How to handle communion

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Salty, Sep 19, 2003.

  1. Salty

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    This past Sunday our church celberated communion. During the course of passing the juice, a child 2 years old on the front row, took a cup, immediately drank it and said "that was gooood" A young couple who are not saved also took part. They have no ideal what communion is all about. I am not advocating closed communion, however I think this was a bit too open. Mind you, I am not the pastor. Do you think I should address my concerns?
     
  2. GODzThunder

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    It is not up to the Church or even the Pastor to forbid or close communion to anyone. This is an ordinance that is between God and the individual. I think the part about the 2 year old probably gave God a good chuckle myself ;)

    As for the lost people taking communion, that is their sin (refusing to take part of communion is the sin of disobedience, taking communion with unforgiven sin, which a lost person certainly qualifies, is the sin of rebellion).

    God will deal with those people according to His divine will. You should just take communion and examine your walk and life.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    It most certainly IS up to the church how the communion is handled. Instructions should be printed in the bulletin, explaining who should/should not partake. Members only, other saved, minimum age, etc.

    The "let a man judge himself" is for those who partake. Church can set rules/regs.

    Also when/how it is consumed should be clearly spelled out. Some of our petrified saints have it down pat, but the visitor is bewildered.

    Rule of thumb: If a child cannot be controled or might spill it, he/she is too young.

    And those men/women distributing the elements should be careful that a 2 year old doesn't touch it. And if he did, they should intervene. Need someone with backbone there. Again, instruction ahead of time (privately) with those helping.
     
  4. Roy1

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    I have just discussed this issue with a new member of our Church yesterday. We are not open/ closed, but close in our communion. Once you have given the admonition from the scriptures and laboured the point as to who should participate and why some should not, and the consequences of those who participate unworthily, bring judgement upon themselves. This undoubtedly is adults, children as young as two have no concept of the communion. But I agree they ought to be kept under control.

    1Cor 11:27- 29 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

    If it gets to the point of a physical restriction (Adults) this would bring chaos to the supper.

    If you have these concerns by all means bring them to the attention of the Pastor. He may then explain biblically and practically why he has taken no action.

    Roy
     
  5. gb93433

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    From time to time I had given a sermon on it. Every time I gave the reason why it is done. I think people need to be reminded and not treat it as a sip at a bar or let's hurry up and get it done.
     
  6. Jim1999

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    The problem lies, not with the partakers, but with the servers. They ought not to have offered the cup and bread to them in the first place.

    I believe that communion is for the local assembly, but have never policed the table, as such. Let a man/person exam himself......that is the caution to all.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. GODzThunder

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    I will tell you how we handle communion. First, I center the entire service around it. The message has to do with an aspect of communion, such as seeking forgiveness of sins, remembering Christ, measuring & examining your life, etc. After the traditional invitation and alter call we pray then begin communion. Before the communion service begins I explain that communion is not for everyone but only for the saved and born again Christian. I also explain that everyone in the communion service is to be a participant.

    I tell them that if you have sin in your life that is unforgiven and you take communion then you are guilty of sin but if you do not take communion, lost or saved, then you are guilty of rebellion.

    I then explain that the only answer to all this is to examine yourselves (one purpose of communion). After a moment of silence I re-open the alter so that those lost or with unforgiven sin can "get right" with the Lord. After they have sanctified their lives we take part of communion.
     
  8. ralph dietch

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    Your pastor should say before it starts that this is for saved people.And yes closed to members only is not the way to go but you should not have little kids and people who are not saved taking it.As we do in my church before we start the pastor states this is for anyone who is saved.Then its up to the usher's to make sure who gets what.
     
  9. Squire Robertsson

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    Our church is "High Church" Northern Baptist. This affords our pastor the opportunity to treat our commemoration of the "Lord's Supper" with greater measure of formality than might be possible in other churchs. At the very beginning, he states that what will be taking place is for Christians who are without unconfessed sin and that it is a commemoration not a means of gaining further grace (ours is a heavily RC community). We have many that do not partake of the elements as they are passed through the congragation. As for the two year old, in our church, he'd be in the Nursery. And even if a thirsty munchkin was present and did down one of the thimble cups of the grape juice, well, there are worse things that happen in churchs today.
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    Come on, D?r. Bob. That is like saying, If a senior adult might spill it, he is too old. Any person, no matter what the age, is capable of spilling it.
     
  11. mark

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    The last two churches (and communities) I have been in have had communion on Sunday night, not Sunday morning. I note you didn't say which your church did, however, we have many more unsaved visitors in the AM service than the PM, thus the PM is more appropriate for an ordiance created for believers.
     
  12. Squire Robertsson

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    We change off month to month morning to evening service. This allows our members, who have responsibilities during the morning service in the Nursery, Beginner's and Children's Church, the opportunity to partake during the evening service.
     
  13. GODzThunder

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    The problem with all this is that you have no idea who truly is saved and who is lost. I have preached in many a Church as a revival speaker and have found Church members, preachers, & deacons who have given their life to Christ after what they thought were years, even decades of living a "righteous lie."

    I promise you that in alomst every ministry there are people who will absolutely shock you concerning the truth of their salvation. Many of these people have not only taken communion wrongly these many years but several administered such as well. You truly do not know saved from lost.

    The best you can do is just explain what communion is and explain that those with unforgiven sins (even lost, whose sins are all UNFORGIVEN), are cursed if they take communion and that those who refuse to take the communion that are in the congregation are in rebellion against God.
     
  14. mortenview

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    I have, in the past, served the Lord's Table just before Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving.

    At the church I am pastoring now, their custom has been, for years, to serve it the Tuesday before Easter.

    It is for the members of the local church; those saved and Scripturally baptised and members of this particular local N.T. Baptist Church.

    I firmly believe that it is up to each particular local church to decide what they will do, whether we agree or not; whether we believe it to be Scriptural - unscriptural or not.

    The Lord instituted it in the evening, he had His apostles ... not ALL Christians. The Apostles were called out of all of the disciples and with them, Jesus formed/instituted the first local Church.

    The ordinance of the Lord's Supper was given to the local church as was baptism. It was not given to individuals to do with it as they wished.

    I Cor. 11:26 "...ye do show the Lord's death till He comes."

    The purpose ... Luke 22:19 "... this do in remembrance of me." Jesus wants us to remember what He did for us on the Cross.

    The Lord's Supper does not save nor help to save, but does, in symbolic fashion, declare that we are walking in fellowship with Christ and the local church of which you are a member of.

    Baptism puts us into the local church as a member; it has to do with our relationship with Christ and the local church.

    The Lord's Table has to do with our Fellowship with the Local Church.
     

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