Time Out: Play your position

Topic / Time Out

Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)

A football team is composed of many players each of whom plays a different position. There is offense, defense, special teams, kickers, and so forth. Everyone has a little different job to do and they must all work together. If only 9 players run onto the field to try and score against a defense of 11 players, what will happen is obvious. Each player must be doing his part in order for the team to win. If only a quarterback went to play he’d never accomplish anything. Or if 11 quarterbacks went out then what would happen? As a group the purpose is to defeat the opposition, but each contributes in their own unique way.

That’s the way it is with Christians as well. God gives each of us special abilities, spiritual gifts and talents. He assigns us to the position He wants us to play and gives us each our own unique mission in life. If we don’t accomplish what He wants we are hurting the whole team effort. If someone in a family or church isn’t functioning as God wants them to the whole group is hurt. When we don’t pray, give, serve, help or witness as God would have us then everyone is the loser. That’s why so many families, churches and ministries struggle. Everyone has a part and everyone must play their part.

The best teams don’t succeed just because of a superstar, they win consistently because everyone plays together well as a team. The 1972 Miami Dolphins were the only professional football team to go undefeated through a whole season. They aren’t remembered for any outstandingly great players but for their play as a team. Any coach wants that. Our great coach, God, wants the same thing from His players. So get in the game and play your position!

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… If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it. 1 Corinthians 12:14-18 (MSG)

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10)

…each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. (1 Corinthians 7:7)

At the moment of salvation when the believing person is baptized into the body of Christ, the Holy Spirit gives to every believer one or more gifts, God-given abilities for service as He chooses (1 Corinthians 12:11)


  • What position does God want you to play in His game plan? Are you playing it?
  • What are some abilities that God has given you which you aren’t using? Why?
  • Are there any areas in which God would have you serve but you aren’t? Why aren’t you?
  • Is there anything you’re doing that someone else should be doing? What can you do to have others do that so you don’t have to?
  • Are you a good team player? Would others say you are a good team player? How can you improve in this area?
  • Are you more interested in your own performance, your statistics, what awards you get – or in the accomplishments of the whole group?


Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!

Posted on January 4, 2009

New eBookGo
Focused Youth Ministry ebook

85% off!

Focused Youth Ministry

This practical "how to" ebook will walk you through a 30-step process to discovering God's vision for your unique ministry context. The process also shows you how to implement that vision and put metrics in place to evaluate what is moving the vision forward and what isn't.

Price: $12.95 Limited time: $1.99