Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mission Drift: A 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. 

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