Kids and Communion
This week (Oct 25) we will begin a special 4-week communion class for children 3rd grade and older. We are doing this for several reasons:
- Those who take communion need to be baptized believers who want to follow Jesus. Many of our kids are in a place where they have decided to make Jesus their forgiver and their leader and they need to know what is happening during the Eucharist.
- We want all our kids to see communion as a tangible reminder of the Gospel. Jesus died for our sins: The body of Christ was broken for us. The blood of Christ was shed for the forgiveness of our sins. This is GREAT news and we want our kids to know the Gospel and to understand why we celebrate this special meal of remembrance every week.
- We want to come along-side parents who are discipling their children to love God, love people, and participate in the worship life of our church. This class is a chance for kids to get age-appropriate teaching about communion. Ultimately it is the parent’s decision for when it is time for a child to begin taking communion.
One of my favorite moments during our worship service is during the distribution of communion. If a child is not taking communion, they put their arms over their chest and I (or another server) say a prayer over them. I love those prayer moments. Sometimes I offer a simple blessing, sometimes I will pray that they know how much God loves them– that they are drawn to trust in Jesus, that they grow in courage, that they love Christ with all their heart, soul, and mind. It is a brief moment of intimacy that I cherish. I say this because your child might be clamoring to take communion, but you are not sure he/she is ready. In some ways, this little prayer might be more effective– more of a remembrance, more of a reminder that God cares– than the bread and wine at this time. I love that our children are so tangibly included in our worship.
So parents, let us know how we can serve you as you build up your kids to be life-long worshipers. We look forward to sharing this class with them over the next 4 weeks. See ya on Sunday.
October 23, 2009 @ 2:54 pm
This is great, David. In other churches, I’ve been concerned about the practice of giving very young children communion. At Restoration, it has been reassuring to see the children reverently receiving the sacrament, and the youngest folks being prayed over.
It is my prayer that this class will be a wonderful time of learning about the way by which the sacrifice of Christ is made present.
October 23, 2009 @ 7:21 pm
How funny—we had that same thought, along the lines of “Can Erik get communion AND a blessing?” because we and he both value that so much. He will be he one to decide, but it’s helpful to think about phrasing the choice like you’ve outlined it. Thanks!!
October 26, 2009 @ 11:27 am
I think this is a great idea. Having grown up in the Roman Catholic Church, one of the most memorable moments I had was receiving my first Communion. Like baptism, I think a child’s first communion should be a “big deal.” Kudos to you David!