Your child understands technology but not Communion…
This Sunday as a church we worship Christ through the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. Do your children understand why we do these?
As a child I remember the Sundays that we had the Lord’s Supper. They were exciting to me because I got to eat a cracker and drink juice… in church; and I knew the sermon would be a bit briefer. As for baptism, that made little sense to me. I was baptized because I was promised Krispy Kreme if I did. For a 7 year old that was the greatest deal ever offered. But do our children know what is happening? Here is what I know without reservation: it is the parent’s role to explain/teach/disciple our children in church.
- Does your child understand the blood of Jesus?
- Does your teenager understand what it means to eat the broken body of Jesus?
- Does your 8 year old understand why people are dunked in a hot tub above the choir or at the beach?
- Does your 13 year old know why they are drinking grape juice in church?
- Does your family understand the sacredness, reverence and importance of communion?
- What about the gospel? Does your child/teen understand the gospel?
If your child does not understand the gospel and cannot articulate the gospel they are not ready, and should NOT to take communion. If we allow them to, we make them liars and frauds, before they can do so themselves.
We, the church, for far too long have made the assumption that everyone watching understands. To make this assumption without knowing for sure is sinful and lazy. Both of which I have been guilty of as a father and a minister. My plea is this, just as much as communion and baptism should be forms of worship, they should also be used as opportunities to share the gospel. Here’s how:
Sit with your child/family/teenager and quietly share with them why your are eating the “body” and drinking the “blood.” You may have no better opportunity to share the gospel with them. That Christ’s body was broken for you and them and that his blood was spilled for you and for them, and that Christ died as a free gift for us it is not something we can earn. Explain we do this to remember what Christ has done for us. Explain the gospel. Remind/Share with them that they ARE sinful and need their sin to be pardoned or forgiven, and Jesus offers forgiveness by the blood he shed on the cross.
Refer to these points of scripture: Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 53, 1 Corinthians 11: 17-34
As baptism occurs (whether at the beach or at the church) talk to your child/teen before and after this occurs. Explain before that baptism is simply the way that a Christian makes their faith public. That is, this is their announcement to both the church and the world that they are Christians; and that Jesus is Lord of their life. This is also a great time to share with our families what new life in Christ means. We also must remind our children/teens that baptism is not what saves or changes anyone, it is simply obedience. Nothing more.
Refer to these points of scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:17, Luke 3:16, Romans 6:3-6, 1 Corinthians 12:13
Church services that include communion and baptism are unique services. Both communion and baptism are what make a church a church. These are called church ordinances and without them based on scripture, there is no church. Baptism and communion are two of the most important things that will ever occur in a church. They serve to remind the church of the gospel of Christ. To lead the church to worship Christ as Lord. Baptism and communion help the church to continue to align its focus on Christ and the cross. As great as communion and baptism are, when parents do not actively teach what these mean, by default they are sending their kids to Hell.
Josh Glymph is the Youth Pastor at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org