A bit of light hearted relief seems in order, therefore.
Prepare to take part in the alternative multiple choice test to see to what extent you are...
A CAPABLE CURATE.
Answer A, B or C, according to which statement best fits. BE HONEST.
1. Vocation and Ministry
A. I can give an account of my vocation to ministry and mission and my readiness to exercise ordained ministry within God's church, wherever I am called, far afield or close to home, in poverty, in sickness and health; till death do us part. I am a natural leader, and an effective, even reflective, practitioner. I have entirely memorised Canon Law and am responsible for several successful ecumenical and interfaith partnerships across the known world.
B. I feel called to solitude.
C. Sometimes I literally wake up in the middle of the night and think 'O God, what on earth am I doing here?'
A. I am prepared to lay down my life in loving, collaborative, Spirit-inspired service, in personal discipleship, in diaconal, priestly (and, God willing, episcopal) ministry. My exuberant prayer life is continuously inspired by the gifting of God's grace and I am fully prepared for the stresses and joys that someone of my calibre will inevitably face in leadership.
B. I feel called to silence.
C. I normally say a few prayers in the morning. I have read a few books on spirituality - some were dull. I know what the letters BVM stand for. I fancy Rob Bell in his (liberal evangelical) glasses. I thank God for the smell of blossom after rain.
3. Personality and Character
A. I show insight, openness, maturity, integrity and stability in all my personal relationships. My leadership style is transparent and I have a sixteen step daily self care programme that I never deviate from. Obviously I look after all my less able colleagues as well.
B. I am drawn to the quiet life.
C. I am endlessly frustrated at the enormous gulf between by dreams for mission and ministry and my complete failure as a human being to be even civil in the early morning to those I love most.
A. All healthy. They are characterised by empathy, respect and honesty. I can resolve conflict sensitively, even conflict about pews. I can form community within diversity and other long phrases.
B. I am more at home in the company of the Almighty than with anyone else.
C. I love people, except on occasions when they are quarrelsome, petty minded, judgemental and arrogant. Like me.
5.Leadership and Collaboration
A. I can manage others, lay and ordained, with my eyes shut. I exercise effective collaborative leadership and show an integration of authority and obedience at all times and in all places. In other words, I know when to be boss and when to let someone else think they are.
B. I love working alone.
C. I find this whole collaboration thing quite messy. Things were a lot simpler when I was a lay person and could complain from time to time about the dreadful clergy.
6. Mission and Evangelism
A. I have written extensively about the imperatives of the gospel and the nature of contemporary society. I can enculturate church for the post modern age - I have Fresh Expressions and cool acronyms coming out of my ears. When my single handed re-writing of Common Worship was published, the entire Liturgical Commission was made redundant.
B. I pray daily that God will save the lost.
C. I really want to go out there and spread the word, but will they think I'm a crackpot?
7. Faith and Quality of Mind
A. I am a skilled (sometimes the only correct) interpreter of the bible and I communicate the fundamental traditions of the faith accurately, reading hugely and becoming a person of vision and general wonderfulness. I am disciplined in study and can give an account of how my personal commitment to Christ and discipleship is being shaped within the roles and expectations of leadership and oversight of very long sentences.
B. I love to read alone.
C. I get down when I get a duff mark after 52 hours of study and writing on Theological Reflection. I don't often feel like I'm losing my faith but occasionally I feel like I'm losing my mind.
Mostly As: You should apply to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
Mostly Bs: You should probably become a hermit.
Mostly Cs: You are a normal Curate and human being. Congratulations and keep up the good work.