One of jewels that we discovered this year is a movie on UP TV called “Christmas for a Dollar.” A father and his 6 children struggle to make ends meet after the death of the wife and mother. With the approach of Christmas, gifts are an extravagance that they cannot afford. But the father has saved pennies throughout the year so that they have one dollar in coins. He offers the dollar to all of the children, telling them that they can use part of it for their gift, one gift for one sibling.
Christmas seems to be the time of year when we most often assess what we have and what we don’t have. We do it in our personal lives–how much can I afford to spend on presents, does my child really need another toy? We do it in our professional lives–do I have enough volunteers, how am I going to get enough people to fill the bus?
Money, people–they are obvious resources. But there are others that we often don’t account for as frequently and as thoroughly.
This is where this TV movie shines. Each child creates a gift for one other child–some using material resources (wood and tools to create a box) and others using actions (good acts like shining everyone’s shoes, inviting a lonely woman to celebrate with the family). “Resources” are more than what we see.
The next time that you are wondering what you have and getting frustrated by what you don’t, think about what you have in these areas too.
- Knowledge: What do I or those I minister with know that we can use to move our ministry forward?
- Physical: What physical resources, e.g., spatial, Internet-based, do we have that are underused or not even active?
- Perceptual: How do people in my parish, school, or diocese perceive the ministry that I lead? How can we build on that perception to further our ministry?
- Political: Who has the influence to help further our goals? Parents? Pastor? Key donor?
- Organizational: What organizations are we connected to? How can those connections help us do what we do more easily, e.g., piggy-backing events, using them as a source for speakers?