The Dual Concern Model, Part 1

Having talked a little about caring and concern, I want to start discussing care and concern as they appear in church priorities and decision making.

In their 1964 worked entitled The Managerial Grid, Robert Blake and Jane Srygley Mouton identified two constants in any organization: purpose and people. These two constants form the axes of the “Managerial Grid” that they propose within this work. On one side of the grid is a concern for purpose of the organization. Whatever the organization, there is always a purpose behind it. That purpose may not be clearly stated or even known to the members of the organization, but there is always a purpose. Clearly, the purpose of a church is different from that of a for-profit organization, but the purposes are there.

Identifying the purpose of an organization is important because it brings us to a measurable and tangible aspect of the organization: production. Every organization, even churches, has a product that they generate. What types of products do churches produce? Ideally, one would answer that question with “disciples”. However, more than likely the typical church’s true products are things like worship services, fellowship opportunities, and social welfare programs. Whatever the products of the church, the purpose/production side of the managerial grid focuses on this aspect.

On the other side of the managerial grid is the concern for people. Every organization needs people. For-profit enterprises need both employees and customers. Churches need members, prospects, and people to serve. Without a steady stream of new people in each category, the organization eventually dies. While some organizations can make people feel worthless, people are an essential component to the health of any organization. The mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health of the people in an organization has a direct connection to the health of the organization as well. That is why leaders must take into consideration the well being of the people while they consider the purpose/production side of the organization as well.

But to what extent? Which is more important, purpose or people? If you have to choose, which do you go with? And what are the ramifications of that choice?

Leave a reply