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5 Stars Out Of 5
Take Heed Lest We Drift
May 19, 2014
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.
I loved this book. This book had so many examples of charities/ organizations that drifted. The examples that were used were warnings for other organizations not to drift. Although the book was chalked full of drifting organizations everything from Harvard, Yale, and the YMCA, there were also examples of organizations that didn't drift.
The founder of Quaker Oatmeal was one of those guys who put up defenses against his company drifting. That is something that I found encouraging.
Even though this book was addressed to leaders in the church community, it could be used for personal use as well. Overall this book was good, although slightly repetitive in some areas.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
I recently received a review copy from Bethany House for the book, "Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crises facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches" by Peter Greer and Chris Horst. Although I'm not a Pastor or church leader, this shift has bothered me for sometime, and I decided it would be an excellent book to read and review. I also think it is an important read if you support any Christian charity as it provides a way to hold the organization(s) accountable to which you are financially supporting. Before I dive in with a few comments, I would like to also add that my reading this book was timely in light of the decision/recall decision concerning World Vision. I noticed on the back jacket that Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, read an advance copy. I wonder if the content had been better utilized, they could have avoided the mess they recently found themselves in.
I really enjoyed the format of this book. Though it seems more geared toward leadership, it was easy for a layperson to read and learn from. The examples, both of solid organizational commitments and eventual mission drift, were very interesting as I had not previously been aware of the history of many charity organizations in our country. I really enjoyed learning about how many of them came to be, but I was also deeply saddened to read how the initial vision and set of core values was forgotten or simply discarded for the sake of compromise. I also thought it very helpful that the authors included a Mission Drift Survey in order to help identify potential issues and problems. They also offered very helpful solutions for overcoming those issues and safeguard against future problems.
Although it was disheartening to read stories in which charities were completely secularized and lost focus, it was also very encouraging to read the number of ways big charities, such as Compassion International, are safeguarding the integrity of their ministry and charities. We all need to read this book, whether or not we are a leader, for it effects us each individually. We must learn how to stand firm in a time of such hostility towards faith and faith-based charities, and in a time in which the world so desperately needs that which a solid faith-based/driven charity can provide. If you want to learn about how to safeguard your church/charity/organization from falling away from its most important core values, how to implement those changes within, and how to stay committed for the long haul, this is the book you need to read. In fact, get one for yourself AND for the Pastor in your church. Excellent read, and I highly recommend it.