Elder's Prayer - February 21, 2021
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
Since 5 o’clock Friday evening, there have been 37 students spending nearly all of their waking hours here at church. We are wrapping up our annual Discipleship Now weekend for our 7th -12th grade students this morning. It could not have happened without the 16 adult leaders devoted to discipling students on a weekly basis or the more than 25 other adults that either fed or housed our students and leaders this weekend. Let me say thank you to all those who make ministry to our students and parents possible.
Dr. Nathan Rose has been our speaker this weekend. Nathan has served Liberty Baptist Church as Senior Pastor since March 2012. God has kindly used Nathan as a tool to grow Liberty Baptist into a healthy church displaying God’s character to the world through holiness, unity and love.
Nathan is a faithful pastor who loves and values the local church. He has served our students terrifically by preaching 3 sermons from the book of Mark. Each sermon revealed what Jesus taught about the true cost of discipleship. I will tell you what I told the students last night. Nobody can fairly accuse Nathan of preaching easy-believeism. He was clear and faithful to the text in his teaching. We are grateful for his service to the students this weekend and trust you too will be grateful to God as you get to hear him preach again from the book of Mark.
This will be Nathan’s second time to preaching in this room but first time as Dr. Nathan Rose. He earned his PhD less than 2 months ago from Midwestern Seminary. He first preached here in May of 2019.
Nathan is also a faithful husband. His wife Rachel and their 3 children are gathering with their church family in Liberty this morning. The family anxiously awaits Nathan’s return home as the 5 of them will soon be piling into their car and heading towards Florida for a well-deserved vacation. So, after the service, say Hi to him, but don’t make him late getting back home.
Before I pray, let’s consider again our recent emphasis of thinking more intentionally about evangelizing as a church. This theme will be revisited many times throughout the year. But as a church, let’s not overlook the opportunity to evangelize within our own walls. Our students need to be “made disciples.” They don’t inherit their faith. It must become their own. Every student must personally be transformed by the irresistible grace of the gospel just as their parents have been saved. Let me encourage you to come alongside parents to reinforce the teaching and gospel instruction taking place at home. Our students need believers, in addition to their parents, speaking truth into their lives and living gospel motivated lives before their eyes.
Next week, after our morning gathering, the students will be serving a spaghetti luncheon. It takes place in the fellowship hall immediately after our service concludes next Sunday. Let me encourage you to attend and enjoy the food they serve you. But let me also encourage you to engage them in conversation. Maybe you need to start by introducing yourself. Then ask them some questions about the Nathan’s teaching from weekend. It’s an easy opening. Just engage the young people in the church.
This is not work only done by adults wearing long sleeve grey t-shirts this morning. This is body work. This is the work of the local church. This is work we joyfully embrace as the church looks beyond herself to reach the lost outside these walls WHILE not neglecting our opportunity to be gospel heralds within our walls too.
Father God, it is an undeserved privilege to serve you by serving your church and in particular serving our students and their parents. We strive to magnify You by making disciples of Christ through teaching our students. We know the primary means You use to save and to sanctify is the preaching of Your Word. It is our desire for every student to be saved and then grow in maturity. We know Your word is sufficient, powerful, and effective. We pray Your Spirit will bring spiritually dead students to life. I pray we will be found faithful as we preach and teach the Scriptures and You will cause students to respond in repentance and faith.
Father God, I’m grateful for all those You have uniquely equipped and called to disciple students. May each be found faithful in their ministry to teach and model Christ before the students. I pray You will protect all from moral failure that would disqualify them serving students. I pray You will expand their influence as they come alongside parents to help reinforce what is taught in the home. I pray these leaders will demonstrate genuine humility and growing dependence upon You in a manner that is clear and obvious for the students to observe. I pray those with influence over students would indeed be worthy of imitation.
We know Your word calls parents to bring their children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord and to teach all that the Lord has commanded. Help us a church to come alongside parents to support them in complementary ways as they seek to fulfill their responsibility to evangelize, disciple and teach their children. May the efforts of our church always be seen as in addition to, and never instead of parents, as we seek to minister to students and parents alike.
Father we know prayer is central to any discipling ministry. I pray this church is found faithful in praying regularly and zealously for our students and their parents. Burden us to fulfill what You have commanded us to do – pray for our students because You are glorified in our prayer. Pray because You hear and act on our behalf. You know our needs, make us more reliant and dependent on You through our prayer. We fervently pray that You would save and sanctify our students. We know the depths of our depravity and we know no one comes to know Christ without the Father first drawing them. We pray you would do your sovereign work to save and sanctify these students. Use us as You please for Your honor and glory alone. Amen