A Christmas Story: 6 Important Lessons

You’ve Got to See this…

Christmas is just around the corner, we are full on into the season.  Turn on the TV and there are multiple Christmas movies and shows to watch. One of my favorites is “A Christmas Story.”

This move tells the story of Ralphie Parker who only wants one thing for Christmas: A Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle.  Throughout the movie, we are introduced to Ralphie’s quest and several colourful characters.  Throughout this movie are many funny moments that provides 6 important lessons for everyone!

Lesson #1: Persistence will pay off.

In his quest, Ralphie tries multiple ways ways to convince his parents that the BB Gun would be the best gift for him and in the end, he gets what he wishes for. In ministry we have to be careful not to give up when we do not see results right away.  Pray for vision and wisdom from God, and stick to the plan He has for your ministry.

Lesson #2 – There are numerous paths to success.

Ralphie realizes that there are people in his life that may help him in his quest for the BB gun beyond his parents – his teacher and of course the big man himself: Santa.

When dealing with challenges in ministry, remember to include multiple approaches to solving challenges. You never know which one will work.

Lesson #3 – Gimmicks do not last.

Ralphie was waiting in anticipation to receive a decoder ring in the mail.  He was excited to decode his first secret message from Annie’s radio broadcast only to discover it was a thinly veiled marketing ploy, or what he saysis “a crummy commercial.”  Gimmicks may get attention, but they do not usually stimulate long term growth. It is important to remember that what is funny to you might be offensive or hurtful to others. It is good to use innovative methods to share the gospel, but do not do it at the cost of a gimmick that could undermine you and your ministry’s integrity and impact.

Lesson #4 – Bless those who help you.

Ralphie’s father, who he refers to as “The Old Man” wins a leg lamp, to which is mother is horrified.  You probably do not want to give your leaders a leg lamp, but you can give them something meaningful for their work and commitment to the ministry. It is expected to give gifts around Christmas so find ways to treat them throughout the year.

Lesson #5 – Planning does not always work out.

There are times where we plan something down to the last detail, and for unforeseen reasons does not work out.  In the movie, the “Bumpus” hounds from next door enter Ralphie’s house and devour the turkey and the family has to go out for Chinese food on Christmas.

If your best laid plans are ruined, do something different and embrace it. The Chinese turkey turned out to be a powerful memory for the Parker Family.

Lesson #6 – Dad’s care.

One of the most touching scenes is on Christmas morning, after all the presents have been opened Ralphie is feeling down because he did not receive the BB gun.  His father tells him to look for one more present. There is a look of joy on Ralphie’s face and on his father’s. Our Heavenly Father wants the best for us, He has gifts for us.

Ralphie was a boy with a dream and a mission. Though it seemed like he wouldn’t get what he dreamed of, in the end he did. Dream big for your ministry!

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Matt is the Director of the Youth Ministry Institute at Vanguard College. He has over 20 years of student ministry experience all over the country. He has 3 kids. His 2 girls are in their teen years so he has lots of opportunity to put his student ministry years to good use at home everyday. He's completing a Masters in Adolescent and Family Counseling.