The People Behind The Deck

Almost two years ago, members of the Auxano team gathered in a quiet seminar room at Gateway Community Church to brainstorm the content of The Vision Deck. Initial ideas came from a shared toolbox of exercises for leading church teams into collaborative-vision-crafting.  At the end of a day Will Mancini, Cheryl Marting, Jim Randall, and Jeff Harris had wallpapered the room with almost one hundred fifty ideas for possible exercises.  Some were inspiring, some were a little too creative and some were downright stupid.  Will Mancini remembers, “After reviewing our 150 ideas for the first time, all I could picture was senior pastors throwing some of these cards in the trash.  At that point, I knew we would have to test every exercise with high-capacity ministry leaders and constantly eliminate the bottom of the batch. To accomplish this we had leaders of different denominational backgrounds, staff positions and personality temperaments rate each card on a scale of 1 to 5.  Cards with an average score under 3 were purged.”  After sorting and filtering the lists and running every idea through Auxano’s Vision Integration Model, fifty-two ideas eventually rose to the top. The team dove into hours of labor and laughter while the cards were written, rewritten and edited into what we have now.

One of the dreams was to make the cards fun to look at, flip over and hold in your hands. Cheryl Marting comments, “We imagined leaders and even teams constantly interacting with The DECK- something that you would want to keep on top of your desk or boardroom table. At one point we envisioned some teams making it a permanent feature of the staff meeting environment- like the Community Chest of the Monopoly Game, picking a card at random at every weekly meeting.”  

The creator of The DECK’s eye-candy is James Bethany, Auxano’s creative director.  “We spent countless hours collaborating around each card design. We wanted the picture or design feature of the card to add intrigue and energy to the corresponding exercise,” recounts James.  Cheryl adds, “We even wanted the design to challenge the reader.  For example, when you look at the image of the Signal Strength card, you catch a sense of what great team communication should look like.” 

Auxano gives special thanks to Wafarer Ministry ( for their assistance with writing and editing, as well as our friends and ministry leaders who tested the cards early in the process: Clear Creek Community Church, Gateway Community Church, The Foundry, Faithbridge UMC, and Southside Baptist.

From the hearts of the Auxano team to your hands, may you find inspiration and breakthrough from your Vision DECK.