Elder's Prayer - September 24, 2017
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
It was brought to my attention this past week, that 7 years ago this church took a momentous step in voting to affirm the elder’s recommendation to call Bret Capranica to be our pastor teacher.
Before the church voted to affirm him, the elders had to introduce Bret to the church and express why we were confident in making this recommendation. One element of that introduction included a brief video we asked Bret to make so we could share it with the congregation prior to him coming for a weekend full of preaching, meeting members and answering questions.
I was reminded of that introduction clip this past week and realized that many sitting in this room today probably have never seen the video. Well, that will no longer be the case as we play the video shared with the entire church the last week of August 2010.
Bret, on behalf of the elders and the entire church, I want to express our appreciation to you for your 7 years of service to this church. You, Kelly and your entire family have been an extravagant means of God’s grace to each of us in this body. God has used you powerfully these first seven years of ministry with us, even without the benefit of a proper installation service. Praying that it is God’s will for your family to co-labor with us for many many years to come.
Your word tells us that Christ gives specific spiritual gifts to people in the church whose primary mission is to minister the Word of God. In Ephesians 4, your word tells us that Christ gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. We know this to be true because your word is infallible. We also know this to be true because we have tangible evidence of Your work in the person of Bret Capranica, gifting him to be a shepherd.
He is a minister of the word. He explains the gospel. He shepherds this flock by teaching your word, week in and week out. He does this for the purpose of equipping the saints so that we can minister to each other resulting in the building up of Your church. Thank you God for gifting and calling Bret.
You prepared him well to serve us. From serving as a pastor at a young age to seeking the extensive biblical training from two of the best seminaries in the world, to pastoring in California post seminary, his formal and practical training were just what this church needed. Your timing of bringing Bret to Summit Woods was perfect. We regularly benefit from his experience and training You meticulously ordered.
Father, You created in him a passion for discipleship. A passion to pour biblical truth into others. You caused him to have a supreme confidence in the sufficiency of scripture that applies to all areas of life. Thank you God for giving us such an example in our midst to watch and to learn from. Thank you for giving him understanding, passion and certainty in your holy perfect word.
I thank you God too for Kelly and the kids. Thank you for their patience and willingness to share Bret with the church, even at inconvenient times. Thank you for Kelly’s gift of hospitality as she graciously opens her home to all and is continually ready to offer encouraging words. You have uniquely equipped her to teach women of all ages the truth of scripture and how ladies can practically implement the truth of scripture in their homes. And what a joy it is to see the kids grow in grace through the years. Thank you God for this example of a godly family even in their imperfections. Help us as a church to be faithful to pray for this family and love them well.
I pray that you will give Bret discernment and integrity as he instructs and counsels us to be obedient and faithful to your Word. Keep him humble. Don’t let the evil one get a foothold into his life. Help him to grow in his dependence on you. I pray for the men You have placed around him to hold him accountable and to boldly admonish him when necessary.
As a church, may our appreciation not be centered on the man you created but instead focused on You, the Creator. Help us to recognize and marvel at your kindness to us. It is your love and grace that allow us to co-labor with this dear family. Your love for your church and for us is incomprehensible. Thank you for the shepherds you place over us to teach, guide and protect us. May all gratefulness, honor and glory be directed to You – our loving creator, sustainer and savior – the only one deserving of glory.