I am an optimist by nature. I love dreaming big dreams. But I’ve learned to be pragmatic and face the realities that must be dealt with if those big dreams are to come to life. “Winging it” usually does not get you where you want to go. A website rebuild, a discipleship strategy, Christmas Eve services – all of these things take significant planning and hard work. Start by writing out your goals. Then write down your “givens” [ie realities] and any potential roadblocks. By sitting down and listing potential challenges and costs, you’ll be in a much better position to decide if a project should move forward – and will be ready to overcome issues when they occur.

My friend Rory Noland nailed it in his book Thriving As An Artist: “If you see only opportunities, you won’t plan for obstacles that can blind-side you. You won’t be prepared to solve the problems that arise. It’s like starting a project without considering the cost (Luke 14:28). The opportunity may be from God, but if you’re oblivious to potential pitfalls, you are more likely to fail.”

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