Sometimes, whether we like it or not we are stakeholders in a variety of circumstances.
We pay our due taxes and, in accordance with the democratic process, entrust our elected government to make the necessary investments on our behalf that will deliver the services we need.
As individuals we all have our own views about where the money should come from and how it should be most fairly apportioned. We are stakeholders, therefore, in the life of the nation and people power can be extremely effective.
Beyond our control
Unfortunately, there are times when things go seriously wrong, as happened in the banking industry. As a consequence we have been plunged into recession which seems to be showing little sign of easing. When something of this magnitude and beyond our control takes over we feel impotent in the face of such a crisis.
There are many other examples of being a stakeholder which give an entirely different feel. We were, and are, still part of the gloriously successful Olympic Games. The national pride and feel-good factor lifted the whole of the country to renewed hope and determination to prove to the rest of the world that as a nation we have the capacity to collectively make a difference on a number of fronts.
The legacy of the Games has been much talked about and the various plans and ideas will take shape over the coming months and years. As stakeholders, we all need to be involved in whatever way we can to make this happen.
As Christians we are stakeholders in the institution of the church. Whether we are Catholic or Anglican or any other denomination we have a vested interest in the life and work of that institution. For us in our Parish we belong to the established church with the Queen as its supreme governor. It is unique in that it provides for the spiritual needs of all the people of the land.
C of E strength
The great strength of the Church of England is its broad diversity and that, akin to our elected parliament, it has its own parliament or synod. The Synod makes decisions on behalf of its members. We are stakeholders in an institution that has been entrusted with the spiritual health of the country. This means that if we are to play our part fully, we must engage with the church and its vision for the future. As in politics, things do not always run smoothly.
Mistakes and unwise decisions can bring a host of unintended consequences into force which detract from the solid Biblical foundation on which the church is based. Strong commitment to making things work for the good of its stakeholders should be the common aim. We have seen what enthusiasm can bring about and if we could inject some of that same energy into the life of the church then we will see just as positive an outcome as the Olympics have proved to be possible.
One of the lasting impressions will be that hard work, commitment and joyful enthusiasm are the essential ingredients rather than the negative ones of apathy and the 'leave it to someone else approach'.
As a parish we can be infinitely more effective if we all offered our contribution. I think one of the challenges for this autumn must be to think what we can do to make this possible. Your church needs your help and your support particularly the younger and newer members of the parish. It's your energy that can make things happen and will make the difference.
Jesus said 'the harvest is ready but the labourers are few'. I pray that with your help we can increase the labourers to bring in the harvest.