Welcoming Children to the Lord’s Supper at Church of the Servant, Grand Rapids, Michigan
About twice a year at Church of the Servant, children who have expressed to their parent(s) a desire to participate in communion are invited, along with their parent(s), to attend a class taught by Pastor Jack Roeda. Following the class, the names of those children who would like to participate in the Lord’s Supper are placed in the bulletin, and the children are each formally welcomed to the table at a communion service during which they and their parent(s) are invited to stand where they are as the pastor asks each child a simple question: “[Name], do you love Jesus?” and “Do you desire to follow him and be his disciple?” Following that, the congregation is asked the same question through the Invitation to the Table.
The Lord’s Supper
A class for children and their parent(s) developed by Jack Roeda at Church of the Servant, Grand Rapids, MI
Read the children’s picture book Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox Ask: Why do you think I read this story as we gather to learn about the Lord’s Supper? What did Jesus put in our hands to start our memory?
Meals celebrate special occasions
Different names: The Lord’s Supper, Communion, Mass, Eucharist, meal, table, the holy meal, the table of the Lord
Jesus is the host; we are the guests
In the meal we look:
Do this in remembrance of me
On the night that he was betrayed
Jesus is now in heaven
Calling on the Spirit
Communion with Jesus in the Spirit
The great banquet when all tears are going to be wiped away and death will be no more
Communion of believers. These people are my brothers and sisters in Jesus.
The bread and wine on the table signify Christ’s body and blood (a flag signifies a country and a kiss signifies love.)
In the invitation we ask ourselves:
Do I love Jesus?
Am I sorry for my sins?
Do I trust Jesus for my salvation?
Do I desire to follow Jesus?
Encourage the children to think about one or more of the directions you just described whenever they participate in the Lord’s Supper.
Talk about joining the communion circle around the table in church.
Personally re-committing. There’s a story in which American folk hero Davy Crockett prepares a group of soldiers for battle by drawing a line in the sand and inviting all those who are willing to stay and fight to “step across the line.” Every Sunday we “step across the line” when we say we are friends and partners with Jesus. We re-commit each Sunday to do that.
Within the family
With gladness and in reverence
Invite each child to have a follow-up conversation with their parent(s) to tell them if they would like to participate in the Lord’s Supper.