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Summary: Learn how to find and fulfill your place on the "team" with this inspiring message about the church as the body of Christ.

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Get Off The Bench

Filling Your Place on the Team

6/4/03

I. Introduction

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 shortstop and center field.

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

Why did this team lose? Was it because the pitcher couldn’t pitch a perfect curve ball? Was it because his fastball wasn’t fast enough? Or was it because the pitcher just couldn’t do it all by himself?

Tonight I’m going to challenge you to Get Off the Bench, and we’re talking about Filling Your Place on the Team. You see, we all have a spot, or a position on the field. NOBODY is a bench warmer. But you have to decide to play the game. The first thing you have to do is show up. You have to have the ability to show up. You can’t play the game if you’re not even in the vicinity of the field.

Obviously you have that ability because you’re here. Others, for whatever reason, think they can just watch the game on TV. Some think it’s half-time ALL the time. Others just don’t like the game and never come around the field. Still others are playing on the opposing team. But not you, you’ve shown up, but it takes more than showing up to play the game. You gotta have your equipment and take your position on the field. So, where’s your spot?

II. Where’s My Spot, Coach?

1 Corinthians 12:14-18 (MESSAGE)“14I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. 15If Foot said, "I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body," would that make it so? 16If Ear said, "I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head," would you want to remove it from the body? 17If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? 18As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.”

God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it. So, where are you? Are you a foot, a nose, an armpit? Are you a knee or a shin that always gets kicked by 3 year olds?

When I first started playing softball for the church I grew up at, I was 15, and although I had played baseball growing up, this was my first year playing on a softball team. The two positions that I thought were the worst positions in softball were right field and catcher, because there wasn’t any action in those positions. Well, sure enough, when I asked, “Where’s my spot, Coach?” he told me to go to either catcher or right field. And you know when somebody hit the ball to me, I caught it. And when somebody would hit the ball to the left fielder and he’d miss it, I’d gloat to myself, “If I were over in left field, I would have caught that ball.” And wouldn’t you know that the next ball hit to me would roll so slow that my grandma could field it, but it went right through my legs. If I would have had my focus on my position, and where the coach wanted me, I would have played my best and did my part, but when I got to looking at the left fielder and criticizing him, I lost my focus and the team suffered. You see, you may think your spot on the field is the worst one, but if you stick with it and do your part, you’ll be promoted. I finally learned that and by the end of my time playing with that softball team, I was the premier left fielder and 4th or 5th in the line-up every time.


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