How To Share the Lord’s Supper As a Family

In Daily Life, Faith / Life by Kirk Giles5 Comments

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You may think that only “professionals” can lead a communion service, but the Bible does not teach this idea.  In 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, the apostle Paul teaches us that Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as a way for us to remember him and proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes back.  There is no description of this only being for professionals.  The Lord’s Supper is a gift for every Christian to share in community with others.  In this age of COVID-19, your community of others is more than likely limited to your immediate family.  Can you think of a better time than Easter to proclaim the Lord’s death to your family?  Here are some practical ways to share the Lord’s Supper as a family.

Prepare your family.

Let everyone in the family know you plan to share Communion together as a family.  Good Friday seems like a great day to do this.

Prepare the elements you will need.

Go to the grocery store and buy the following elements (note: these may be different than your faith tradition, so adapt accordingly):

  • Crackers or bread
  • Grape juice

When it comes time for your Communion service, have small cups or glasses and pour the juice into them (enough for each person in your family).  Break the bread or crackers apart into smaller pieces so there is enough for everyone.

Prepare for the Lord’s Supper

Decide ahead of time some Bible verses you may read during the Communion time.  Some ideas include:

  • John 18-20
  • Isaiah 53
  • Romans 5:12-21
  • Hebrews 9:11-28

Participate in the Lord’s Supper

  • Pray – Invite God to come and bless your time together as a family.  Ask him to help you experience how much he loves you and how great his sacrifice was.
  • Remind – Remind your family this was established by Jesus as a way for his followers to remember what Jesus has done for them.  This is a unique celebration reserved only for those who believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins.
  • Read – Take the time to read the Bible together.  If your children are younger, it may mean using a Bible storybook.  For everyone else in your home, take time reading the Bible verses together.  Give everyone a chance to read, so they all participate.
  • Reflect – Give everyone a piece of paper and ask them to write down every sin they can remember being guilty of over the past few days. 
  • Remind – Remind your family that these sins separate us from God, other people, and bring harm to our lives.  Ask this question – how does Jesus’ death impact all of the sin on our lists?
  • Pass the bread around.  Ask this question.  What does the bread represent?  What did Jesus do with his body in our place? Remind everyone that we are now going to take the bread to remember his body given for us.  Ask your family to pause after they take the bread and give a short, quiet prayer thanking Jesus for giving his body.  You can say something like: “eat the bread and remember what Jesus has done for you.”
  • Pass the juice around.  Ask this question.   What does the juice represent?  Why is this important? (note:  see Hebrews 9:22).  Repeat the same pattern of asking your family to pause and giving them instructions when it is time to drink the juice.
  • Celebrate. On the back of the piece of paper, have everyone write “It is Finished!” Then destroy the paper that has your list of sins as a reminder of how complete God’s forgiveness is.
  • Pray – Ask God to help your family to always remember how great God’s love is for them.  If you want some help, read Ephesians 1:17-19 as a final prayer for your time together.

Your church may be celebrating The Lord’s Supper online this Easter.  If it is, then I certainly encourage you to participate together as a family with others who are part of God’s family.  This was the standard pattern shown to us in the Bible.  However, nothing is stopping you from taking the time to share the Lord’s Supper as a family in your own home.

Easter is a significant time.  Let’s not allow COVID-19 to stop us from celebrating Jesus. 

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Comments

  1. Hi Kirk. I appreciate the initaiative to encourage families, but I’m going to disagree with you on this one. You’re now wading (as a para-church ministry), into church ministry. The Lord’s supper is seen by most evangelical churches as a ‘local church’ ordnance, like baptism. Your direction to families to just ‘do it yourself’ because it doesn’t really matter will be easily perceived as acting very dismissively of local church authority. Do you really want to that now…? Does Promise Keepers now see themselves on par with the churches they claim to serve? Seems like a slippery slope…

    1. Author

      Hello men. Thank you for engaging in this conversation. Under normal circumstances, I would not encourage families to isolate themselves from the life of the local church. In fact, I indicate at the end that it is important for families to celebrate the Lord’s Supper with their church community. I am well aware of the need for families to submit to the spiritual leadership in their church and have written many other times about this issue. What I am suggesting is that we have families who are living in extraordinary times. I would suggest in this time, there is nothing in the Scriptures that would prevent families from declaring the Lord’s death through celebrating the Lord’s Supper together. In fact, family may be the only physical gathering of believers you and I can have in this moment. I respect if people wish to disagree with this perspective, and again, I would encourage everyone to submit to the spiritual leadership in their church.

  2. JC Drennan has no scriptural authority for what he says, nor does he even attempt to reference any. This ordinance was given to believers. There is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. The local church is not our mediator, nor is it our priest. Evangelicals are historically defined by and united around the reformation doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. If there is a slippery slope here, then Mr Drennan is the one on it, nudging us downhill towards the same philosophy of the papist system of pre-reformation days. Thank you Promise Keepers for upholding the truth of scripture, and the priesthood of the believer. It is critical that believers continue to affirm their covenantal bond to Jesus Christ by taking communion during this time of “social distancing” due to the plague.

    Communion was historically instituted by Jesus as a part of Passover. Christ is honoured by households that affirm the covenant in the blood of Jesus in a similar way to which households during the last plague of Egypt bound themselves in the Passover to the blood of the shed lamb placed upon the doors of their homes. The principle has never changed: “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” Just as Passover was a family affair, so communion is too.

  3. David Thomas, JC Drennan is pointing out the inappropriateness of a para-church ministry encouraging disobedience to the doctrine of many church denominations. You may have a hard time finding scripture passages that deal with this situation.

    The Passover was instituted as a family activity. The Lord’s Supper was not. Other than James and John, the disciples were not related. I’m pretty sure Acts and Paul’s letters always speak of it being celebrated in the context of the church.

  4. I encourage everyone to do their own full Bible study on the priesthood of all believers. Hebrews and the Peter epistles are a good place to start.
    Obedience must come to the Lord first.
    Thanks for this article!

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