

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