Faith Builders

Plans vs. Vision

Updated September 15, 2020

2020 is a year where we can’t see ahead. There are more questions than answers and plans are hard to make. I’ve decided I don’t need to know my plans as long as I keep holding onto vision.

What exactly is the difference between plans and vision?

Todd and I are always being asked how many cities we’d like to be doing ministry in ten years from now. I could strike a “visionary pose” and say, “I hope we’ll be in ten new cities, serving ten thousand orphans with a staff of a thousand.” People might then shake their heads and sigh, “Wow! What vision she has . . .” But that’s crazy, that’s just a plan.

I have no idea if God will multiply this ministry or raise up another. I have no idea if He will call us to go miles deeper where we are, or miles wider where we aren’t. I do know He rarely reveals the whole story, which we whole-to-parters find so unsatisfying. He’s much more interested in the development of my dependence on Him and my relationship with Him than He is in impressing me. I already know He has big plans – He has an incredible track record.

So how much longer will I engage in work with vulnerable children? I don’t know. When I give my usual answer, “Until I’m called otherwise,” people smile because it sounds so spiritual.

The truth is there are days (like today) when things don’t get wrapped up in a bow, when there are more disappointments than victories, when I want to pack up and go “home.” But for now, this is my home. No place on earth is really supposed to be home anyway; we are to be uncomfortable and restless until we are called to our eternal home.

Vision is tonight I will continue to listen to the Lord and to feel His passion for the orphaned child run through my heart.

Vision is a peace today that I have done all He created me to do.

Vision believes I will wake up tomorrow and be used by Him again. It is seeing every person’s God-given potential and birthright.

Vision is waiting, and watching, and knowing God will repay the years the locusts have eaten.

Vision is crying out for solutions to problems that are bigger than I can solve and knowing He will answer.

Vision is investing myself in lives that will blossom long after I’ve left the scene.

Vision is hope and faith in a God I cannot see, but who I believe has ordained my days and is working out all things according to His good purpose and will.


So how is vision accomplished? Not by doing or seeing, which always gets so much credit. It’s by listening to His voice and obeying. Every day, even in this crazy 2020.

I think it’s remarkably fitting the Lord ends His sixty-six-chapter book of education for us with a vision. It has been a source of conflict in the church, but Revelation is just that, a revelation of a time when God’s vision will come to pass. I’m looking forward to that day when I am out of work, for we who know God will be adopted into His kingdom. There will be no orphans—only wholeness and belonging. Until that day, we trust in God and in His mercy and extravagant love.

May He continue to show up—and show off—for us all.

About Author

Beth Guckenberger is the Co-Executive Director of Back2Back Ministries and founder of the Reckless Faith Movement. Beth and Todd have a large family they’ve formed through biological, foster, and adoptive children. She is an author and speaker, sharing her experience as a mother, a missionary, and a student of God’s Word.