Friday, September 14, 2012

Five Finger Contract

A friend of mine shared this "Five Finger Contract" of setting expectations for a leadership conference.
Pinky – represents the little guy, the one who doesn’t speak up; we cannot forget him
Ring finger – represents commitment to the task at hand
Middle finger – disrespect? Nope – the opposite! It represents respecting rules, each other, facilitators, being on time, etc
Index finger – usually for blame, it reminds us that we hold ourselves accountable, with three fingers pointing back at us
Thumb – represents our attitude and our feelings; if it’s ever not “up”, we need to ask why
It’s a neat little device. It could also be used as a Christian disciple in everyday life. Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta is often quoted for representing each finger as a word in the phrase, “You did it to me,” with reference to treating the poor is how we treat Jesus Christ.

What if we merged the two?
Pinky – Preference for the poor; we start with the pinky, the little guy, the poor
Ring – Integrity; we keep our commitments, especially when sacrifices are required
Middle – Be countercultural; never use anything for disrespect, even if that's what everyone else is doing
Index – Christ comes first; like St. John the Baptist, point to the Lord in all things, and let your fingers pointing back remind you that others will know Christ through you as you move toward Him
Thumb – Honesty; if you are feeling "two thumbs up", spread the love; if you are down, relate that to our Lord in prayer, and humbly seek counsel if needed
I'd love to hear additions and different ideas on this. Feel free to post them in comments below - could be a great tool for youth ministry.
Image source


  1. You should use that great image of St. Thomas Aquinas wherein he holds up his right hand with his fingers extended, and rests his left index finger on his right thumb.

    Joke captions for that image include, "Here are five reasons why I am smarter than everybody else," and, "When the steak feels like the skin of your thumb, that's when you know your steak is done!"

    1. I had to Google that image of St. Thomas - what a weird thing to Google...

  2. I like this idea. And I agree, it could be very useful for youth ministry. Thank you for sharing.

    Here's a few I came up with:

    Five fingers = an open hand reaching out to others in welcome; lending a hand through service; working with others...

    Four fingers = karate chop :-) breaking down barriers; overcoming obstacles; being steadfast in the fight

    Three fingers (pinky, ring, and middle) = raising the bar; setting goals; leadership

    1. Cool! What a different spin on the concept - the whole hand rather than just the fingers. Thanks, Gabby!