One of the things we’re encouraging our families to do during our service (which is streamed online for the time being) is to take communion together. Below are some tips and information from EGC kids on taking communion together as a family: what it is, why we do it, and how to explain it to children in a way that they can understand!
What is Communion?
Our practice of taking communion as a church comes from the final meal that Jesus shared with his disciples before his death, burial and resurrection. Matthew 26:26-28 tells us that:
As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
The apostle Paul gives the early church further instruction on communion in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34: how to come together in unity to remember Christ’s atoning work on the Cross. When we take communion together, we are joining generations of Christ-followers who have done so to remember (individually and as a church family) what He has done for us and celebrate the continuing work of His Spirit in our lives.
Can I take Communion at home?
Absolutely! Remember, the earliest followers of Christ would have been taking communion in their homes or wherever they gathered – and would not have had the small cups or anything we’ve become used to in our experience with communion in our church services.
We typically serve bread or crackers with grape juice; but you can use what you have available to you in your home! Our service leaders will give you time each week to gather your supplies during our online service.
Can children take Communion?
This is a personal decision and depends on the family and the child, and is something that EGC leaves up to you, as their parent or guardian, to decide. Some helpful questions to help you determine if your child is ready are:
- Is your child old enough to understand what communion is (see section below)?
- Have they made a decision to follow Jesus?
- Do they have a personal relationship with Him?
You may decide that all of your children will take communion with you on Sundays. You may decide that some are too young or aren’t ready yet. It will look different for each family, and that’s ok!
How can I explain Communion to my child?
In the simplest terms: we take communion to remember what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross. As we eat the bread and drink the juice (or whatever you have at home) the breaking of the cracker or bread reminds us that Jesus’ body was broken for us, because of our sin. The juice reminds us that He bled on the cross so that we could be free from sin.
In EGC kids, we explain sin as choosing to do what we want instead of what God wants. Sometimes sin is obvious: like lying to our parents or cheating on a test. Sometimes sin isn’t so obvious: like being selfish instead of loving someone else. Sin separates us from God. We can think of sin like a dirty stain that we can’t wash away. Jesus, through his death and resurrection, took all of our sins on Himself and became a sacrifice, once for all, to wash away our sin. When we ask for His forgiveness, He is able to wash us clean.
Communion is a way to remember and celebrate what Jesus has done for us and what the Holy Spirit continues to do in and through us as sons and daughters of God.
Taking Communion as a Family
You can take communion as a family when the service host leads on Sunday morning – but remember, you can always pause the feed and talk about it as a family if you want to explain the moment more! God gave you the job of a spiritual leader in your home. You have the privilege of helping your children see and know Jesus, and communion is such an incredible time to do so! We encourage you not to rush; take time to help them understand.
It may be helpful for them (or for your whole family) to say a simple prayer out loud before you take the elements together. Here’s an example:
Bread: “Thank you Jesus, for dying for me on the cross.”
Juice: “Thank you Jesus, for making me clean from my sin.”
The details are entirely up to you: You can pass the elements to each child individually or all take them together. You can open or close in prayer – or encourage them to pray. There really isn’t a right or a wrong way to take communion, or an exact formula that you have to follow. Whatever it looks like for your family, we’re believing that it will be a time when God will be present with you in a tangible way.
Please reach out if you have any questions for us,
Your EGC Kids team