NAVIGATING THE LORD'S SUPPER WITH YOUR CHILDREN

WHEN CAN I TAKE THE LORD'S SUPPER?

It's a question parents hear often. When children see others having bread and juice, they naturally want some, too. 

And why not? Everyone loves to have a snack at church!

The Lord's Supper is more than a "snack." The experience includes the senses of taste, sound, sight, smell, and touch - everything a child loves. It also paints a beautiful picture of the sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins. But for some children the picture can be complex, especially if you have a concrete thinker.

Think about the words and phrases that will be heard. "This is my body, take and eat it. This is my blood, drink it." These words can be confusing. Here are a few helpful tips to prepare your child for the Lord's Supper - whether you are at church or watching at home online.

  • Prepare for the experience.  The Lord's Supper is special and it's essential to take time and prepare. If you are home, make your own unleavened bread. Allow your children to watch or help you put the bread on a tray and juice in cups or glasses for your family.
  • Keep it simple.  The Lord's Supper is a way to remember all that Jesus did for us and say "thank you" to God. As your child grows, their understanding will grow and deepen. Build on basic truths and add more as your child's interest grows.
  • Help children feel included.  Many children have yet to make a profession of faith. Although they may not be ready to partake of the bread or juice during the Lord's Supper, they should still be allowed to observe and participate at some level. Have them draw a picture of things they are thankful for. Older children can make a list, or write down words they don't understand so that you can talk about them afterwards. Help them understand that when they do become a Christian, participation in the Lord's Supper will be a more meaningful experience.

Feelings of exclusion can sometimes lead a child to voice an interest in becoming a Christian. Take your child seriously, and remember that salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit. A child must make decisions based on conviction of sin and being separated from God, not because he or she is excluded from a church ordinance. Talk to your child afterwards and be sure to ask questions so that you will know their true feelings. If you are still unsure how to proceed, feel free to contact our church office for tools we can provide to help guide your conversation.

-Thomas Sanders, "When Can I?", Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001

Shelley Waters