I grew up going to church every Sunday with my parents. For nearly 20 years, we would sit in the same pew (second row, right side) for the 8 o’clock service. In our church context, the faith community celebrated communion once a month. Until I was 7 years old, my mom and dad did something that I did not enjoy very much – as the communion plate was passed, they did not allow me to take the cracker and the juice.
As a child I thought, “How dare they! Other kids are getting snack once a month and I’m sitting here, as snack-less as I am hopeless.”
Oh young Matt. There’s so much I want to tell you.
The church traditions for celebrating communion with children are widely varied. Some forbid children to partake of the sacrament, others encourage it. A church may offer communion freely each week in the adult context and provide training for parents on how to talk to kids about the symbolism.
Share with us: How does your church handle kids and communion?
Here are some things I’ve picked up over the past 10 years to help kids embrace communion:
Make it memorable. The purpose of communion is to participate as a faith community in holy remembrance. Make these moments memorable. What ways can you empower the body of Christ to remember what Christ has done for them?
Make it verbal. Read the Scriptures related to Communion. Share the meaning of the symbols with the entire faith community. Put this church ordinance into words. It wasn’t until my parents spent time talking me through communion that I was able to fully participate in it (and years later, teach my own children the same thing).
Make it simple. Consider writing a guide for families to share with their kids. Here’s a great example communion guide from Christ Community Church. So often what parents need most is language to help them start the conversation and answer questions.