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Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  411 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Is your organization in danger of Mission Drift?
Without careful attention, faith-based organizations drift from their founding mission.
It's that simple. It will happen.
Slowly, silently, and with little fanfare, organizations routinely drift from their purpose, and many never return to their original intent. Harvard and the YMCA are among those that no longer embrace the
Hardcover, 219 pages
Published February 18th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers (first published February 10th 2014)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  411 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Jeremy Gardiner
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book contrasts Christian organizations which experienced mission drift (Harvard, ChildFund, YMCA etc.) with those that stayed mission true (Compassion, Intervarsity, Taylor University etc.). It also contrasts influential leaders like Henry Parsons Crowell (founder of Quaker Oats) who put in safeguards to protect his Crowell Trust to stay mission true with leaders like Howard Pew (President of the oil company, Sunoco) who though in his day he funded Billy Graham's ministry, Christianity Toda ...more
Josh Sieders
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I'm very interested in institutions, in particular, Christian ones and how they remain so in a culture that is post-christian. This is especially challenging if that organization seeks to help, work with or engage it's neighbours who hold different values and worldviews. This book was a great primer on some of the major reasons for drift, and the corresponding efforts required to avoid it.

Not everything in this book was new to me, nor was everything earth-shatteringly revelatory, but it combined
Scott Hayden
May 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: daniel groot
Recommended to Scott by: Darren Gentry
Through historical survey, contemporary interviews, and personal experience, these authors paint the portrait of what it takes to stay Mission True.

Our school board and administration read this together.

I recommend this for faith-based organizations.
Jeremy Pitman
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Carol R.
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you lead a church or organization or business, or if you simply want a life that is lived on purpose, get Mission Drift. Savor it and learn from it. Only diligence keeps us on mission.

Greer and Horst's book, which they provided for me to read and review, contains stories of organizations that have so departed from their original stated mission that they've changed their names to reflect their new identity. They interview leaders of Mission True organizations to plum their wisdom on what keeps
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership, christian
A must read for anyone leading a mission-driven organization--not-for-profit or otherwise. It has strong warnings--with well known examples--regarding the great tendency for organizations to drift from their strong founding principles. But also some very practical areas of focus to help ensure that does not happen.
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
We've all done it - you start out burning some scrap wood and wind up with a bonfire. You planned to share a link, and wrote a lengthy post about it. You started cleaning the living room and wound up redecorating. We see it all the time, charities, even businesses, compassion, passion and innovation, that end up cold and heartless bureaucracies. We observe that some "Churches and denominations abandon the truth of the Gospel as they age ... have lost their saltiness. They have forgotten why they ...more
Christopher Humphrey
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just completed reading “Mission Drift” by Peter Greer and Chris Horst. The premise of this book is that all organizations tend to drift from their central purpose unless the leaders of those organizations purposefully work to prevent that mission drift. This book should be required reading for every Pastor, para-church leader, philanthropist, and non-profit board member.

The principles in this book are applicable to secular and faith based entities. But the primary challenge set forth by the au
Janet Richards
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: church, physical
I'm on two church boards, and this is a great book to consider the role of the board, how essential it is to remaining true to a core mission, and healthy practices. I found the examples (both good and bad) gave credibility to the concepts and were impactful to both warn of the dangers and highlight the benefits of staying mission true.

The one star I took away has to do with the fact that it was very Western focused, I'm not sure if it applies 100% globally. I also believe staying "Mission true"
Travis Heystek
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was a great read. I highly recommend it to any church leaders or faith based organization leaders. Even if your church is on mission I believe this book does a great job helping you look beyond what you’ve already considered.

In a world where are values are often questioned and scrutinized it is difficult to remain steadfast. Many small compromises, although they don’t change the message, lead to drift. I enjoyed reading this book and I believe it would be eye opening to many church bo
Lawson Hembree
A fantastic read for anyone in leadership. Has your organization started to stray from its founding mission? Over time, many do either in the pursuit of money, a poor succession plan, an eroding culture, or any number of other compromises. The principles in this book are a gut-check for leaders who must stay vigilant of Mission Drift and set the expectations for those they lead. While the book is geared towards nonprofits, ministries, and churches, the underlying lessons apply to for-profit orga ...more
Jeff Turnbough
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“It’s the exception that an organization stays true to its mission,” said Chris Crane, president and CEO of Edify. “The natural course—the unfortunate natural evolution of many originally Christ-centered missions—is to drift,” he said.”

The above quote pretty much describes the reason for this book. It was a good read and well worth the time. I recommend it especially for the leaders of organizations or entities of any kind.
John Dube
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
As the title suggests, this book addresses the tendency organizations have of drifting away from their mission. The book addresses parachurch mission drift more than church mission drift, although there are many similarities. To be clear, authors are passionate about the gospel and the church. This is a helpful resource for older churches facing the threat of mission drift and newer churches establishing their mission.
Sep 29, 2020 rated it liked it
It is dealing with an identity crisis. It's kind of a leadership book, kind of a ministry, kind of a book on board membership, kind of a book on business leadership. It scratches the surface on all of those things and only excels in being 1-2 of them.

A great book to start understanding the topic, but further learning is needed. Probably a good starting point for an undergraduate ministry student.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read Mission Drift twice, and in my opinion this is a "must read" for anyone, staff or board member, committed to a Christian Non-profit ministry. Your organization will drift with the currents and inevitably drift away from its original purpose if you do not take the initiative to prevent this from happening. The book has much helpful advice. ...more
Joy Strube
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking ideas and questions to help you ensure your organization continues to do what it originally set out to do - even beyond your time there. At times it felt a tad redundant, but still provides very useful metrics of success.
Adam Housley
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We read Mission Drift as an entire organization, and it sparked great conversation! An excellent read for any Christian non-profit especially in light of strategic planning or any major organizational change or challenge.
Nicholas  Lewis
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mission Drift is extremely applicable, albeit absolutely necessary for Christian non profits to read and learn well. It’s one of the most insightful and relevant books to read for the ministry leader.
Randall Tonini
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a helpful exploration into why some companies, schools, orgs, and churches stay on mission and others don’t. Many real life examples with practical application. I will be taking our staff and leaders through this book for years to come.
Daniel Coughlin
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Practical advice for churches, charities, non-profits, and even families. But even more than the practical advice, I really enjoyed the history of various Christian organizations. Some abandoned their mission, others persevered.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very good read for anybody who works with a faith based charity.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Solid. A bit redundant though in the writing.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Read for Non Profit Leaders

As a founder of a non-profit (20 years ago) this book couldn’t have come into view at a better time.
David Goochee
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good read for those actively leading or considering leading a non-profit ministry.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A clearly written reminder of how important it is to stay true to your purpose. And it explains just how much work is needed to keep on track.
Trey Tomes
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you plan on working in ministry as anything more than a light hobby, this book will give you plenty of important factors to think through.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Straight forward, clear, and quite concise considering all the information given. Great examples and clear direction.
Colin Chance
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book for Christians on how to establish and maintain your mission whether it be in business, the nonprofit world, or other entities.
Mar 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Great premise, good principles, way longer than it needed to be.
Nathan Swedberg
Mar 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
- excellent read for any organization to avoid the perils of mission drift
- shows just how intentional an organization has to be from leader to vision to board, etc in order to keep on target
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“In its simplest form, Mission True organizations know why they exist and protect their core at all costs. They remain faithful to what they believe God has entrusted them to do. They define what is immutable: their values and purposes, their DNA, their heart and soul.” 1 likes
“Without careful attention, faith-based organizations will inevitably drift from their founding mission.” 0 likes
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