3 Reasons Every Leader Needs a Mental Base Camp

By January 13, 2017March 10th, 2020No Comments



Recently, I talked with 5 different ministries in pursuit of vision clarity. At one point, Tim, with the E4 Project, started sharing the benefit of Auxano’s vision clarity process as we were refining their Vision Frame — a litmus test of clarity for the ministries we serve. I love the imagery he used: “It’s giving me a mental base camp as a leader.”

Bam! That’s it. Another brilliant picture of the power of clarity.


What is a “base camp?”

“A center of operations, organization, or supply. A camp from which expeditions or other activities see out or from which they can be carried out. A main encampment providing supplies, shelter, and communications for persons engaged in wide-ranging activities, such as exploring, reconnaissance, hunting or mountain climbing.”


These definitions highlight three different aspects of the power of clarity, and why every leader needs a mental base camp:

  1. It creates a center of visionary operations of how we think.
  2. It defines the place from which every idea, conversation, decision and action initiates. Everything sets out from a prior understanding of our “base” identity and baseline mission.
  3. It supplies, protects and communicates essentials so that people can be involved in a very broad range of activities and pursuits.


A fully-equipped mental base camp is stocked with these five Vision Frame elements, and one irreducible question of leadership for each:

  • MISSION as a Missional Mandate: What are we doing?
    The missional mandate is a clear and concise statement describing what your church is ultimately supposed to be doing.
  • VALUES as Missional Motives: Why are we doing it?
    Missional motives are shared convictions that guide the actions and reveal the strengths of your church.
  • STRATEGY as a Missional Map: How are we doing it?
    The missional map is the process or picture that demonstrates how your church will accomplish its mandate on the broadest level.
  • MEASURES as Missional Life Marks: When are we successful?
    Missional life marks are a set of attributes in an individual’s life that define or reflect the accomplishment of the church’s missional mandate.
  • VISION PROPER as Missional Mountaintop + Milestones: Where is God taking us?
    Vision Proper is the living language that anticipates and illustrates God’s better future.

The trip to any base camp begins with a Trailhead. To get started on your base camp journey, download Auxano’s Vision Trailhead Tool for your team today.

In the end, where there is no base camp, there is no common gathering point and no great summit experience.



Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, his latest personal-clarity company, Younique, and is the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.