All leaders will face mission drift at some point. I coathored this book with Peter Greer, with outstanding research and writing support from Anna Haggard. Andy Crouch wrote the very generous foreword. We wrote this book to and for evangelical nonprofit leaders. And it is our hope the book encourages readers to leave an enduring Christian legacy rather than drifting off course.
As Christian organizations grow, the gospel often becomes cursory, expendable, or even forgotten. Again and again, leaders have watched their ministries, businesses, and nonprofits professionalize, expand, and lose sight of their original goals. Even churches can stray from their calling.
Mission Drift, named a 2015 book of the year by Christianity Today, WORLD Magazine, and the Evangelical Press Association, provides the tools leaders need to keep their organizations “mission true” or get back on track. Supported by research and filled with compelling anecdotes, Mission Drift identifies organizations that exhibit intentional, long-term commitment to Christ in contrast to those that have wandered away from their core beliefs.
(Incredibly Generous) Endorsements
In June 2014, Mission Drift was named a runner-up for Book of the Year by WORLD Magazine. “The authors are correct about an “unspoken crisis,” which makes this little book both prophetic and practical. They sketch the clear contrasts between Mission Drift and Mission True organizations, the latter distinguished by humility and faith: “Seeing God for who He is clarifies our role: We are stewards.””
“Peter Greer and Chris Horst have identified one of the deepest challenges any leader faces: how to ensure that an organization stays true to its mission, especially when that mission becomes countercultural. And they squarely face a more specific challenge of our time: how to create lasting institutions that forthrightly place the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ at the heart of their mission.” – Andy Crouch, author of Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power and executive editor of Christianity Today
“With conviction and insight, Peter and Chris share with us their journey of discovery as they address the timely and pivotal question of mission drift. Their quest to get it right, not only for their personal integrity but for the longevity of the work in which they are engaged, informs our lives and our work as we endeavor to stay the course, finish well, and leave a legacy which continues to reflect kingdom values.” – Candy Sparks, executive director of The Crowell Trust
“Keeping an eternal perspective is essential in our work and labor. Mission Drift gives a clear message inspiring and challenging us to intentionally keep Christ at the center of all efforts. As Paul commands us, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” – David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores
“Every organization has to guard against losing or even abandoning its original purpose. But the problem is especially acute in Christian organizations because Christianity is increasingly becoming countercultural. When the entire culture drifts in a bad direction, simple inertia can pull a Christian mission off course, even if no one really intends it. Thank God for Peter Greer and Chris Horst for having the courage to identify this growing crisis. They do a magnificent job, not only of diagnosing the problem, but of giving sound and practical advice on how to prevent your ministry from becoming a hostage of a hostile culture. If you want to prevent that in your own organization, you should read this book.” – Jay W. Richards, PhD, author, Money, Greed, and God, and NYT bestsellers Infiltrated and Indivisible
“Essential reading for 21st-century believers if we are to gain new vision, unity and strength. Mission Drift is spine-straightening, mind-clearing, courage-inspiring and True North wisdom for leaders. It is a gift of hope for the world God loves. – Kelly Monroe Kullberg, founder, The Veritas Forum, and author of Finding God Beyond Harvard: the Quest for Veritas
“There are books that produce a much needed wake-up call, and there are books that inspire and propel. Incredibly Peter Greer and Chris Horst have done both in Mission Drift. Guarding the missional heart of a ministry is both a calling and a privilege. Mission Drift challenges me to keep my finger on the pulse connected to the heartbeat of God for the stewardship of the Good News. Prepare to be challenged, encouraged, and commissioned.” – Dan Wolgemuth, president and CEO, Youth for Christ USA
“Mission Drift illustrates how organizations often lose their founding principles over time, as they respond to the pressures of our secular culture and funding sensitivities. More importantly, “Mission Drift” gives useful tools and applications on how we can stay Mission True for the long term, and breed excellence in application and execution as well. “ David Weekley, founder and chairman, David Weekley Homes
“During my years as a CEO–first in the for-profit sector and later in the non-profit sector–I’ve always found it a challenge to stay on mission. Many of us in leadership have learned–often painfully–that our mission needs to be built into every aspect of our organization, from leadership to receptionist, from hiring to execution. We can’t afford not to follow the lessons in this valuable book.” – Richard Stearns, president World Vision US and author of The Hole in Our Gospel
“We have all seen Christian ministries go off track, either toward heresy or incompetence or irrelevance. This book shows us the other side with models of Christian ministries that have held fast to the gospel and to their calling. Every Christian leader should reflect on the message of the book as we commit to keeping our mission in line with the mission of Christ.” – Russell Moore, president, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
“Mission drift is an enemy faced by every ministry. Incremental, insipid and (nearly) invisible, it stealthily creeps up to envelop its prey. This book provides both a clarion warning and a clear pathway to stay true to the original call.” – Alec Hill, president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA
“We Christians are amazing at putting our passions into action with an entrepreneurial spirit. Yet we have a terrible track record of sustaining the original mission of these organizations. This book is the first step in reversing that trend.” – Rob Moll, editor at large Christianity Today
“Peter Greer and Chris Horst offer you a gift of supreme importance. Replete with examples. Practical in its’ message. Clarion in its’ call: Be mission true or face the inevitable—Mission Drift.” – Robert Gelinas, lead pastor, Colorado Community Church and author, The Mercy Prayer: The One Prayer Jesus Always Answers.
“I can’t think of better leaders than Peter Greer and Chris Horst to teach us all a lesson on focus, intention and staying power.” – Gabe Lyons, author, The Next Christians, and founder of Q Ideas
“Whether you are flirting with the siren call of success and relevance, standing at an ethical fork in the road, undergoing massive growth, or reeling from previous highs, Mission Drift will help you and your key decision makers stay “mission true”. – Jeremy Courtney, author, Preemptive Love: Pursuing Peace One Heart at a Time; executive director, Preemptive Love Coalition
“Paying attention is often harder than it seems. Perhaps nowhere is this any more important than in acts of Christian leadership. As this book makes clear, the possibilities of drift are many and substantial. Those charged with leadership face diversions from many directions. To pay careful, humble, and relentless attention to the heart of our Christian mission is an essential part of faithful leadership. Read this book and be helped in doing so!” – Mark Labberton, president of Fuller Theological Seminary
“No organization is exempt from the danger of drifting away from its original mission. While competing forces entice toward subtle changes, foundational principles must be safeguarded in your organization. In Mission Drift, Peter and Chris provide solid guidance for remaining laser-focused on core values … from the board level to daily organizational culture. This book is a timely message for any organization working hard to remain mission true.” – Wess Stafford, president-emeritus, Compassion International