How to Transform Your Dream into a Vision and Then into a Reality: Part 2

“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” —Galatians 6:9


Last Thursday, we focused on the dream and the vision. Today, I’ll show how I transformed my vision of a church library into a reality.

Treat the execution of your vision as a process.

 1. Get Permissions.

I invited the Director of Education to my home. After serving her lunch, I sat her in an armchair in my library (a prior dream come true). Then using visuals, I presented my vision to replace our tiny, archaic church library with a larger, modern library. She promised to secure the go-ahead and permissions to revamp the abandoned youth room.

I think my success resulted from my preparation and passion.

 2. Do the Research.

  • My dream hatched from experiencing a Christian community library. The librarian gave me a tour and answered my questions for months.
  • I purchased cataloging reference books and read them.
  • My knowledge of Christian publishers helped me populate our shelves with Christian fiction and nonfiction.
  • My son suggested an inexpensive, excellent online cataloging service, LibraryThing.100_1270
  • I learned from long-term church members that hardwood floors lay beneath the soiled carpet.
  • The music director told me where to buy inexpensive area rugs.
  • My sister had a list of children’s books she maintained from her story time ministries.
  •  I gleaned favorite Christian books in various genres from members of a writers’ group who shared such lists on our email loop.

Taking time to listen to people who showed interest in my vision provided my best research.

3. Gather Resources.

  • My husband, my best resource, helped remove layers of soiled carpet and refinish the hardwood floors. He built a desk in the closet, creating the library office.
  • 100_1614The adult Sunday school class housed in the room helped us paint the room.
  • People inside and outside the church donated books.
  • Two like-new armchairs appeared from elsewhere in the church.
  • A gentleman who loved carpentry, built 9 bookcases and donated a child’s table.
  • The pastor moved reference books in his office to the library for everyone to use.
  • The supportive church secretary had a donated computer and Internet access installed in the library office.100_1612
  • The church’s women’s group bought many new books from my children’s list.
  • I sold duplicate donated books to fund new books.

When people saw and heard what I was doing and how I appreciated assistance, they supplied needed resources.

4. Manage the Work.

  • When the time to complete your vision seems endless, re-imagine its benefits and do the next thing. The library was useable in less than a year, but my vision took about two years.
  • When you hit roadblocks, turn to a different task. While I waited months for the room to become available, I set up in another room and cataloged books.

    To donate a children’s book, choose one of these “binders” and purchase the book or place the “binder” and a check in the envelope.
  • When you’re overwhelmed, break jobs into tasks. I had stacks of boxes of books to go through and decide what to reject and what to catalog. I applauded each empty box.
  • When peoples’ ideas threaten the vision, be tactful. Some wanted to use the comfortable library for meetings and Bible studies. When I explained that would prevent people from browsing and checking out books, the church limited extraneous uses.
  • When others’ ideas improve the vision, incorporate them. I reserved a shelf for the women’s reading program books.
  • When people help, let them know they matter. Several appreciated people became champions of the library.

I viewed quitting not an option.

5. Bring closure.IMG_0492

  • During the process, I wrote a library manual, which I used to train my successors.
  • Celebrate. The pastor held a consecration ceremony in our library.

What helped you transform a dream into a reality?

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