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I’m posting on A Life Overseas today on the topic of Mission Drift. This discussion is based on the fantastic book, Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches, by Peter Greer which I highly recommend.

Peter Greer is the president of HOPE International, a global faith-based microfinance organization based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He recently spoke at the Catalyst Conference I attended.

Over at A Life Overseas, I recount what Missions Drift is as well as some qualities of a Mission True organization from the book.

I encourage you to go take a look. This post is best read second, after the A Life Overseas post.

Here we are going to go a bit deeper and look at avoiding this inevitable slide.

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7 Steps to Prevent Mission Drift:

1. Believe the Gospel Matters.
Compare these two quotes.

Losing Focus

June 11, 2014

Over the last twenty plus years in missions I have learned we go through seasons. We are currently on a furlough, and it is times like these where you can see things in a clearer fashion.

There is something which slowly and subtely was missing from my missions. I was not misusing ministry funds or walking in immorality.

But my focus had drifted.

Not even to bad things.

If our focus is on our product, numbers, programs, or fundraising strategies, we are not practicing missions. Our efforts may be closer to business or entrepreneurial efforts

Often when we feel consumed by these things we remind ourselves that the focus should be the people. We look to serve, to bless, to lift out of poverty or rescue out of injustice.

While these things are good, this is not truly missions. Losing focus is easy to do.

Misunderstood Unity

February 23, 2014

I work in an organization which sends many short-term teams as well as develops working groups around projects.

I hear a repeated statement coming out of their meeting times.

“Give us unity….”

I prayed this with my teams for many, many years….until I realized what it meant.

Now, when I hear teams pray this, I cringe.

You have no idea what you are asking for.

Misunderstood unity believes the following:

“If we are unified, we will never fight.”
“Unity means we will agree and have similar views on the decision we face.”
“Unity is standing in a circle holding hands singing “Bind us Together.”

Wrong.

That view of commonality is not unity, it is cultic.

Group think is dangerous.

In Scripture, the most common analogy given for unity is the body, with many members working together. The members and their talents they bring are not the same, but the goal is.

Set the Pace

October 24, 2013

I’ve ridden in two Cape Argus bike races here in Cape Town. In my first, I rode solo. My second was with a friend. Together we were able to take turns pacing. When you are tempted to slow down or take it easy, the other person pushes you on and helps to set the pace.

This is true in leadership.

Leaders must set the pace.

As I teach in many settings, I see the impact leaders have on their followers, both positively and negatively. I’ve been comparing the events where things go really, really well and those that just land on the acceptable level. I am convinced that the staff and leaders often have more to do with creating a positive learning environment than the guest speakers.

The Changing Face of Missions

I want us to consider how globalization is effecting us as missionaries. Fritz Kling wrote a book entitled “The Meeting of the Waters: 7 Global Currents That Will Propel the Future Church” His book will be the backdrop for our discussion. In it he identifies two characters; Missions Marm and Apple Guy.

Missions Marm┬á– An older, single woman who loaded her trunk (or perhaps even a coffin packed with belongings) onto a ship or plane for her trip to the field, knowing she would only see “home” for an extended furlough every five years. Communication was by sporadic mail service. A lifetime of service seemed too short to accomplish the task.

Brett, the surfer  dude with a taste for big fat............

By: thefuturistics