Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches, by Peter Greer and Chris Horst (with Anna Haggard) is a MUST-READ for Christ-centered organizations who do not want to drift away from Jesus as the cornerstone of their churches, para-church groups, or non-government organizations — for Christ-centered organizations who sense they are beginning to drift away from the mission, vision, and values of their founding — and for Christ-centered organizations who are just beginning their journeys in their work for God. Actually, this book is for ANY ORGANIZATION who was to stay MISSION TRUE, rather than drift toward the state of MISSION UNTRUE.
As the leader of a Christian school, a Board member of another Christian school, an Elder in my church, and community-builder in the body of Christ of Des Moines, Iowa, I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN! Greer, Horst, and Haggard tell riveting and inspiring stories, sharing excellent case studies of organizations which drifted from their original moorings and organizations which have remained true to their mission, vision, and values for decades. The Mission Drift Survey alone, detailed on pp. 46-49, is worth the price of the book.
This book provides an extremely thorough analysis of all issues related to “mission drift,” without under-analyzing or over-doing discussion of the following topics: (1) centering ministry on the true Gospel message as the Christ-centered organization’s most precious asset, (2) making hard decisions to honor mission, rather than compromising for the sake of donations or conflict avoidance, (3) building safeguards against mission drift, (4) clarity of mission, (5) board members and leaders who understand guarding the mission as their top priority, (6) hiring employees and securing volunteers for heart and character, (7) organizations which partner with like-minded donors, (8) tracking missional success with the right metrics, (9) seeking excellence in professionalism in all organizational endeavors, (10) nurturing the rituals and practices of culture, (11) using communication which reinforces the Mission True message, and (12) partnering with churches in the body of Christ to amplify influence.
You will definitely want to read about the following Mission True organizations:
- International Justice Mission
- Compassion International
- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Taylor University in Indiana
- Quaker Oats and the Crowell Family Trust
- The Moody Bible Institute
- Wells Fargo Company, Inc.
- The Center for Community Transformation
- Youth for Christ
- World Relief
- Buck Knives
- Southwest Airlines
- Water Street Ministries
- World Relief
- Greer, Horst, and Haggard’s own HOPE International micro-finance organization
You will also want to explore the stories of Mission Untrue organizations to avoid their same fates:
- The Y
- Harvard University
- ChildFund International
- Pew Charitable Trusts
- Central Asia Institute
- Big Idea Productions
- United Airlines
- American Apparel