There have been a handful of books I have read in my life where I have inwardly cheered from beginning to end. Mission Drift was one of them. Peter Greer and Chris Horst do a masterful job of challenging Christian churches, charities and universities to keep theGospel at their core no matter what.
Using examples from real life (like the mission drift of Harvard and Yale, both of which started as Gospel-centered schools) these two excellent authors chronicle the temptations that come from not obsessively focusing on the core distinctives of being a truly Christian organization. They speak frankly about their own temptations to compromise their message for potential donations to the ministry, Hope International, they work for personally. They also share how they overcame those temptations to stand even stronger on their ministry’s Gospel convictions.
This book is also chock full of ideas, best practices and examples of how effective “mission true” organizations have kept true to their Christian core over years and even decades. These brands of organization are obsessively focused on the truth of the good news of Jesus. As Winston Churchill once said, “A fanatic is someone who won’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” In the same way mission true organizations are fanatics for the Gospel message and take precautions to make sure their focus will stay that way for years to come.
I would HIGHLY recommend this book for…
-Church leadership teams (because, yes, even in the church it’s easy to forsake our Gospel focus)
-Board members and executive teams of Christian based non-profit organizations that are focused on serving the physical and spiritual needs of the less fortunate (because it can be tempting to forsake or downplay our Christian distinctives for the sake of donations.)
-Board members and exec teams of Christian ministries that are all about advancing the message and mission of Jesus (because, as this book shows, even purely Gospel focused ministries can drift from their current core convictions if they don’t take safeguards for the future! In Mission Drift you can see how the YMCA became “The Y” and abandoned their deep roots in the faith.)
-Leaders, board members and faculty of Christian colleges and universities (which, sadly, can easily drift into theological liberalism if not intensely guarded.)
This is the kind of book you’ll want to buy for entire boards and leadership teams to read. It’s that important.
As Hebrews 2:1 reminds us, “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.”
If you are serious about your church, charity or university staying anchored to it’s Gospel core, getting, reading and applying the truths in Mission Drift is a must.