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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mission Drift

TITLE: Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches
AUTHOR: Peter Greer & Chris Horst
PUBLISHER: Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2014, (224 pages).

Every organization is prone to drifting. It is basically a matter of time. The original mission will always be threatened with change as the years go by. Authors Peter Greer and Chris Horst have come together to tackle this "unspoken crisis facing leaders, charities, and churches." This crisis has affected Ivy Leagues, Franciscan Food Banks, the YMCAs, mainline churches, and other charities. Why? Two basic reasons:
  1. Personal Drift as leaders fail
  2. Institutional Drift as organizations become distracted
In both these drifts, the basic answer is humility and accountability.  The first step is to recognize the problem. The second step is to revisit one's original calling and mission, and to determine the identity that started it all. The third step is to work toward becoming "Mission True" people and organizations. With remarkable insight and wise guidance, Greer and Horst points the way forward. Unlike books that tend to bash us black and blue throughout, this book has more to say about what it means to be "Mission True." Only two chapters out of fifteen are dedicated to bashing the drifting that is happening in many places. Packed with riveting observations about modern charities and churches, the authors sensitively highlight the challenges of how atheism had infiltrated the typical religious mindset, like the way the YWCA has become more secular than Christian. They bring back the importance of focusing on character rather than credentials. They question the lack of purpose in organizations that have stayed too long in their comfort zones. They provide directions for board members. They list some key performance measures that are more consistent with the mission of the organizations. They suggest a new performance scorecard that helps focused ministry. It is one thing to be all things to all people. It is yet another to be an organization that is true to its values and to let God bless as many people as possible through faithful working out of this mission.

This is indeed an act of faith. When we stay true to our mission, we are asking that God lead us to do what matters to God. We are then asked to trust God to do the rest. It is one thing to try to take everything in our own hands. It is yet another work out the things God had given us, and to put the rest in the hands of God. 

Rating: 5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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