Category Archives: Church Growth

The Dual Concern Model, Part 2

Production and Church

Do those two terms sound like the don’t go together well? What is it about the idea of “church” that makes us uncomfortable with terms like “revenue”, “marketing”, or “production”? I’ve felt the twinge that comes from the apparent incompatibility of those concepts, but the truth of the matter is that those aspects of churches exist whether we want to admit it or not. In my experience, the more aware of those aspects of our churches we are the better job we do in managing them. The reverse is also true: the less aware of those aspects of our churches we are the worse job we do in managing them.

I would argue that a majority of purpose/production related conflicts that exist in churches originate with a lack of clarity over the purpose of the church.  I promise to not get all purpose-driven on you, but clearly communicating the purpose for a church is essential to the health of the church. Considering the Dual C0ncern Model introduced in the previous post, church leaders must know the purpose of the church in order to effectively use the managerial grid in their leadership efforts. Without a clearly defined and communicated purpose, the only aspect of the grid that remains is the people side. When people are allowed to act as they see fit without some purpose/production aspect to guide them, all kinds of craziness ensues.

In the absence of a clearly define purpose, each individual is left to interpret for his or herself what the purpose is. Since this interpretation is a complex mix of preferences, experiences, traditions, and what they learned from the History Channel, those interpretations are as varied as the individuals themselves. Since individuals define their relationship to the organization through the fulfillment of purpose, these interpretations can become very ingrained and very personal. When two opposing interpretations collide, instead of just a collision of interpretations you have a collision of ingrained and personal interpretations.

Once we get past the initial sting of incompatibility between church and business, one of the most healthy exercises a church can go through is to ask and assess the question “What do we produce?” This helps to cut through the fog of purpose/mission statements and gets to the core of what the church is really about. It also avoids the “What do we want to be?” question and allows us to assess the church as it really is. Additionally, it allows us to compare the production of the church to the purpose of the church as made in scripture: Are we producing disciples?

So, what do churches produce? What does your church produce?

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 theContinue Reading

Because The Cross Was Made Of Dogwood – Thoughts On Evangelism, Part 7

After six parts to the ‘because the cross was made of dogwood’ series I’ve racked up quite a few questions about what the whole dogwood thing has to do with evangelism. Well, today you find out. As many of you know, I have a company that I co-operate with fellow minister Randy Wray that weContinue Reading

Because The Cross Was Made Of Dogwood – Thoughts On Evangelism, Part 6

Sorry for the brief hiatus in this series. My oldest son graduated from high school this week, so my schedule was fairly full, as was my house. But we’re back at it now, so jump in the conversation. When I think about churches and their evangelism programs, I often find myself asking ‘what are weContinue Reading

Because The Cross Was Made Of Dogwood – Thoughts On Evangelism, Part 5

Thanks for hanging on with us as we’ve covered some of the ramblings of my mind. The comments and feedback have been great. If you haven’t, please check out the other posts in this series and let us all know what you think. We’re going to turn the direction of this series a little andContinue Reading

Because The Cross Was Made Of Dogwood – Thoughts On Evangelism, Part 4

I know this looks a little long, but there’s a story at the end that you’ll want to hang around for. Thanks again for dropping by! The feedback on this series has been great. I know you’re not all commenting, but please feel free to jump into the discussion by leaving comments below. I won’tContinue Reading

Because The Cross Was Made Of Dogwood – Thoughts On Evangelism, Part 2

Married to the idea of getting people to ‘come to church’ is the idea that ‘coming to church’ is synonymous with behavior modification. It’s sort of like we think church attendance is the silver bullet for all kinds of moral ills. This is an error that churches and Christians have made for some time. We’veContinue Reading

Because The Cross Was Made of Dogwood – Thoughts On Evangelism, Part 1

One of the popular topics Among church leadership has to do with evangelism and it’s effectiveness. I speak with church leaders regularly about church growth and church health, and I’m convinced that 90% of the time when a church leader says they want to evangelize what they are really saying is that they want theContinue Reading

Redeeming Christianity

Is that a presumptuous title or what? For the last few years I’ve been engaged in some separate studies that have come together in a surprising way. One of the great benefits of being in full time ministry is the time I get to spend in study and research. The pressure to present it adequatelyContinue Reading

Appropriate Levels of Complexity

Complexity is probably one the most important factors in church organization, yet it is one that is rarely talked about. A system that is too complex or is not complex enough will not meet the needs of the church. I was first introduced to the concept of organizational complexity by way of Mike Armour’s workContinue Reading