Professional basketball teams have 12 players on the bench. For most teams, the starting five are the stars. The sixth man can make or break an organization. An outstanding team may have ten excellent players. Usually, the final person on the bench is good enough to make the team but does little more than help the stars practice. They occasionally get into a game but only when the unit is up, or down, by a large number of points.
The 12th player is here if you need them. They can get in the game if there is an emergency that would require their services. But they don’t expect to play. They are happy to be on the team, will show up at practice, and is more than willing to stand on the sidelines. They want their name on the trophy and would love to be called a champion, but they do not expect to contribute much to the effort.
This analogy is the way I think of most people when it comes to their Church community. They are happy to be here and plan on showing up most weekends. For whatever reason, they do not expect to contribute very much. They want to be told, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” without doing any real serving. They hope that just being on the team is enough for the coach.
One constant plea of faith is to stop acting like the 12th player on the team and start trying to contribute like the starting five.