Communion and Children

bfb140317-last-supperHere at BeFree, elementary and middle school children attend the communion portion of our service, on the third Sunday of each month. This month we celebrate Communion this Sunday 2/15.

Here are some guiding thoughts and questions to help prepare your child for Communion:

 What is Communion?

Communion is a church sacrament that Jesus began during the Last Supper. It serves to help Christians remember and celebrate what Jesus accomplished on the cross as our Savior and Redeemer. It is important to clarify that the elements symbolize Christ’s body and aren’t his actual flesh.

Some helpful passages to read with children:

*Last Supper accounts in the Gospels (See Matt 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 13-14)

*The Servant King story in Sally Lloyd Jones’ Jesus Storybook Bible

When should children begin to take Communion?

Although scripture is silent on when children should begin Communion, all children who have professed faith in Jesus and are actively participating in all other aspects of the worship gathering (singing, prayer, etc.) are welcome to participate. This is a very personal decision for families to make and we trust that you will prayerfully consider when your child is ready.

If your child doesn’t seem ready, we still welcome them to sit quietly and observe. It is very valuable for children to experience the rhythms of corporate worship so that they can begin to understand these structures and feel comfortable about participating themselves.

What does it look like to take Communion?

Whether or not your children participate in Communion, it is helpful to talk with them about how to prepare their hearts, minds and bodies for Communion. This includes:

*We walk slowly and quietly. We sit calmly.

*We are silent or use whisper voices unless joining in singing.

*We take one cup and piece of bread.

*We hold the elements until the leader signals for everyone to partake.

*We think about: what Jesus did for us on the cross, give him thanks, examine hard things we need to give to him.

*Refer to Paul’s instructions on Communion (See 1 Corinthians 11)

Additional Resources:

*These are two great blog posts that I used to help write this handout:

http://www.thevillagechurch.net/the-village-blog/should-my-child-take-communion/

http://www.northwake.com/children-and-the-lords-supper/

*This is short video of Tim Keller explaining the significance of Communion, geared for adults. http://www.jesus.org/following-jesus/communion/what-are-the-purposes-of-the-lord-s-supper.html

*Check back on this blog next week. On Sunday, the elementary and middle school DIG classes are devoted to explaining Communion’s meaning, purpose, and expectations. I’ll post the kids questions about Communion, along with more child friendly resources.

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