Mission Drift – what’s that?

A mission statement is a short statement of why an organization exists, what its overall goal is, and the expected outcomes. IBEC Ventures expresses this in terms of its purpose, its vision, and its values (see IBEC’s about page). Our statement includes the following important goals as we direct our efforts toward the most impoverished (economic) and unreached (spiritual) of the world.

  1. Creating sustainable profit and wealth in the communities where we work.
  2. Providing jobs that give employees both income and dignity.
  3. Pursuing spiritual capital and making followers of Christ.
  4. Promoting stewardship of God’s creation.

Five years ago, Peter Greer (CEO of Hope International) and Chris Horst wrote the book, Mission Drift, in order to highlight the importance of remaining laser-focused on the purpose and core values upon which an organization is founded.   “Mission Drift” refers to the natural tendency to move away from the organization’s mission (purpose).

Every organization has to guard against losing or even abandoning its original purpose, and the problem is especially true for faith-based organizations because serious Jesus-followers are increasingly becoming countercultural. With culture shifting away from IBEC’s third value, simple inertia can pull the mission off course, even if no one really intends it.

Alex Hill, president of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship says, “Mission drift is an enemy faced by every ministry. Incremental, insipid and (nearly) invisible, it stealthily creeps up to envelop its prey.”  And David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, refers to Greer and Horst’s book as “…a clear message inspiring and challenging us to intentionally keep Christ at the center of all efforts.”

While the book is worth the read, many will not take the time.  We therefore strongly suggest taking just 30 minutes for this short video on the subject. Greer is speaking at the Convene Conference.

Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures
larry.sharp@ibecventures.com

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