At C3 we offer communion 6 times each year, 3 times during our evening Night of Worship service and 3 times through small groups. We also encourage people to experience communion with friends, family, and even in their households as frequently as they feel compelled.
What is Communion (The Lord’s Supper or Eucharist)?
Communion is the regular remembrance and celebration of the Lord’s sacrificial death. Breaking and eating of bread signifies Christ’s body broken on the cross. The drinking together from a cup signifies the shedding of Christ’s blood required for our forgiveness (Matthew 26:26–28; 1 Corinthians 11:23–24).
Why is there Communion?
The primary purpose of Communion is for followers of Jesus to take time to remember all that the Lord has done for us. It is a time to worship and give thanks for the forgiveness of our sins and the new life and relationship that we have in Jesus Christ. This time of remembering was initiated by Jesus just before his death. Because we tend to be forgetful people, in the Old Testament believers were called to remember the faithfulness of God through various memorials. In the New Testament, this is a way that Jesus wanted us to remember his love and forgiveness of our sins.
I have already told you what the Lord Jesus did on the night he was betrayed. And it came from the Lord himself. He took some bread in his hands. Then after he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Eat this and remember me.” After the meal, Jesus took a cup of wine in his hands and said, “This is my blood, and with it God makes his new agreement with you. Drink this and remember me.” The Lord meant that when you eat this bread and drink from this cup, you tell about his death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11.23–26 CEV)
These verses also explain that Communion is a time of personal examination of our relationship with the Lord and others.
But if you eat the bread and drink the wine in a way that isn’t worthy of the Lord, you sin against his body and blood. That’s why you must examine the way you eat and drink. If you fail to understand that you are the body of the Lord, you will condemn yourselves by the way you eat and drink. That’s why many of you are sick and weak and why a lot of others have died. If we carefully judge ourselves, we won’t be punished. But when the Lord judges and punishes us, he does it to keep us from being condemned with the rest of the world. (1 Corinthians 11:27–32)
When is Communion? And Is there a best environment or commanded place to serve communion?
No. Many people are used to traditions. However, traditions do not create an adequate reason for performing communion. Moving communion to a ritual was not Jesus intent. We believe it is advantageous to serve communion with followers of Jesus who know one another and are in community with one another.
Therefore, serving communion is strategic and in alignment with the C3 Calendar. Night of Worship services and Group Life are some of the most appropriate spaces to administer communion. In addition to worship celebration nights, we regularly serve communion in and about the sixth week of group life in any given semester.
Who can serve (give, facilitate, administer or officiate) communion?
Biblically speaking, anyone can serve or facilitate communion. Strategically, we think that Group Leaders and assistant group leaders are good persons to serve and in a group setting. This is a great opportunity for the group leader to model servant leadership in the same way that Jesus served his disciples. However, there may be other members who are equally able to lead and serve in this celebration. This is left to the leader’s discernment and discretion.
who can take communion?
Anyone who believes in and trusts the Lord Jesus Christ alone for his or her salvation! If you are not sure of the status of your relationship with Jesus, we expect that you will simply ‘pass’ until you are sure.
Group Ideas for Communion
There are many ways to serve Communion. The Bible does not dictate a certain method. Be creative and use variety. A group leader could celebrate Communion after a meal together. This seems to be the way the early church did it, see Matthew 26:26–29; Acts 2:42–46; 1 Corinthians 11:20–26.
A leader can make this a centerpiece of time together or people could take part in communion before or after a study and discussion time. The important thing is to remember that this is a time of giving your attention to Jesus. This is a time of celebrating each other in the Holy Spirit’s presence. This is a time of remembering Jesus work with a heart of humility and restoration.
Enjoy it and you will see yourself and your friends grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Here are some ideas for group leaders to provide communion. Consider these as you lead communion in your personal space:
- Get a loaf of unsliced bread and some grape juice. The bread can be placed on a platter and the juice in a glass or small pitcher.
Create an inspiring environment with music and other arrangements (if desired)
- As you begin your time of celebration, you can read some selected passages of Scripture that remind us of the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection:
- Psalm 22; 1 Corinthians 15:1–8
- Isaiah 53; Galatians 2:16–21
- Mark 15:21–29; Ephesians 2:1–10
- John 19; Philippians 2:1–11
- After a time of reading, pass a loaf of bread or the small wafers around and ask each member to take a piece, which represents the body of Jesus Christ that was broken for us.
- Read 1 Corinthians 11:23–26.
- Pass a cup of juice or cups around and invite members to dip their bread into the cup or hold their individual “elements”.
Lead people in taking the bread, Jesus body broken for us and the juice, Jesus blood shed for us.
- Encourage members to spend some minutes in personal prayer and reflection after they have taken the bread and juice. Consider sharing those reflections with one another.
- After the group is finished taking and contemplating, close the time with prayer and praise.
Other variations abound. You could serve each other, have a cup in the middle of the room.
These are a few ideas to help you think about how to participate in Communion with your group. This is a great opportunity for your group to worship and celebrate together.
If you have any other questions about Communion or its celebration in your group, please contact your Groups Leader, Team Leader, Group Life Pastor.
Where and how often should we celebrate communion?
Communion is a part of a follower of Jesus Christ’s celebration, not only at church or in the church building, but also in homes and appropriate places all around the city. God invites us to celebrate as often as we feel is appropriate.
In Acts 2:42–47, we read that believers met on a regular basis in their homes to celebrate Communion:
They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread and prayed together. Everyone was amazed by the many miracles and wonders that the apostles worked. All the Lord’s followers often met together, and they shared everything they had. They would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever needed it. Day after day they met together in the temple. They broke bread together in different homes and shared their food happily and freely, while praising God. Everyone liked them, and each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved.