Our Stewardship Education Series this year is titled “Rethink: Generosity.” Here is a story to remind us of who we worship and to whom we belong.
A man went out hunting alone. He had the good fortune of killing an elephant, but no matter how he tried he could not bring the elephant back home. He hurried back to the village and appealed to his fellow villagers to help him bring his elephant home. They asked: “Whose elephant is it?” The man said with pride: “It is mine.” The people refused to help him. He went back to his kill and tried to devise some way of moving the elephant alone, but could not. After reflecting on his problem he went back to the village and repeated his appeal for help. The people asked: “Whose elephant is it?” He said: “It is ours!” The whole village came to his aid at once.
Ownership is essential to cooperation in almost any enterprise. Shared ownership is an essential factor to the health of any institution. It is not my marriage, but ours. They are not my children, but ours. The church does not belong to the pastor. It always bothered me to hear someone refer to “Rev. So and So’s church.” The city does not belong to the mayor. The state does not belong to the governor, or the country to the president. A sense of shared ownership is essential to true democracy in any institution.