Today, I want to introduce you to Will Mancini—the founder of a vision clarity consulting group called Auxano and author of Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture, and Create Movement. Will has a passion for the local church, and I want you to hear his heart for how he wants to serve pastors.
What led you to start Auxano 8 years ago?
My reason for starting Auxano really comes down to one thing: a holy discontent with the vision vacuum I was seeing in churches across America. I could walk into a church and within five minutes, I could tell you the last conference that the staff attended. All I was seeing was photocopied vision, not unique, clearer articulation of that specific church’s calling. I believe that God wants to do something cosmically significant and locally specific in every local church. So I put together a framework and process for uncovering and articulating the unique vision of a church. We launched Auxano and began helping churches walk through this process, called the Vision Pathway, with amazing results. Church leaders and their teams were being energized, refocused, and aligned around their unique calling from God.
Church Unique happened as a result of the desire to share the Vision Pathway framework with as many church leaders as possible. The book details the thinking behind the Vision Pathway and then walks through it, step-by-step. We even included sample Vision Pathway results (called a Vision Frame) from some of the churches we have partnered with over the years. In fact, the book was so popular that we decided to put together a visual edition, called the Church Unique Visual Summary. The whole idea was to get this framework into the hands of church leaders, so that they can walk the Vision Pathway and articulate their church unique.
Tell us what has happened with Auxano over the last few years.
We’ve continued to partner with churches, helping them to navigate the Vision Pathway. It’s been amazing to see how God is doing such amazing things in churches all over the country, and it’s been an honor to be a part of that in many, many churches.
For example, one of our Auxano Navigators began working with Harvest Church in Billings, Montana, in the fall of 2009. They had seen some tremendous growth, but we’re now facing some significant challenges. As they dug underneath the surface symptoms of these growth challenges, they realized that their root problem was a lack of vision clarity.
The Auxano Navigator guided them through the Vision Pathway, which was a completely different way for them to understand and articulate the different elements of vision, and resulted in a new level of clarity that brought an amazing sense of momentum. Vision clarity helped them make key strategic decisions, informed staffing and structures, and propelled them forward. They have already launched campuses across Montana and Wyoming, and they are continuing to expand their influence for the cause of Christ. That’s what we get excited about.
Probably the biggest thing that’s happened lately is that we’ve really expanded our capacity to serve churches by adding several new Navigators. All of the guys we’ve added have both on-the-ground local church experience and a great ability to lead churches through the Vision Clarity process really well. I can’t wait to see how God uses these guys over the next several years.
Auxano can partner with church leaders in other ways as well, right? Can you tell us about one of the things you’re most excited about right now?
I’m most excited right now about the Vision Room. It’s a website that we’ve just launched as an online repository—designed specifically for church leaders—of “all things vision.” There’s all sorts of great free content there to help leaders navigate the Vision Pathway and then learn how to live out their unique vision every day. We have dedicated team members—led by our Vision Room Curator—who are focused on finding the best content out there today on vision, and presenting it in a way that’s easy for leaders to navigate. There’s a lot of great content there right now, and we will always be adding more every week.
I want every pastor in America to have the tools at their fingertips to walk the Vision Pathway and get to vision clarity. I’ve seen what vision clarity can do in a church, and I think we’ve all seen what a vision vacuum can do to a church as well. I would love to be able to sit down every pastor individually, but I simply can’t do it. But through the Vision Room, we can put the tools in their hands and help them along the way. I can’t wait to see how God uses the Vision Room in the years ahead.
Discover Vision Clarity
If you’re interested in finding out more about what it would mean to have an Auxano Navigator guide your church along the Vision Pathway, you can visit Auxano.com and contact them to begin the conversation.
And to check out the new Vision Room website Will talked about, simply visit Auxano.com/visionroom. No matter what, do whatever it takes to pursue a clear vision of what God has called you and your church to be. Without that clear vision, you can easily end up floundering around week after week, stuck in the rut of “doing church” instead of moving forward in the mission God has for you. I can’t say it strongly enough: get clear about your unique vision. And get started today.