Summary: This is a message designed to get your team off the bench (pew) and into the Game (ministry).
PUT ME IN COACH!
Well, beat the drum and hold the phone - the sun came out today!
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.
A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.
Oh, PUT ME IN, COACH - I’m ready to play today;
PUT ME IN, COACH - I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.
Well, I spent some time in the Mudville Nine, watchin’ it from the bench;
You know I took some lumps when the Mighty Casey struck out.
So Say Hey Willie, tell Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio;
Don’t say "it ain’t so", you know the time is now.
Yeah! I got it, I got it!
Got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes;
You know I think it’s time to give this game a ride.
Just to hit the ball and touch ’em all - a moment in the sun;
(pop) It’s gone and you can tell that one goodbye!
INTRODUCTION: Every baseball fan knows this song “Centerfield” by John Fogerty (Creedance Clearwater Revival). Over the past two decades it has almost replaced Take Me Out to the Ballgame as the quintessential baseball anthem.
A. I guess I like it because I identify with it.
1. It has something to say about people.
a. Personally, I never wanted to sit on the sidelines in the Kingdom.
b. I’ve always wanted to be in the center of it all … play Centerfield!!
c. You’ve got to respect a guy like that. He’s sitting on the bench but his heart is in centerfield.
2. As in almost everything else, there are groups - The Spectators and The Players. You can spend your life in the stands or on the field. Personally, in the important things in life, I want to be a Player. When I stand before the Lord, I want to hear “Well done you good and faithful player.” Spectators will never hear those words. Well done is for those who “do;” not for those who watch others do.
3. What I want to do today is instill in every believer here a desire to get in the Game.
a. I want your prayer to become, “Put me in Coach, I’m ready to play, today.”
b. I want you on the field; not in the stands.
4. Let’s take a look at a little guy who wanted in the game. He was forced to be a spectator, but he wanted in the game. (First Samuel 17): 24As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. 25"Have you seen the giant?" the men were asking. "He comes out each day to challenge Israel. And have you heard about the huge reward the king has offered to anyone who kills him? The king will give him one of his daughters for a wife, and his whole family will be exempted from paying taxes!" 26David talked to some others standing there to verify the report. "What will a man get for killing this Philistine and putting an end to his abuse of Israel?" he asked them. "Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?" 27And David received the same reply as before: "What you have been hearing is true. That is the reward for killing the giant." 28But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. "What are you doing around here anyway?" he demanded. "What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and dishonesty. You just want to see the battle!" 29"What have I done now?" David replied. "I was only asking a question!" 30He walked over to some others and asked them the same thing and received the same answer. 31Then David’s question was reported to King Saul, and the king sent for him.
We know the story well of David’s amazing victory over the Giant. But it occurred to me that David won more than one victory that afternoon. He won three. Before we can defeat the giants in our lives, we will have to defeat some other things, too. If we are to every win this great game of life, we are going to have to do it on three fronts.
WE CHALLENGE THE ENEMY ON THREE FIELDS.
I. FIRST DAVID HAD TO WIN A VICTORY OVER HIMSELF. His fears, his flaws, his past failures, his sorry station in life. He was a guy who was willing to play the hand he was dealt without excuses.
A. Fear keeps us off the playing-field more than anything else I can think of.