Changes in Communion?
How a church practices communion can become a sacred cow in any community, even Northgate.
Since moving into our facility almost two years ago, we’ve practiced communion at the doors. The reason is simple. Many of the rows in our stadium seating have only one entrance/exit. An oversight, I know. We tried to squeeze as many seats in as possible and communion wasn’t on our radar.
In our staff meetings, we’ve practiced moving people out of a row and then back in, but it just doesn’t work. Believe me. Chaos breaks out! So, people receive the bread at the doors, dip it in the wine, eat it, and then exit the auditorium. Obviously, there are pros and cons to this method. Some people love it. Others don’t.
Pro—People like the personal touch of having communion served directly to them. “This is the Body of Christ given for you,” etc.
Con—People don’t feel as if they have adequate time to reflect after receiving the elements.
A couple of weeks ago, we tried communion in our seats. We didn’t want to invest in communion ware to try something that may or may not work, so we used prepackaged communion kits instead. Like the other method, some loved it and others didn’t.
Pro—People had plenty of time to reflect and worship. They enjoyed taking communion as a community.
Con—People had a hard time opening the kits and missed having communion distributed to them personally.
There is no right or wrong way to receive communion. Some like it kneeling. Others like it sitting. Jesus celebrated his first communion reclining at a low table. It isn’t the method that’s important. It’s the event itself.
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:26
Going ahead, we’ll switch up how we celebrate communion at Northgate, every other month. For example, in November, we’ll celebrate communion at the doors. In December, we’ll take communion in our seats. Who knows? Maybe we’ll try some other method in 2016!
Whichever way we celebrate communion, we’ll use the SAME elements (bread and wine). We’re investing in some actual communion ware for communion in the seats. No more prepackaged kits! Also, going forward, ALL bread will be gluten-free. Don’t worry! It’ll be real bread, not wafers. Naturally, wine will continue to be alcohol-free.
Someone said the art of leadership is compromise. We’ll see. Either we’ll make everybody happy or miserable. We’re aiming for happy. If you’re on the miserable side, before you go too far down the road, consider our vision first: We see people who don’t cater to their personal preferences, but stick to God’s purpose, first and foremost. . .
Thanks for your understanding and support.
Northgate Church is passionate about helping people become who God purposed them to be.