The way communion is done at your church will depend on your denomination and theological background. Because of that, you will probably need to adapt this article to the way ministry is done at your church.
Start with a devotional thought about communion
Communion is a powerful, spiritual moment in your church service. It is appropriate to begin this time with an explanation of communion and its meaning for us. It is often helpful to remind people that communion comes from Jesus and read the following verses:
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
After this, you can explain the symbolism of the bread and wine (or wafers and juice!), which represents the body and blood of Christ.
Of course, you probably don’t want to say the same thing every time you lead communion. Another devotional thought that may be compelling for your people is to talk about the three things we are doing during communion.
- We are looking back at the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
- We are celebrating our salvation through Jesus as a church family, and our unity as believers.
- We are looking forward to the return of Jesus.
You will find all three of these truths in the 1 Corinthians 11 passage.
Explain who communion is for
Guests at your church will have questions about who is supposed to take communion. Make sure you address what a person who is not yet a Christian is supposed to do. You can say something like this:
Communion is for anyone who has put their faith in Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter if this is your first time at church or you’re a regular attender. If you have put your faith in Christ then please join us in communion.
If you are not yet a Christian, I want to encourage you take this time, stay at your seat, and reflect on the truths we have talked about today.
Explain how communion is done at your church
It’s always helpful to explain exactly what people are going to do, when they are going to do it, and how they are going to do it. At church, you may say something like this,
We will have several tables at the front of the stage. After the music starts playing, whenever you are ready, please come forward. Take a wafer, dip it into the cup, eat it, and then you can return to your seat. If you are unable to come up for communion please let one of our ushers know and they can bring it to your seat.
Pray and leave some time for reflection
Close your communion explanation/devotional with prayer. Leave some time for silence and reflection. Be sure to clearly let people know when it is time for communion to begin.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.