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. To my mind, the Five Marks are in a long tradition of Anglican and Episcopal slogans, none of which have proven to have much staying power and only demonstrate our inability to engage in serious and honest theological discussion.
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. (When you’re finished with the quiz, I encourage you to take the quizzes available at Cosmo: “Are you good-girl hot or bad-girl hot?” and “Are you way too good for him?“)
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.