Quiz: Determine Your Ministry Age
Do your assumptions about leadership reflect the values of your generation?

In recent years we have entered into lengthy discussions about how worship, spiritual formation, and evangelism are transitioning in the church. However, the most crucial area of transition, leadership, has received minimal attention. For more than 35 years, I have been overseeing the ministry of young InterVarsity staff and college student leaders. In that time I have seen a significant swing in how these young leaders view leadership. The emerging generation of leaders desires a context that fosters community, trust, journey, vision, and empowerment.

If we are going to transition the church to the next generation, both existing and emerging leaders will need to understand and appreciate each other's values. This quiz, developed in conjunction with the editors of Leadership, is a helpful start.

This tool is intended to foster dialogue between older and younger leaders about their divergent views and contribute to greater understanding between the generations. No test can fully reveal the nuances that exist within an entire generation, and you may agree with more than one answer for a question. Mark the answer that best fits your approach to leadership.

Take the quiz at LeadershipJournal.net and then come back to Ur to discuss your findings.

How did you score?

Tally your ministry age by adding the numbers for each of your answers. (For example, if you selected answer number 3, that equals 3 points.) Your total score will determine your ministry age.

My Ministry Age _______________

Ages 25 - 41 Younger Leaders

Ages 42 - 58 Pragmatic Leaders

Ages 59 - 75 Traditional Leaders

Your Age, Our Analysis

It is possible that your "ministry age" is incongruent with your actual age. This is precisely the intent of the quiz. Ministry perspective may, or may not, be a direct product of one's generation. A younger leader may fall into the Traditional or Pragmatic categories because he or she is more concerned about doctrine or effectiveness. Similarly, an older leader may discover he or she has more in common with those younger in spirit. In either case a better understanding of one's own leadership style is critical for healthier team dynamics.

This begins by understanding the context from which each leadership style emerged and the different strengths each brings to the church and its mission. The Traditional leaders were at the forefront of the church from 1950 to 1970. They came into prominence soon after World War II, when people longed for stability and when the church was embroiled in significant theological battles. These leaders wanted to ensure the church's survival, remain doctrinally pure, and lead in an orderly manner.

October 15, 2009

Displaying 1–10 of 10 comments

eric lewis

October 23, 2009  11:52am

I scored a 138. On all but four of the senarios, I could see where all should happen. So, I guess I am a pragmatic traditionalist who is stuck in the middle ages. On a more serious note: You wrote, "In either case a better understanding of one's own leadership style is critical for healthier team dynamics." Jesus showed us how to live when He gave his life for us on the cross. There is nothing healthier for an individual or a team than living in the shadow of the Cross. When we live there, we may just get to know and serve one another better.

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Paul

October 21, 2009  12:08pm

Although the quiz was helpful in thinking through my understanding of ministry I think it was far too modal. It forced you into one of three age-based modes without appreciating the complexity of how a philosophy of ministry is formed from a mixture of theological, philosophical, methodological & cultural convictions & experiences that may not be so predictable. I find myself outside of all three modes while embracing aspects of each. I hope the generations are not so entrenched in these respective modes! Thanks for introducing the discussion.

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Gary Ware

October 20, 2009  6:15pm

"For those of you who land in the "pragmatic" range but never actually selected answer "2", perhaps that reveals that the older and younger generations have more in common than we realized...or maybe it simply means the pragmatic Boomer values of church and leadership are an anomaly in the progression of American church history that are quickly passing away. Time will tell.' That's a very pragmatic way of viewing the situation.

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Jim Sparks

October 20, 2009  2:24am

Although I started to take the quiz, I couldn't finish it as there were a number of times when I needed to select more than one answer (if added does this make me older? If averaged will this make me younger?). There were times when I honestly wouldn't accept any of the answers (don't like Henri Nouwen, Maxwell or Chambers!) And, of course, there were many questions which just didn't apply (I am not in a church where issues of multiple staff have come up - I am "it"). So, I stopped, and decided that I am who I am, and I will - with God's help - try to be the best that I can be at the task he has given me.

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ericpo

October 15, 2009  5:31pm

I scored a 26. Not surprising an I am a mainline. I too think that the boomer age of secular instant Chrisitanity featuring celebrity pastors is coming to an end.

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Jarrami

October 15, 2009  5:02pm

Ones and threes, huh? More evidence that this generation is bi-polar. From one extreme to the other. :-)

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Skye Jethani

October 15, 2009  11:45am

For those of you who land in the "pragmatic" range but never actually selected answer "2", perhaps that reveals that the older and younger generations have more in common than we realized...or maybe it simply means the pragmatic Boomer values of church and leadership are an anomaly in the progression of American church history that are quickly passing away. Time will tell.

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Jon

October 15, 2009  10:51am

I ended up with a "pragmatic" score, even though I never chose the second answer. One fault of this particular scoring system.

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Mark

October 15, 2009  9:57am

I would agree with the first post that the quiz is not a good indicator... However, I did end up where I belonged: 29. I laughed at one point and said, "Who would pick any of the other answers on these...they're all ones!?!" Then I realized how narrow that was and exactly the point of the quiz. LOL!

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Josh

October 15, 2009  9:48am

I think I may have found a hick-up in the quiz setup. My answers were almost evenly split between 1s and 3s which averaged out to put me squarely in the "pragmatic leadership" group, even though only a couple answers were 2s.

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