At the end of their book Elders Reformed, Jurgen Von Hagen and Tim Bayly, record a prayer from Martin Bucer. It is a prayer for God's people. It is a prayer for shepherds.
Pastoral care is essential to the health and life of any church. At First Pres we seek to honor Christ by caring for the sheep. This means that you will likely find an elder or pastor knowing you far more intimately than you have previously. Many times we know our pastor and his wife and children. Often, though, those same pastors and elders know very little of you.
Our church aims to correct that. We want our pastors and elders to know you just as intimately as you know them. We want to know your children and their friends. We want to know your sins and fears. We want to know your children's sins and fears.
To bring you into the final pastureland of heaven. We want you to taste, now, the care that the Great Shepherd has for you.
So, we pray with Martin Bucer:
May the Lord Jesus, our chief Shepherd and Bishop, grant us such elders and carers of souls as will seek his lambs which are still lost, bring back those which have wandered, heal those which are wounded, strengthen those which are sickly, and guard and feed in the right way those which are healthy, in the way we have described. Those who are sheep and not goats will allow themselves to be brought by such carers of souls and ministers of Christ through the word of the Lord into Christ' church and into his sheep-fold, and to be kept in it, healed, strengthened, guarded and fed, in all things obeying and gladly following him. For anyone who is born of God hears his word, and Christ's sheep hear his word and follow him.