Elder's Prayer - March 18, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
36 students and 12 adult leaders have been together since 5pm on Friday for our annual Discipleship NOW weekend. It has been a terrific time hearing from God’s word and thinking carefully about how to apply God’s truth in our lives. We have been exposed to outstanding teaching.
Thank you to the church for graciously serving us this weekend. Church members kindly provided five meals for us and four families graciously opened up their homes for us to stay. We displaced an equipping class of 50 this morning so we could have our final session in the student center and some of you are displaced from your normal seats this morning. Thank you to all who have helped make this weekend possible.
Before I pray, I want to briefly share something that I shared with our student parents a few weeks ago. Albert Mohler quoted from a recent study that indicated the one, single most important predictor as to whether a young person would continue to be involved in the church after high school was if during that teenage period, did that student develop a friendship with an adult in the church – not their parent? Note this is JUST A predictor, NOT a guarantee. Nonetheless, the implications for each of us (whether a student, parent or an adult) is powerful to consider.
This doesn’t deemphasize the importance of parents. But it does emphasize the importance of discipleship relationships in the church for young people. Again, the single best predictor if a student will remain involved with a church post high school graduation – did they develop a friendship with an adult in the church – not their parent? This is one reason why student leaders serve. We want to be tools in the hand of the redeemer to impact students in ways that matter for the rest of their lives.
But Church, don’t just look to the student leaders to invest in students. This is work for ALL the saints. I can assure you, there is much work to be done by people at all stages of life. You can be that adult that establishes a friendship with a student so they can see gospel truths lived out in the life of someone not named Mom and Dad.
Church family, please join the student leaders as we come alongside parents in our efforts to minister to our students. Pray for our students. Evangelize our students. Disciple our students. Routinely engage our students in conversation about spiritual matters. Pray for the student leaders who serve them. Pray for the parents of these students who want nothing more in the world than to see their sons and daughters submit their lives to King Jesus.
Please don't miss the opportunity to evangelize and disciple these precious souls within the walls of this building as they are racing toward adulthood. It happens fast. Serve our students, serve their parents, serve our church, serve God by intentionally investing in the lives of our students.
Father, we aim to glorify You by consistently exposing students to the transforming power of scripture and the Gospel in partnership with parents. We aim to create a culture of discipleship that fosters a growing knowledge of and love for you God. We pray our students will develop a love for the church and for their lives to become increasingly more Christ-like as they grow toward adulthood. Help us serve our students toward this end for your glory.
As we approach the students, help us to preach and model the Gospel, not to assume it. Help us to be motivated by the gospel and trust in YOUR power to transform hearts so that gospel thinking will pervade all areas of student lives and of the ministry.
Father, we want your holy, inspired, infallible word to be at the center of our teaching. Help our students to see the sufficiency and centrality of scripture in all aspects of their lives as your word is proclaimed and exalted week in and week out from this pulpit and the in the student center.
We ask you Lord that students would value and understand both church membership and baptism as they are saved by your grace. We pray our students would love the church and grow in their love for the bride of Christ.
As we aim to create a stronger culture of discipleship in our church, I pray that this culture extends to our students. Help them to accurately see where they are and where they need to be in Christ. I ask that you will use relationships in this church as tools where consequential conversations about truth will result in students being conformed to Christlikeness.
I pray that Christ will be the most valuable treasure in their lives. That they will grow in holy affections so they independently desire the things of God. So they display and proclaim your glory to the lost world around them.