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Behold, a team went forth to play a game of baseball.

Just as the umpire was saying, "Batter up," the catcher for the home team arrived and took his place behind the plate. The center fielder didn’t show up at all but sent his regrets. The third baseman likewise failed to come to the game, having been up late the night before. The shortstop was present, but left his glove at home. Two of the substitute fielders were away on a weekend trip but said they were there in spirit.

The pitcher went to the mound and looked around for his teammates. But his heart was heavy, for their positions were empty. The game was announced, the visitors were in the stands, and there was nothing to do but pitch the ball and hope for the best. But in addition to pitching, he had to cover first and third base, as well as short and center field.

When the absent players heard that their team had lost, they were very upset. They held a meeting and decided to get a new pitcher.

Like a baseball team, the church can’t survive without everyone pulling their weight. The pitcher—-the pastor-—is important, but unless everyone else shows up and fields their position or gets a hit, the game will be lost.

(From a sermon by Johnny Creasong, "The Gambler" 1/28/2009)

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