Why Do We Do That? Guidelines for the Lord’s Supper
Not all churches handle invitations to the Lord’s Table in the same manner. Please understand that while we are not so dogmatic as to condemn those with other practices, we do have convictions for why we administer the Supper in the way we do. What follows is our Church and Denominations view on the just who the Lord’s Supper is for.
First, the Lord’s Supper is for believing people. It is a family meal for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who have repented of their sins and trust in Christ alone for forgiveness and eternal life. It is a time when we delight in Christ and in the good news that His work alone has made us right with God.
The Supper is also for a prepared people, those who have examined themselves concerning their sins before partaking. 1 Corinthians 11:18, 27-32 warn all participants to carefully examine their heart and life to make certain you are participating in a worthy manner. Are you converted? Is there any sin that you continually live in and refuse to repent from? Is there someone that you have not done all you can to be at peace with by offering and/or requesting forgiveness? These are indications that you have business to attend to before you can come to the table in a worthy manner. If you discern you should not participate, we encourage you to deal promptly with the sin that is keeping you from such a gift from our Lord that you may with joy participate next month.
Finally, the Supper is also for an informed people, those who are able to discern the body rightly, that is to understand the significance of the holy mystery of Christ crucified and of His body the church. Thus, while we do not require that a person be a member of Christ Community Church to participate, we do ask that each participant be a baptized member of an Evangelical (i.e. Bible believing) Church and that you are in good standing (i.e. you are not running from Church discipline!).
Let us also remember that, though we believe, prepare and are informed, our faith is never perfect, our preparation never flawless, and our understanding is never complete. We do not come to the Lord’s Table to claim that we are righteous in ourselves, but we come only because God regards us as righteous on the basis of the work of Christ through His incarnation, redemptive death, resurrection, ascension, and intercession in our behalf. Therefore, we encourage weak Christians, struggling disciples, and doubting believers to receive this Sacrament to gain spiritual strength and renewed hope.
Note to those seeking a church home: If you are not coming to us from a Bible believing church, yet you desire to connect soon to one but realize it may take a while; and if you have interest in being invited to the Lord’s Table with us while you discern your future church home; please see an Elder today to talk more about that possibility.
Note to Parents: To receive communion, a child must be formally examined and received by the governing body of the church to which you belong (that would be the Session in our context). This will assure that your child has been baptized, professes faith in Jesus and understands the Sacrament. From time to time, we offer a Communicants Classes for older children to help them understand the essentials of the gospel and Sacraments. Please take advantage of those classes when offered. We look forward to welcoming your children to the table when they come to this point and ask that you speak to the pastor when you feel your child is ready to begin the process of becoming a communing member.
Note to Non-Christians: If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal (see 1 Cor. 11:18, 27-32), please use this time to reflect on one of the following prayers.
Prayer for those searching for truth
Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open me to the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and leads to the life you promise. Amen.
Prayer of belief
Lord Jesus Christ, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever dared admit, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt on the cross, taking what I deserved in order to offer me complete forgiveness. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Amen.