What is your spiritual style?
I had an e-mail from Fr Jonathan Ivanoff today, urging me to participate in a Spiritual Style Research Project.
As the organisers of the project put it:
The Institute for Natural Church Development (NCD International) is developing a test that will help Christians identify
which of nine “spiritual styles” he or she presently displays: the sensory, rational, doctrinal, Scripture-driven, sharing, ascetic, enthusiastic, mystical, or sacramental style. The spiritual style describes the unique way you can best connect with God.
In order to produce such a test, NCD International needs the participation of many believers representing diverse spiritual traditions. Please visit www.3colorsofyourspirituality.org and fill in the online survey. You will get your results immediately. They will not be exact yet, as the test is still in the process of development, and your participation is part of that development. However, you will gain a first indication as to which of the nine styles mentioned above is likely to be your personal “antenna for God.”
Fr Jonathan explains why he wants Orthodox Christians, especially, to participate in the project:
I have been involved for some years now with a particular line of parish ministry having to do with parish revitalization and church health. There are some gentlemen involved in that ministry that have asked me for my help in some research they are doing, and that leads to this email to you.
There is a link provided below that will take you to a website for a survey that will take about 15 minutes. The researchers are looking for Orthodox Christians to take this survey on what they term “spiritual styles.” I hoping that enough of us can take this survey so that, quite frankly, I can explode some of their preconceptions (or even misconceptions) regarding Orthodoxy, so you would not only be doing me a big favor but doing our beloved Faith and Church a service by undertaking
Trust me, it is indeed for a good cause! I have been working with this people for a while, and they sincerely desire to know more about the Orthodox Christian faith, and taking this survey will be one way to help them do so.
From what I know of it the project is concerned with Christians of all traditions, but in many research projects of this kind Orthodox Christians are omitted or excluded, which results in the kinds of misconceptions Fr Jonathan refers to.
I would also add that the researchers also record countries, and it would be interesting to know if the “spiritual styles” vary from country to country, so it would be good if South African Christians of all traditions were to take part. Any Zionists out there reading this blog?
I did the preliminary survey, and was given my preliminary scores:
- Rational style was the lowest, at 103
- Sacramental style was highest at 117
And all the others were somewhere in between.
I have no idea how to interpret these results, though I would expect most Orthodox Christians to score fairly high on the “sacramental” one.
Is it on a scale of 100-120 or what? Otherwise it seems a fairly narrow range.
What is the highest, and what is the lowest possible score for any of those?
It’s impossible to tell, but perhaps all will be revealed when they’ve refined their survey, and their book comes out.
But I can see that the more who participate, the more accurate the result is likely to be, so if you have 15 minutes to spare, go to the site and answer the questionnaire, and if your results differ wildly from mine, come back and we can speculate in comments until the researchers come and spill the beans on what they are up to.