Communion and Children
Recently, our Life Kids leaders have been talking through ‘The Last Supper’ with a focus of Jesus as a servant. As part of the discussion our kids have been learning that communion does not save us, since only Christ’s gracious work alone can save. Rather we participate in communion as an act of remembrance of his work and respond in repentance and faith.
HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER WITH YOUR CHILDREN BEFORE INVITING THEM TO JOIN IN COMMUNION:
1. ARE THEY CHRISTIAN?
Only God truly knows the heart (Ps 44:21; Acts 15:8) but next to God, you the parent will have the best idea of your children’s faith. Communion should be something participated in by believers not unbelievers. But this raises an important question: “How can we as parents assess the faith of our children?” There’s no formula for this but walking them through the basics of the gospel and assessing their level of belief is something that is personal to each family.
As Christian parents, it is a good thing to engage in conversations with our children and continue to do so in discipling our kids towards Jesus. Questions to consider are: 1) Who is Jesus 2) What has he done 3) What has that accomplished 4) How do we respond?)
2. DO THEY UNDERSTAND THE GOSPEL?
Whether our children are believers yet or not, this is a great opportunity to proclaim the gospel to them. Even if we conclude they are not yet believers, we can still walk them through what we are doing and why. Explain the great privilege it is to participate in communion because of what Jesus has done for us as well as the beauty of being able to participate in it with God’s family on the Lord’s day. Use it as an opportunity to lift the joy of communion, not as a religious ritual, but as an incredible means of God’s grace to us as we are reminded of who he is, what he has done and how we respond in repentance and faith, together as his people.
3. LIVE BY FAITH NOT FEAR.
Don’t stress too much!!! Some people have used 1 Corinthians 11:20-30 as a proof text against children participating in communion. However it’s important to look at the context of this passage. You can read it yourself but in short the Corinthian church were using communion as a means of disunity and elitism. They were fighting, they were being selfish not selfless; the very antithesis of what Jesus modelled as a servant. His work on the cross was a selfless work for us. Therefore the Corinthians were not remembering Jesus’ work at all and we making a mockery of communion.
This is not the attitude of what we are seeking by including our children in communion. So if you are unsure of your child’s faith don’t live by fear but faith. God is not going to judge you or your child for seeking to remember his gracious work for us. It is completely different.