A church with a deep bench


In 2014, Kentucky basketball coach had a really good problem. He had too many talented players. You are only allowed 5 players on the court at any given time and an additional 7-10 players on the bench. Many teams play between 8-10 players during a game. Callipari had 9 High School All-Americans. His team looked like Michael Scott from the office when he asked two women out on the same night assuming neither would show up and instead, both women showed up. So Callipari instituted Platoons. Rather than substituting individual players, he would switch everyone on the court. Kentucky had so much talent, that the coach could use his team as two entirely different teams, meaning that opponents had to figure out how to try and guard two completely different teams. The results were devastating, resulting in a 31-0 record and going all the way to the Final Four. 


Great teams usually have incredible depth. When Brett Favre left the Packers, Aaron Rodgers was ready to step up and Rodgers led the Packers to a Superbowl Title. When the winningest team in NBA history heard their MVP, Steph Curry would be unable to play in the first round of this year’s playoffs, Steph’s teammate Draymond Green replied, “Next man up.” On great teams, a transition does not mean a step back. Great teams do not rebuild, they re-load.
This depth is how Paul envisioned the church. “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” II Timothy 2:2. Paul envisioned the church as a team who had great depth, at least four generations deep. Paul-Timothy-Faithful Men-Others. This Scripture came as a revelation to me when I was a student pastor because my ministry model was only two deep. Me-others. Even the students who I would mentor, I did not have the expectations for them to mentor others. Realizing this, I changed things up. I met and mentored volunteers, who would meet and mentor students, who would meet and mentor students. The results were powerful. Students were leading Bible studies, inviting their friends to church and mentoring and discipling others. It was when I began to see the results of the application of this Scripture, I began dreaming and asking God, “What would it look like for an entire church to do this? What if every person who was part of a church community, discipled and mentored another? What if we could leverage the potential of everyone in every pew?"


This is one of the fundamental reasons why Canvas exists. We want to help the people of Westerville, Ohio to lead where they are. We want a church full of disciples, people who are leading where they are. Imagine a church who can send out missionaries, full-time pastors and as they go to do what God called them to, the church can say, next man up. Imagine a church who is not dependent on a pastor but instead, dependent on God. Imagine a church where instead of complaints about, “Not being fed.” Members are actually feeding others. It’s time for a church that has a deep bench, a church with a platoon instead of a superstar.


Now you maybe disqualifying yourself from the responsibility of leading others. But first, let me say, that no one is truly qualified to represent God by leading someone else. I am certainly not, but we are all called to lead others and when we step up with our fishes and loaves of talent, expertise and Biblical knowledge, God will multiply it for His glory. If the idea of stepping up and helping someone else grow spiritually stirs something in your heart, join us. You may not be qualified to lead, neither am I, but you are called to lead. But calling is not enough, you need to make a commitment to lead. Starting in June we will meet weekly and begin discipleship co-horts all over the city as we once again discover that the Gospel works.