I’ll never forget the time my Kindergartner threw a fit about not getting to partake in the Lord’s Supper during her first visit to “big church.” She simply didn’t understand why she couldn’t have the crackers and juice being passed around. I had to take her to the back of the church and explain something that really needed a lot more thought and prayer to explain appropriately. I was caught off-guard and not prepared. I want families to be prepared for this situation which happens so frequently.
So, the question must be asked, “How can we prepare young ones who have not made professions of faith to understand the ordinance of taking communion?” Some of us go to churches where children do not go to service with adults at all. How will they be prepared to understand and experience their first Lord’s Supper? Others of us go to churches where all ages of children attend with the adults. How do we prepare them to sit quietly while the plate is passing right in front of their little faces?
Parents need to know how to answer these questions and Kids Ministry leaders need to help equip families to be prepared for conversations about communion.
Here are a few ideas for how to do just that.
• If you do have a separate worship experience for kids, invite a deacon, elder or pastor to come talk to kids about what the ordinance means and why some people are ready to take the Lord’s Supper and some are not ready yet. This will help kids understand what it is so that when they do go to service with their parents, they aren’t completely caught off-guard.
• If you have an all-ages service, be sure to alert parents ahead of time if communion will be part of worship. This allows families to have intentional conversations ahead of time and hopefully help avoid any surprises or “fits” (like my little one!).
• Create a document or provide resources that you can give parents to help them feel equipped to answer questions their children may have.
Churches must help families teach their children about what it means to participate in worship – including taking communion. After all, it’s so much more than crackers and juice, but a deep remembrance and celebration of what Christ did for us. Ultimately, our prayer should be that we help our children build foundations that will lead to their own salvation and eventually a time when the whole family can take the Lord’s Supper together – in remembrance of Him.
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of Kids Ministry Publishing. Jana brings a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and curriculum writing. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children attend Forest Hills Baptist Church where she teaches The Gospel Project to preteen girls.