Published: 3 years ago

Back to the Future: The Volunteer Quiz Edition

It’s October 21, 2015, kiddies. Which – if you’re a child of the 80’s – can only mean one thing:

The future is here.

That’s right. Today is the day that Marty McFly traveled to in Back to the Future, Part II. And my inner 16 year old couldn’t be more geeked about it. So in the spirit of one of those ridiculous Facebook quizzes, I thought we’d have a little fun and travel down memory lane (or is it the present?) and ask the question…

Which Back to the Future character is most like that one volunteer on your team?

(Disclaimer: this is in no way meant to be a serious attempt at volunteer assessment. Save your hate mail for December 18, when I ask the question “Which Star Wars Dark Jedi Is Your Chairman of Deacons Most Like?”)


The George McFlyThe George McFly.

Marty’s dad seemed like a lost cause. He was the quintessential nerd, unable to stand up for himself and hopelessly out of place. But a little coaching worked wonders. Which of your team members needs some extra investment to help them discover how they’re wired?


The Old West Bartender

The Old West Bartender. 

You forgot all about the minor character in Part III, which is a shame, because he delivered one of the franchise’s best lines:

Marty: Do you have a back door in this place?

Bartender: Uh, yeah. It’s in the back.

Your team’s bartender gives just the right information. Forget about context or warmth. Get to the point and get ’em out of there.


The Doc Brown

The Doc Brown.

Quirky. Batty. Daffy. Yet strangely brilliant and supremely loyal. Every volunteer team leader needs a Doc in their corner to help them think outside the box and imagine what could be.



The Goldie WilsonThe Goldie Wilson. 

Remember Goldie? He was the soda jerk turned Mayor of Hill Valley, and he was always…always positive and upbeat, never letting the Biff Tannens of the world drag him down. Your team has a Goldie: the cheerleader that always sees the silver lining.


The Principal StricklandThe Principal Strickland.

Rule maker. Rule follower. Iron fister. Your principals on your team will make sure that everyone else keeps their nose clean and their steps straight. The only problem is: no one likes Principal Strickland. Slackers!


The Vanishing PhotographThe Vanishing Photograph. 

Remember in BTTF Part I when Marty’s family kept disappearing out of the photograph? If you don’t do a good job of shepherding and keeping up with your vols, you’re going to have a Dave or Linda that just…ceases to exist.



The Marty McFly Singing Johnny B. Good.

When Marty found his sweet spot, everyone knew it. And when a volunteer finds theirs, the same thing will happen. Even if they seem ahead of their time, give them the instruments they need to succeed and get out of their way.


The Flux Capacitor

The Flux Capacitor. 

After three movies, I still can’t explain exactly what it does, but I know what happens when it’s missing. You have those utility players on your team as well. Love them. Protect them. Engage with them and keep them in the game. You don’t want to know what happens when your flux capacitor goes out.


The Biff TannenThe Biff Tannen.

It seems that every movie has a villain, just like every volunteer team has a bully. There will always be Biffs among us. They’re toxic to your team, they’re bad for your health, and they usually make the whole place smell like manure.


The Lightning StrikeThe Lightning Strike.

Your last “volunteer” isn’t a volunteer at all, but the irreplaceable, uncontested most important member of your ministry. You can have a perfect plan, a vehicle running at the right speed, and an eye on the future. But if the Holy Spirit doesn’t strike, all of our strategy is for nothing.


Is there an eleventh volunteer I left out? Does your ministry have The Hoverboard? The Clocktower Lady? The Clint Eastwood? Come on, fellow 8o’s nerds. Comment below.

Start the conversation.

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