kids & communion
I Corinthians 11:23-29 – The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.
Communion is one of two sacraments Christ gave us (the other is baptism) - sacred traditions which Christians practice to remind us of our faith and to demonstrate our faith to the world. At Sandhurst, we provide believers the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel by celebrating the Lord’s Supper at least once a month. If we only observe communion during the morning worship hour after children are dismissed, then those children who have made professions of faith never celebrate communion AND further have no chance to observe it. So, we like to periodically celebrate the Lord’s Supper before children exit the service, but as the passage above emphasizes, this requires wisdom.
3 QUESTIONS TO DISCOVER WHEN MY CHILD IS READY FOR COMMUNION
Knowing that God takes the celebration of communion seriously, parents must help their children determine when and if they are ready to partake in this sacred ceremony. Consider answers to the following questions as guidelines to help determine your child’s readiness.
· Has my child made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ?
1. Acknowledged that they are a sinner
2. Articulated that Jesus died for their sin and is risen from the dead
3. Received Jesus’ forgiveness for their sins
· Does my child show evidence of conversion?
1. Conviction for sin
2. Drawn to God
3. Fruit of the Spirit
· Can my child explain the significance of communion?
1. Bread – represents the body of Christ, sacrificed for us as He hung on the cross
2. Juice – represents the blood of Christ, shed to pay our sin debt
HOW SHOULD I TEACH MY CHILD TO TAKE COMMUNION?
If you believe your child is ready to partake of communion, take time to discuss it with your child prior to communion services to ensure that his/her heart is fully prepared.
Teach your child to …
· Engage the service by singing, praying and reflecting.
· Examine their heart during reflection moments. Do they need to confess sin? Ask anyone for forgiveness? Forgive someone else?
· Remember our Lord, and what He did for them with gratefulness.
· Respect the moment, holding and taking the elements as the leader instructs.
HOW MAY I PREPARE MY CHILD WHO IS NOT READY FOR COMMUNION?
· Explain what people will be doing and thinking during the Lord’s Supper. Great learning can take place when a child watches a ceremony, especially when they have been prepared to notice and understand the details.
· Explain that God is in charge of communion, not you. Read the warning from 1 Cor. 11, detailing who may and may not celebrate communion. Emphasize that, for some people, not taking communion is obedience.
For a fuller discussion of children and communion, see these resources:
Lord’s Supper overview:
Why it’s important to teach kids about communion:
Should my child take communion:
How to explain communion to kids:
Home communion guide:
Preparing for Sunday worship:https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/preparing-for-sunday-worship/