“The Bench Warmer”

            I love sports. I like to play sports and I enjoy watching some sporting events. There are some “sports” however, that make no sense, like Curling and Cricket.

            Another thing that does not make any sense to me is for teams to pay millions of dollars to athletes that never get a chance to play. Some of these “benchwarmers” spend their entire careers either sitting on a bench or playing a few minutes during “garbage time” when the game is already decided.

            Our churches sometimes resemble sport teams. There are a just a few “starters” doing most of the work. The rest of the “players” remain inactive in the church pews, while others even fail to report and stay at home.

            A benchwarmer is someone that never plays or in the case of our churches, never serves the Lord. I know that all of us cannot be pastors, worship leaders, deacons or teachers. I am also aware that there is a time to sit and listen, as Mary did (Luke 10:38-42).

            A benchwarmer is a perennial church goer that believes that church attendance is enough. They may be faithful coming to church every Sunday, but they will rarely, if ever, get involved in any ministry or function of the church.

            Benchwarmers are guilty of laziness and spiritual apathy. All of these brothers and sisters are gifted and talented, but they are afraid, selfish or simply uncaring.

            On the other hand, I wonder if many of the benchwarmers in our congregations are so because of the selfishness of those that are more active in the ministry. It is not uncommon to see a few in the church “controlling” all the ministries, functions and activities. These brethren prefer to get burned out, rather than to share “their” ministries with others.

            The Lord selected twelve apostles, not just one (Matthew 10:1). He also endowed the churches with gifted believers, capable of serving in the ministry and caring for each other. All believers are gifted and all Christians are ministers, not just a few chosen ones (1 Corinthians 12:1-11).

            If you are a benchwarmer, get up and serve! If you are an active servant, look for benchwarmers that will help you to continue and expand the ministry.

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