Marks of Mission as Cosmo quiz?

The Episcopal Church has posted a quiz on Facebook to determine your "Mark of Mission." Intended to create a "buzz" about the Five Marks of Mission by using the popular internet quiz format often seen on Facebook and in blogs. Some think it is just good fun, some wonder what is the point? Who is the audience? What does it convey about the Episcopal Church? Does it say that we know how to have fun or are silly and self absorbed.

Jesse Zink writes in his blog:

I’ve said in the past that the Five Marks of Mission—apparently the framework by which the Episcopal Church spends its money—don’t really do it for me...

...It’s possible the Five Marks of Mission have now—finally and officially—”jumped the shark.” There’s a Facebook app (produced by our own Episcopal Church; your pledge dollars at work) that lets you determine what is your Mark of Mission. ...

Leaving aside the fact that everyone who talks about the Five Marks of Mission talks about how they are integrated and one cannot stand without the other, isn’t there something just a little bit debasing about reducing the Five Marks of Mission to something you’d find in a Cosmo quiz?

Moreover, mission is a transcultural process by which all of God’s children are reconciled to God and one another. The quiz is culturally bound in the worst way—you have to recognize the names of American reality TV shows and vacation destinations available only to those with certain incomes.

Now here is a quiz that is not only informative, fun, has questions that can be answered without knowing anything about the subject, and the answers have a wide range of possibilities.

How do you rate this quiz?

1. It's the best thing the Episcopal Church has produced since the BCP.

2. I don't really get it but maybe it is not targeted at my generation.

3. I would rather take the pony quiz.

Press release on the Marks of Mission. Reprinted below:

The Five Marks of Mission: A checklist for mission

• Making Your Mark video contest kicks off
• Which Mark of Mission are you?
• 5 Marks of Mission t-shirts available from Episcopal Marketplace at General Convention
• “Let’s show the world all that the Episcopal Church does!”

[June 6, 2012] Acknowledging that the mission of the Episcopal Church is the mission of Christ, the Five Marks of Mission are foundational for the many mission activities underway by congregations, dioceses and individuals.

Now, the Episcopal Church Office of Communication is asking you to share videos of local ministry and work in action. And, you can vote for your favorite video, with the winner slated to be featured at General Convention 2012!

Five Marks of Mission
The Five Marks of Mission, developed by the Anglican Consultative Council and adopted by the General Convention in 2009, are:

• To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
• To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
• To respond to human need by loving service
• To seek to transform unjust structures of society
• To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

In a succinct way, the Five Marks of Mission offer a framework for mission and ministry work. For many, the work of the Five Marks is already part of a congregational or personal mission program. Whether it’s when you recycle (Mark #5), undertake social justice work (Mark #4), donate to a food bank, volunteer at a soup kitchen (Mark #3), renew your baptismal vows (Marks #1 and #2), or countless other ways, the Five Marks of Mission shine through.

“Mission is really making us all aware of the incredible love that God has for all of us,” said Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a May 19 webcast about Mission. “It says things like: you don’t have to earn God’s love. God loves you, period. Everything flows from there.”

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori noted in the May 19 webcast that mission is about receiving love and then responding by going out and sharing. “It is a matter of calling the near and the far off together into the fold. It is about healing and reconciling. It is about making that love incarnate in the lives of people around us and in the lives of people on the other end of the earth.”

Take a quiz, upload a video, be part of the action
Be a part of the action:

• “What's your mark? When you were marked as Christ's own forever at your baptism, did you ever wonder what mark he put on you?” Take this fun quiz to find out and learn more about the Five Marks of Mission on the Episcopal Church Facebook page:

• Share examples of local ministry and work of the Five Marks of Mission by uploading local videos and join the Making Your Mark video contest.

• Vote for your favorite mission video in the Making Your Mark video contest. Voting is open until July 5, and the video that receives the most votes will be featured at a special showing at General Convention 2012.

• Get your t-shirt at the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society booth at General Convention and proudly wear your favorite Mark of Mission!

“Videos have the power to say so much so quickly,” noted Anne Rudig, director of communication for the Episcopal Church. “The Office of Communication has established an easy way for you to share your videos of the Five Marks of mission at work. We invite your videos and we invite everyone to vote for your favorite. Let’s show the world all that the Episcopal Church does!”

To share your video:

Links and resources
The Episcopal Church:
The Five Marks of Mission:
Episcopal Marketplace:

On the web:
The Five Marks of Mission: A checklist for mission

Comments (12)

I thought the quiz was wonderful. The Episcopal Church as a whole needs to do a better job of reaching out to the "average" person. Not everyone can be highly-educated and/or upper-income like most of us that blab on here.

Maybe I'm just a killjoy, but I'd rather see TEC produce a budget that gives priority to the 5 Marks of Mission instead of producing a cute quiz about it.

Here is the comment I left on Jesse's blog:

Jumping the shark is a good way to describe this app. I find this quiz head-scratching puzzling. (For the TV show, I picked the one show of the five that I had actually seen. Once.) However, though the Marks of Mission have some flaws, I find them a reasonably useful framework for the work we do in the church. They are something we can agree on, because they have official Anglican sanction, without having to sit down and work our way through all the possible components of mission, argue over wording, tussle over priorities, etc. They do include a fairly complete list of the various aspects of mission that are found in some prominent biblical passages on mission, such as Matthew 28 and Luke 4. So, if I were going to start over, I might frame “mission” in different terms. But then you might not agree with me, and we would be diverted into questions of semantics and hermeneutics. I don’t think we have time to argue about stuff like that. Let’s find a way to do it, not spend time talking about it.

Susan Snook

I have to agree mostly with Susan's comment. I neither watch TV nor travel much, so it was difficult for me to be much engaged. Also, having read a great deal about the upcoming budget, I just find it hard to be convinced that this was a good way to spend money.

I found the quiz annoying because I did not like all the options. I liked the result in that the quiz picked the Mark I would have picked.

I have the same feelings about the Myers-Briggs or any forced choice instrument.

I would be very concerned if I found that the folks at 815 who are supposed to prepare the financial statements and the budget were, instead, developing FaceBook apps.

While I might have other priorities for the Communications team, I don't think this is out of line.

Is it the best we can do and is there a niche out there for this app? I don't know.

Is School of Rock really analogous to To Sir With Love?

I find the Marks of Mission to be necessarily interconnected. The wording of one or another may have more immediate appeal to a particular person, but to slight any is to slight all. I took the quiz and told I was "confronting the unjust structures of society," but I can't see how one evangelize and then teach and nurture new believers without confronting unjust structures. I hold the Magnificat as an example: it is proclamation, teaching, AND confrontation.


Sarah Dylan Breuer

I couldn't get past Question #3 as I don't know any of those programs. So I give this a FAIL.

Much as I do the so-called "Marks of Mission" which, it seems to me, in marks 3-5, represent a laudable programme, but have nothing to do with mission per se. One can be committed to those three points without any sense of being sent by Christ, or commissioned in service. I think we have totally genericized the word "mission" so that has come to mean "any good work." We have, in fact, confused the corporal works of mercy with "mission." We need to do both, but we'll be more effective in mission and ministry if we are clear bout the distinctions between them, and their interrelationships.

This isn't a criticism of the quiz, more just building on Tobias' comment. I think we are not clear as a church about whether preaching the gospel requires us to speak effectively about Jesus, or about what God is doing in our lives. I am not especially--actually not at all--evangelical in my spirituality, yet I find that the handful of people who get me leaning forward in my seat when they preach or present are the ones who can give me a sense of what Jesus lived and died for, and where God is calling our communities--ecclesial and secular--today.

Oh, people, don't be so stodgy! It's only a quiz. It's fun! If you answer as honestly as you can --- picking randomly if there's a question you don't know the answer to --- it gives you some results that are kind of interesting and kind of insightful. Not deeply analytic and astonishingly insightful --- just a bit of a clue. "To teach, baptize, and nurture new believers" probably is a pretty good description of me (given the constraints of the quiz format), and it does suggest some ways to get involved that I might not otherwise have considered. It's not a major world-changing thing, but it's a little piece of suggestion. And as for me, ANY information presented as a quiz ALWAYS draws me in, no matter how idiotic it is.

Your Result:
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom - You shout it from the mountain tops! You love to be in the crowd, sharing the joy, making connections, inviting everyone to the party. You might be interested in joining the Young Adult Service Corps

And you know the really sad thing?

In too many gatherings of Episcopalians, I really AM seen as a "Young Adult"! O_o [FYI, just turned the Big Five-O]

JC Fisher

You know, I don't think it's so bad. I really did wonder at so of the questions (to which Mark does Supernanny map?) and like all quizzes I was faced with the difficulty of choosing some answers.

Perhaps the best side-effect of this whole thing is that some Episcopalians will actually learn what the 5 Marks of Mission are. We don't talk about them enough. I raised the issue with a parishioner, and she was confusing them with the MGDs. Plus, the 5 Marks are an Anglican thing, and we could do a better job talking about Anglican stuff beyond our shores. So, in the very end, I think it would be great to have a jump-off link to a description of all the Marks.

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