It’s one thing to “want” to run a business based in Christian values. It’s another to actually do so. The hardest thing of all, despite the best of intentions, is to stick to the original plan.
Believe.com had a quick interview the C.E.O. of Hope International, Peter Greer. Greer, along with Chris Horst and Hanna Haggard, wrote Mission Drift to chronicle the “what to” and “what not” to-do’s to keep an organization on track.
When talking about having an institution’s messaging consistent, Greer states, “The book is arguing against lack of intention. ‘What is our purpose? Why do we exist?’”
Such questions might seem obvious, and that’s the point. Like tiny drops of sand, at first it might not seem like a big deal, but after a while, you have a mountain of millions of different pieces – none with a common thread.
Take Chapter 1 of the book, for example. It speaks about Harvard and Yale. What began as Christian institutions eventually morphed into more humanitarian-based organizations. They are doing great work, and educating a massive amount of people, but Greer brings up a deeper point. “They are proud of their new identity. But what if they had intentionally stuck to their original mission? What would that have looked like?”
As the C.E.O. of Hope International – an international outreach non-profit that deals with spiritual and financial poverty – Greer knows what he’s talking about. With his co-authors, he crafted fifteen informative chapters focusing on Biblical truths, individual business stories and personal anecdotes. Likely these three had a mission for this book, because they didn’t stray far from their original intention. Mission Drift is a fascinating inside look at what is lost (sometimes big money) and gained (stronger relationships and integrity) from fearlessly sticking to the original mission.
This book is a must-read for churches, as well as big business. Greer writes, “As we began talking with Christian leaders, many recognized the pervasiveness of Mission Drift. Many lamented the drift they saw in their own organizations. Or they noted the ongoing challenges they faced in keeping their organizations on mission. But are we willing to ask the hard questions in order to address it?” If, as a reader, you’re willing to take the time to bite your teeth into some meaty material, the payoff in addressing that prior question will bear some amazing fruit.
While organizations like the YMCA have drifted from their Christ-centered beginnings, others such as Compassion International and InterVarsity have exhibited intentional, long-term commitment to Christ.
Readers will be able to determine whether their own businesses are in danger of drift, as well as ways to inoculate themselves against it. At worst, they’ll have a bit of an uphill struggle as they re-establish their original goals and set boundaries. At best, they’ll gain the joy of what it means to prevent drift and get back on track
Buy the book!
You can find out more about the book and purchase it here.