Called to be a benchwarmer…

They show up to practices. They learn the rules of the game. They know exactly what they need to do if they ever need to do it. They know their part by heart. But when game time comes they are professionals at doing only one thing: sitting on the sidelines, warming up the bench, watching the game but never participating in it.

In 1 Corinthians 12 Jesus talks about the different parts that people play in the body of Christ. He appointed some to be apostles, prophets, teachers, have the gift of healing, helping and guiding others, and I think many Christians have added one more part, “appointed to be a benchwarmer at church for two hours every Sunday morning”. To come to practice. To learn how to play the game. To understand exactly what they should do. But to never play their part.

I don’t know what God has called you to do. I don’t know the gifts, talents, desires, and opportunities that you have to be involved in spreading God’s love to the people around you but I have one thing I DO know for sure: God has not called you to be a benchwarmer. He does not call you to sit on the sidelines and cheer others on. He has called you to participate in the game. He has called you to play a unique and important role in His Body.

I used to think that the only parts that mattered were the ones that were noticeable by everyone. The ones where people were on stage. When others knew their names. They made the biggest difference in the Kingdom of God, after all, they were the most well-known. The other parts…well, they weren’t so important.

That’s a lie. Every part is important. Whether people see what you do. Whether they don’t. Everyone is called to fulfill a specific role and without them the body would never function the way that it should.

Pastors are important because they share the gospel to the congregation and help them live life following Christ.

Sunday School teachers and volunteers are important because they are teaching the next generation about Christ and building their foundation of the knowledge of Christ and of His Word.

The media team who makes our church services accessible to watch by people all around the world are important because they play a part in spreading the gospel to people who may not have it available to them.

Event coordinators are important because they create fun events for people to come together for fellowship and it creates an opportunity to bring unbelievers in to share the gospel with them.

Worship leaders and people who sing in choir are important because they use their voices to praise God and to lead others into worshiping God with their voices at church.

The person who cleans before and after church service is important because they create a clean and welcoming environment for people to be in.

The greeter at the beginning of church service is important because they create a friendly atmosphere for newcomers as they step foot into the church

God’s calling for your life also extends past the four walls of your church on Sunday morning.

Maybe God calls you to use your growing business to bring in finances to the church or to support missionaries overseas.

Maybe God calls you to be a celebrity or a sport star who always brings glory to God through your talents.

Maybe God calls you to visit the rehab center, homeless shelter, or nursing home every week and love the people in your community in the way that you can.

Maybe God calls you to write and encourage others through your words whether it’s in a book, a magazine, or even a blog.

The opportunities and ways to serve God are limitless.

God may not have called you to be on stage. He may not have called you to a position where you are noticed, but in the end what you do makes a difference. Your role, whatever it may be, and no matter how insignificant it may feel is important in God’s kingdom, in His Body. People may not notice it or esteem it, but God does.

What are your gifts? What are your talents? What do you have a passion for? Where can you play your part?

You are never too old or too young to begin.

But whatever you do… remember: God calls you for more than just being a benchwarmer. He calls you to play in the game. He calls you to do your part in spreading the Good News of Christ wherever you go and in whatever you do.

Be blessed! Anna… 



6 thoughts on “Called to be a benchwarmer…

  1. Pingback: When you need to stop serving | daughter by design

  2. Remember our priest sharing something like this recently… It’s hard to find people willing to play second fiddle… They are the people to be most appreciated… The ones who can help out backstage before the show begins…
    Something tells me that Jesus too was that kind of a person.. Coming on a donkey when he could have easily chosen a horse… hanging out with fishermen when he could have spent time with the scribes….Also think of him as being an obedient son before his ministry began…A simple carpenter happy to help his dad out in his expertise. :)…


    • What a great way to think of it! Jesus was in the “background” for the first 30 years of His life. He was the King of Kings and He never sought a stage or popularity of people even though He deserved to be center stage from the very beginning. What a wonderful example from all of us believers to remember when it comes to serving Christ. We need to be humble in all that we do just like He was no matter what way He calls us to serve Him in. 🙂


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