One question we get asked often is why we take communion every week, or why do we do it the way that we do. Here’s a a few bullet point responses to those and similar questions.
- We take it (usually) weekly because there is no indication of how often we are to take in Scripture. Jesus said; “…as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” Each time we partake of the bread and the drink, we are remembering the sacrifice of Christ and will do so until He returns. The more we remember His sacrifice and proclaim His death, the better.
- We take communion weekly as it is strongly implied in Acts 2:42 (“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”) that the early Church was meeting together to break bread all the time, and that in doing so, they were remembering the sacrifice of Christ, “communing” together in doing so- recognising that they were a part of one Body through Christ, and proclaiming His death until He returned.
- We take it weekly because we understand that the average American “frequent” church attender is only attending church about once a month. Though we find these statistics sad, and promote frequent and weekly engagement in church community, the fact is, that if we’re only partaking in communion once a month or so, that many people who do come to church throughout the year will miss out on this important sacrament.
- We do not pass the bread and drink to each person present and partake at the exact same time, as we know that there are always non-believers in our midst. Communion is strictly for Christians and we do not want non-believers to be pressured into partaking in communion. We also do not want Christians to be pressured into taking communion at a particular moment in time. This could cause them to partake out of obligation, resulting in them partaking in an unworthy manner or without discerning the broken body of Christ. This could also cause Christians to be pressured into taking communion when they have not yet properly examined themselves, to make sure they are partaking in a worthy manner. Both a non-believer partaking in communion and a Believer partaking in communion without their heart prepared to do so could cause them to eat and drink severe judgement upon themselves (1 Corinthians 11).
- For the reasons listed in the point above, this is why we place communion somewhere where people have to make an active choice to get up and partake when they are prepared to do so.
- We also believe that communion is sacred and should never become a religious habit done out of obligation. For this reason, we have communion stations placed in our sanctuaries so that a Believer has to make a conscious effort in an act of worship to arise and partake when they feel led to do so. These things mean that a Believer present may not partake in communion every week they are there, and that is perfectly acceptable and between them, their conscience, and the Holy Spirit.
- We intentionally have this time of communion set up during our time of worship music because we believe that communion is an act of worship and we want it to be viewed as such. This allows people to reflect on their hearts after the giving of God’s Word, and to respond in a moment of contemplation and worship during music. We also don’t want people to think that worship is only music, so we provide times for giving, prayer, and communion, during the time of music to show that it is all an act of worship.
- We have people dip the bread into the drink simply because it is easier to set up in this way- we only have to fill one cup per station, versus many individual cups per station. Though we don’t judge churches who do, we think it would be distracting from the sacredness of communion to literally drink out of the same communal cup.
- Finally, we use grape juice instead of wine when we publically partake of communion as a Church Body, not because we condemn the drinking of alcohol or believe that Jesus and His disciples partook of grape juice- we don’t- We do so because we acknowledge that some people are recovering from addiction to, struggle with, or have consciences that do not permit them to partake of alcohol, and we don’t want to be a stumbling block for them in this safe and sacred environment.