Communion ideas (and its variants) is one of the most frequent search terms that brings people here. Which leads to the 21 Ideas for Doing Communion in a Fresh Way post.
Which got me to thinking…
We can do communion in all kinds of creative ways, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it will be fresh, meaningful, or powerful for a congregation.
So, what will?
When you get right down to it, there are two essential elements to keeping communion fresh and meaningful in a congregation. And it has very little to do with method and style.
(Because, if you’ve been involved with church leadership for any amount of time, you know that methods and styles come and go, and what one person prefers won’t be preferred by someone else.)
1. Your Own View
That’s right. Your own personal view of communion has a profound impact on how the congregation you serve will respond to communion.
If you’ve lost the meaning and power of communion as part of your own spiritual journey, then it’s going to be hard for it to be a meaningful experience for others. If you’ve forgotten the amazing symbolism and significance of the act of communion, it won’t feel significant at that moment. If it’s routine for you, it will be routine for them.
But if you still view communion with excitement, expectation, and meaning, it will be evident. Communion should be as much an honor whether it’s the first time or something you’ve done for 20+ years. Don’t forget, communion is one of the few specific things Jesus instructed His disciples to keep doing. The early church gathered weekly to remember and celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection. It was the tangible reminder of an incredibly significant event in time and in their lives.
What does the act of communion, whether you’re planning, leading, or participating, mean to you?
2. Be Relevant
Not to the latest fad or “thing,” but make communion relevant to the theme of the service. Your service does have a unifying theme, right? The main idea of the message is woven into the other elements of the service?
Communion will seem unimportant and disconnected if it is merely an add-on element. One of those things you do because it’s the Sunday you do it.
But connect to the focus of the day, and it can be powerful and meaningful. A visible reminder of how whatever has been focused on that day is rooted in Christ and the good news of the Gospel. And this has way more to do with the words that are spoken than it has anything to do with how the elements are distributed and taken.
Throughout the ages, communion has been a consistent means of response for the gathered church. And I don’t know of a pastor who doesn’t desire to see the congregation respond to the truth declared each time the church gathers.
So, if the theme has been grace, then draw out the grace inherent in the story. If salvation, love, reaching out, faith, trust, whatever, be intentional in connecting communion to the flow of the service. Be relevant with communion instead of just following a tradition. It might take a little extra time in preparation, but it will be worth it.
Have you made communion relevant in a service you’ve planned or led? Have you ever found the experience of communion to be more meaningful when it has been connected to the service theme?
It goes without saying that communion is one of the most unifying, important, and meaningful things the church does together. To treat it as routine or unimportant is, in my opinion, almost criminal. And it seems a lot of people agree since they are searching for fresh ideas.
But before you come up with a new “way” of doing communion, take a few moments and work on these two essentials. If you do, I think you’ll find the rest takes care of itself.
Let’s continue to “do this in remembrance of Me” and lead others to do the same.