Below are the top Andy Stanley quotes and leadership quotes from his book Visioneering.
If I had to rank leadership books, John Maxwell has some great ones… but Visioneering ranks right up there at the top too.
It’s one of the best leadership books you’ll ever read and a list of Andy Stanley quotes doesn’t do it justice, so consider picking up a copy for yourself.
Make sure you scroll though all the quotes below, there are some incredible quotes in here and they’re listed in the order they showed up in his Visioneering book.
Andy Stanley Quotes (Visioneering)
A Vision is Born (Chapter 1)Visioneering is the engineering of a vision -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“Visions are born in the soul of a man or woman who is consumed with the tension between what is and what could be.” -Andy Stanley
“Nehemiah knew what so many of us have a hard time remembering: What could be and should be cant be until God is ready for it to be. So he waited.” -Andy StanleyVision always precedes preparation. Initially, your vision will exceed your competency. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“It took Moses forty years to grow into the vision God had designed for him. Forty years!” -Andy StanleyThere seems to be a correlation between the preparation time and the magnitude of the task to which we are called. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
Praying and Planning (Chapter 2)Vision is the art of seeing things invisible -Jonathan Swift Click To Tweet
“Prayer is critical to vision development. Here’s why: We see what we are looking for; we often miss what we don’t expect to see” -Andy Stanley
We see what we are looking for. We often miss what we don't expect to see. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
[One afternoon, my brother-in-law announced he was going to go down to the beach to look for shark teeth. My boys immediately lit up. “Can we go wif’ (with) you Uncle Wob (Rob)?”
“Sure,” he said. And down to the beach they ran.
As they galloped off, I thought to myself, There aren’t any shark teeth on the beach, I’ve been walking up and down that beach all week, and I haven’t seen any shark teeth. He shouldn’t get my boys’ hopes up like that.
An hour later, to my utter amazement, they returned with a handful of shark teeth. I couldn’t believe it. “Where did you get those?” I asked skeptically.
Garrett proudly announced, “Day wur on da sand, Daddy.”
You know why I hadn’t seen any shark teeth?
I hadn’t been looking for them. They were there all along. But it took someone who was looking for them to find them.
“As a parent, instead of simply praying your kids will become men and women of character, pray for opportunities to build character into their lives.” -Andy Stanley Quotes
“It’s interesting that Nehemiah never prayed for God to rebuild the wall. What he prays for is an opportunity to go rebuild it himself. That is the difference between a dreamer and a visionary.” -Andy Stanley
“Why should God bring an opportunity your way if you are not in a position to take advantage of it? If you were God, to whom would you give opportunities? Wishful thinkers? Dreamers?… Or planners?” -Andy StanleyWhen your vision dies, part of you dies as well. So Pray. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
Positions Please! (Visioneering – Chapter 3)If you measure your success by whether or not your vision as materialized, you are a candidate for discouragement. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“It is possible to go for weeks, months, even years, with no sign of progress. Confusing success with the rewards of success is one of the primary reasons people abandon their dreams”. -Andy Stanley
The God of How (Chapter 4)What God originates, He orchestrates. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34)
Remember the angel’s answer? “Nothing is impossible with God” (v. 37)
“When God gives you a vision, there’s a sense in which you just stand back and watch it happen. The challenge is that sometimes you have to stand back for a long time.” -Andy Stanley
“We must focus on what he called us to do, not on how he is going to pull it off” -Andy Stanley
Faith, The Essential Ingredient (Chapter 5)The testing of your faith produces endurance. -James 1:3 Click To Tweet
“Noah’s faith fueled his vision. He was taking God at his word. It was going to rain. There would be a flood. Noah was not only a man of faith, he was a man of vision.” -Andy Stanley Quotes, Visioneering
“The same was true of Abraham… (his) vision was supported by faith. After all, he didn’t know where God was taking him.” -Andy Stanley, Visioneering
“The same pattern can be found in the story of Joshua at Jericho, Gideon and the Midianites, and David in his pursuit of the throne. All these men were given visions of what could and should be. And each stepped out in faith…” -Andy Stanley Quotes, VisioneeringPursuing a great vision requires great faith. Pursuing a vision will test, stretch, and at times exhaust your faith. -Andy Stanley, Visioneering Click To Tweet
“God inspired visions ultimately lead back to God. -Andy StanleyStrange as it may sound, it is more difficult to maintain a faith walk when we begin to see our dreams come true. -Andy Stanley, Visioneering Click To Tweet
“God works overtime to ground, strengthen, stretch, and mature our faith in the initial stages of the visioneering process. Our ability to go the distance depends on it.” -Andy Stanley QuotesThe bigger the vision, the more important it is that your faith be grounded in his ability, not yours. -Andy Stanley, Visioneering Click To Tweet The bigger the vision, the more pressure you will feel to take credit for your success. -Andy Stanley, Visioneering Click To Tweet
A Leap of Faith
We have a brick retaining wall that runs for about sixty feet behind our house.
Andrew, my five-year old, has been dying to walk along the top of the wall since he was old enough to walk. This afternoon he took his maiden voyage.
At each end, the wall is about 3 feet high.
From there it bumps up to 5 feet.
In the center it is 8 feet tall.
The highest section runs for about 30 feet before dropping back down to five feet.
After a long and repetitive lecture about how he is never to climb up on the wall unless Daddy is watching, and after answering a series of questions regarding other adults that might be acceptable supervisors, I nervously set him up on the 3-foot section of the wall.
Without hesitation he traversed the lower section.
He managed to pull himself up to the 5-foot section and had no problem there either.
When he reached the highest section of the wall, I could tell his confidence and bravado were waning.
He walked almost the entire length of the wall before he finally looked down at me and said, “Daddy, I don’t want to do this anymore.”
Immediately, I stretched out my arms and said, “Jump.”
He looked at the wall.
Then he looked down at me.
Then he looked back at the wall.
And again down at me.
He bent his knees slightly and said, “Are you going to catch me?”.
To which I responded, “No, I’m going to move at the last minute and let you fall to the ground.” Just kidding.
“Yes, Andrew,” I said. “I will catch you.”
Without another moment of hesitation, he jumped into my arms.
There was never any question as to whether I could or would catch him.
The issue was whether his confidence in me would supersede his fear. It did.
And in that moment, I experienced in a small way what our Father experiences when we act on our faith in spite of our feelings and surroundings.
The higher the wall, the greater the honor.
Great visions are like high walls.
-Andy Stanley, Visioneering
Taking Inventory (Visioneering – Chapter 6)
If your vision is for a year… plant wheat.
If your vision is for ten years… plant trees.
If your vision is for a lifetime… plant people.
“Once God decides something needs to be done, it is never a matter of if. The issue is usually who. Who will step forward, embrace the vision, and move ahead by faith?” Andy Stanley
“It’s important to distinguish between a worthwhile cause and a personal vision. I contribute and volunteer for some worthwhile causes. But they are not necessarily part of the vision God has given me for my life.” -Andy Stanley
Going Public (Chapter 7 & 8)Visioncasting will always include an element of waking people out of their apathy. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“Identifying and clearly stating the problem pricks the interest of your audience. It engages their minds.” -Andy Stanley
“A compelling vision will include these four elements:
1. The problem
2. The solution
3. The reason something must be done
4. The reason something must be done now”
-Andy Stanley (Visioneering)
“The key ingredient (to casting vision) is your conviction that this is something that must be done.” -Andy Stanley
“You cannot effectively cast your vision to vision to anyone until you are convinced not only that it could be but that it should be.” -Andy StanleyShould be comes as a result of discovering the why behind the what of your vision. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet The enthusiasm associated with the start of something never provides enough momentum to complete it. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet People are looking for something to give their lives to. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet If God has given you a vision, he is going to raise up a team to work with you to that end. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
The Power of Vision (Visioneering -Chapter 9)
“Jesus shocked his audience when he announced, “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13-14). To which they probably responded, “We are? You’ve got to be kidding.” At the moment they were no more “salt” and “light” than Peter was a “rock”.
But Jesus was comfortable speaking to their potential while overlooking their performance. He spoke to what they could be, what they should be, and for a handful, what they would become.
Apparently, he was convinced this was the best approach to brining about change in his audience.” -Andy Stanley
“…One day God is going to use you to reach people who would never listen to me.” -Andy Stanley (Visioneering quotes)
“What kind of vision are you casting for the people around you?”
“Dads, what kind of vision are you casting for you children?”
“Mom, what kind of vision are you casting for your husband?”
“Grandparent, what about those grandkids?”
“Leader, what kind of personal vision are you casting for the people who have invested their time and talents in your vision?” -Andy Stanley Quotes (Visioneering)
Vision Has It’s Price (Chapter 10)Uncertainty in a leader is always magnified in the heart of the follower. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. People buy into the vision after the leader buys into it. -John Maxwell”People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. -John Maxwell Click To Tweet
“Vison requires courage and confidence. It requires launching out as if you were absolutely assured of the outcome. Vision requires the commitment of a parachutist. You don’t ‘sort of’ parachute. You are either in the plane or in the air. You either do or you don’t” -Andy StanleyVision requires launching out as if you were absolutely assured of the outcome. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“That’s when I learned that you don’t ‘sort of’ scuba dive. You are either in the water or out. I had to decide. I had to commit. So I jumped… That was where all the big fish were.” -Andy Stanley Quotes (Visioneering)If God has birthed a vision in your heart, the day will come when you will be called upon to make a sacrifice to achieve it. And you will have to make the sacrifice with no guarantee of success. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“What she needed was the courage to act on her vision.” -Andy Stanley
“The people who make a difference in this world commit to what could be before they know where the money is coming from” -Andy Stanley Quotes (Visioneering)Money usually follows vision. It rarely happens the other way around. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet Vision ALWAYS involves sacrifice and risk-taking. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“If you are consumed with a picture of what could be and should be in a particular area, chances are God is going to call you to make the first move.” -Visioneering Quote (Andy Stanley)You cannot lead people any further than you are willing to go yourself. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“Like many Christians I struggle with discerning God’s will when it comes to issues not directly addressed in Scripture” -Andy Stanley Quote (Visioneering)But if you retreat... if you retreat you will always wonder. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“Search the Scriptures. Search the pages of church history. You won’t find an example of anyone God used in even a small way who did not make some kind of sacrifice in order to pursue the vision.” -Andy Stanley Quotes (Visioneering)Sacrifice and risk are always part of the equation. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
Warding Off Criticism (Visioneering Quotes – Chapter 11)
If you didn’t already know, you’ll soon discover that:
– Visions are easy to criticize
– Visions attract criticism
– Visions are difficult to defend against criticism
– Visions often die at the hands of the critics
“Perhaps your vision reminds someone of what they are not. But at the same time it reminds them of what they could and should be. And the only thing they know to do is criticize.” -Andy Stanley
“When someone catches a vision for bettering himself educationally or financially, his vision is often met with criticism from the people closest to him.” -Andy StanleyWhen your dream dies, a part of you dies as well. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet God does not compartmentalize our lives. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“From God’s perspective there are no spiritual versus nonspiritual components of your life. He makes no distinction. There is no secular division of your life. You are a spiritual being.” Andy Stanley (Visioneering)
“We waste energy and thought trying to answer questions for people who are often not really interested in answers… Instead of being vision centered, we slowly become critic centered.” -Andy Stanley QuoteWhenever you, or your vision, is criticized, the tendency is to begin second-guessing yourself. Click To Tweet Don't confuse your plans with God's vision. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“Failed plans always have a backlash of negative emotion. If internalized and personalized, these emotions have the potential of convincing you that you- not just your plans- are a failure. After all, it was your plan.” -Andy Stanley Quotes (Visioneering)
“The problem was the plan, not the vision.” -Andy StanleyStrategies and timelines are always up for grabs. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet There are times when every visionary must swallow his pride and revise his plan. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
Alignment – Chapter 12 (Andy Stanley Quotes)
“Some single mind must be master, else there will be no agreement in anything” -Abraham Lincoln
“What is true of your car is also true of the team you have assembled to deliver your vision. Time (normal usage) and a bad jolt will do more to destroy a team’s alignment than anything else” -Andy Stanley Quotes (Visioneering)
The front end of your car will never work itself back into alignment. Generally speaking, people don’t either. In both cases, outside intervention is necessary. And the sooner the better. But dealing with alignment problems is much like stopping to sharpen a saw. On one hand, you know the work will go faster and easier if you stop to sharpen your blade. On the other hand, you hate to take time away from working. But in the long run, sharpening your saw is the thing to to.” -Andy Stanley
Moral Authority (Visioneering – Chapter 13)Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. -Albert Schweitzer Click To Tweet
“Influence is a funny thing. It’s hard to define. It’s hard to describe. But you know when somebody has it. And you know when somebody doesn’t.” -Andy Stanley
“Moral authority is the credibility you earn by walking your talk” -Andy Stanley
“It is the alignment between a person’s convictions and his behavior that makes his life persuasive.” -Andy Stanley
“Nothing compensates for lack of moral authority. No amount of communication skills, wealth, accomplishment, education, talent, or position can make up for lack of moral authority.” -Andy StanleyAs a leader, you must be willing to do the right thing even if it jeopardizes your vision. Click To Tweet
“Is my ultimate allegiance to God or to the vision?” -Andy Stanley Visioneering Quotes
“Would God lead me to embrace a vision that would force me to do something he forbids? Of course not.” -Andy Stanley Quotes (Visioneering)
“Maintain your moral authority at all costs. As a visionary, it is your primary point of leverage. Without it, you are no longer a leader worth following” -Andy Stanley
“The issue here is surrender. To be a man or woman of character requires you to surrender to God’s standards, values, and principles.” -Andy Stanley
“…Abide by his Word when it benefits you and when it sets you back.” -Andy Stanley QuotesMen and women of character do the right thing even when doing right delays or dismantles their vision. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet People will not invest more in a vision than the one who originally cast the vision. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“When you make a genuine sacrifice for the sake of your vision two things happen:
1. The people around you catch a glimpse of what’s in your heart.
2. You catch a glimpse of what’s in there as well.
Distractions (Chapter 14)I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. -Nehemiah Click To Tweet It is the good things that have the greatest potential to distract you from the best things, the vision things. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“If you are passionate about something that is yet to be, eventually someone will criticize you and question your motives.” -Andy Stanley Quotes (Visioneering)People will not understand the intensity of your focus. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
Misdirected Arrows (Criticism)
“…You are not just being accused. You are being accused of the very thing you are striving not to do. That hurts.” -Andy Stanley Quotes
“Here’s the danger to your vision. Anger is a form of focus. Anger is distracting.” -Andy Stanley
“Not only will you be accused of the very thing you are trying not to do, you will probably be accused of whatever it is your accusers are guilty of.” -Andy Stanley (Visioneering)
The SolutionThe best way to silence your critics is to see your vision through to completion. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“Don’t allow criticism to distract you. If need be, vent to the Father, and then channel your excess energy back into the thing he has commissioned you to do. You are not accountable to your critics, though they will do everything in their power to make you think you are.” -Andy Stanley
You don't want to wake up one day and realize you have spent your time rather than invested it. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“Every vision involves elements of the unknown.
In the early stages there is more unknown than known.
The unknown is fertile ground for fear.
Consequently, everybody with a vision must face and work through some ‘what if’ scenarios….
Then there’s the big one. The ‘what if’ that buries more visions than any other: What if I fail?”
The Inexplicable Life (Chapter 15)
“While you are busy about the process of pursuing your vision, something is going on behind the scenes that you are probably not aware of. It’s something you cannot see… God is at work on a parallel plan that will ultimately complement and give deeper significance to the vision.” -Andy Stanley
“The most encouraging thing about this story [Nehemiah’s story] is that there are no overt miracles. God clearly intervened. But nothing supernatural took place. No parting seas. No earthquakes. No plagues. Just hard work, good leadership, and the touch of God.” -Andy Stanly Quotes (Visioneering)What about your vision has the potential to point to the presence and power of God? -Visioneering by Andy Stanley Click To Tweet For the Christian, character involves doing what's right, as God defines right, regardless of the cost. Click To Tweet
The End of the Line (Visioneering – Chapter 16)
“Your visions are not only avenues God will use to do something through you. They are also avenues God will use to do something in you For the natural response to his intervention is worship, surrender, and obedience.” -Andy Stanley
“When God intervenes, the attention shifts to him. Divine intervention, when it is recognized, results in authentic worship and unquestioned obedience.” -Andy Stanley QuotesIdeas come from God- but they won't keep. They have to be acted on. -Truett Cathy (Founder of Chick-fil-a) Click To Tweet
Maintaining Your Course (Chapter 17)
“In your pursuit of the various visions God has placed before you, you will be prone to drift. In one sense we are all like children playing in an undertow. We live, work, and play in an undertow. There is a current that is constantly pulling us toward compromise, self-sufficiency, and expediency.” -Andy StanleyAny kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. -Jesus Click To Tweet There are certain things God chooses to bless. Obedience, for example. And there are things he refuses to bless. Disobedience, for one. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“When you are consumed by a vision, it is easy to sacrifice ethics for the sake of progress. But when you do, you step outside the realm of what God will bless.” -Andy StanleyFor the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. -2 Chronicles 16:9a Click To Tweet
The Leader’s Mandate:
Stay Fully Engaged and Act Boldly
“Leadership is difficult. People don’t act right. They keep coming up with impractical ideas. And they have a hard time seeing past their own most pressing need.” -Andy Stanley Quotes (Visioneering)There is no autopilot in the enterprise of visioneering. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“Jesus knew what every visionary eventually discovers. Being nice doesn’t always get the job done. And waiting around for people to catch on by themselves can be devastating to a vision.” -Andy StanleyLead Boldly. #Andy Stanley #visioneering Click To Tweet
“If God has given you a vision for a ministry or a business enterprise of some kind, don’t be content to let things drift in a direction other than the one God birthed in your heart in those early days. Don’t be afraid to hold people accountable to previously agreed-upon standards.” -Andy Stanley Quotes (Visioneering)
Other Andy Stanley Quotes (Visioneering)
“Like Nehemiah, you will have detractors. Some will find your visions threatening. Change will be unsettling. Respond to criticism with prayer. Prayer will help you stay focused on the source of the your vision.” -Andy StanleyThere will be seasons when you feel like you are making little if any progress. #Andy Stanley #Visioneering Click To Tweet
“This [when progress is slow] is when you must join with Nehemiah in declaring, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down… Stay focused.” -Andy Stanley
“There is divine potential in all that God has put in your heart to do.” -Andy StanleyThe end of a God-ordained vision is God. His glory is his ultimate agenda. Allow your heavenly father to exploit the visions you are pursuing for his glory. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“Anybody with a pen and a stamp can decide to run the Peachtree Road Race [10k]. But not everybody with a pen and a stamp can run six miles. Only those who pay the price to prepare for the race.” -Andy Stanley
“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.” -Andy Stanley
Pay the price. Embrace the vision. Everybody ends up somewhere in life. You have the opportunity to end up somewhere on purpose. -Andy Stanley Click To Tweet
“If you are consumed with the tension between 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.” -Andy Stanley
I said it at the beginning but I’ll say it again:
Visioneering is one of the best leadership books you’ll ever read.
A list of Andy Stanley quotes doesn’t capture the essence of how to pursue your God ordained vision.
Consider picking up a copy of Visioneering for yourself and reading the entire thing.
You can get it on Amazon here.
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