Helping little disciples to follow Jesus
We believe that the children of Christians should be encouraged to share the Lord’s Supper.
This is because the children of Christians should be also regarded as Christians. They are little disciples who need to be taught about what the Lord Jesus has done for them, and how to follow him.
One way we can help our kids to follow Jesus—as individual families and as a church family as a whole—is to invite them to share the Lord’s Supper with us.
The origins of the Supper: the Passover Feast
The Lord’s Supper derives from the Old Testament Passover Feast. God instituted the Passover Feast on the eve of rescuing his people from Egypt. At that time, if the children of God’s people were to be also rescued, then, as a matter of necessity, they too had to share in the feast (Exod. 12).
When God instituted the Passover Feast as an ongoing memorial, he made it clear that the feast was to be used to teach Israelite children about God’s great rescue of his people (Exodus 12). While there is no explicit mention of the children sharing in the meal, it is clearly implied that they did.
A new beginning: the Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper was instituted when the Lord Jesus transformed the Passover Feast. He made two of the symbolic elements used in the feast—bread and wine—to now refer to God’s greatest rescue, the coming death of Jesus on behalf of God’s people (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22). Like it’s predecessor, the Lord’s Supper was also instituted to be a ongoing memorial for God’s people (1 Corinthians 11).
Since the Lord’s Supper is for Christians, we believe it is good for the children of believers to share in the Lord’s Supper. This is an important opportunity to teach all of God’s people about what the Lord Jesus has done for them, and about how to follow him.
The responsibility for teaching a Christian child about the Lord Jesus lies primarily with that child’s Christian parent/s (or Christian legal guardian/s).
Therefore, when we share the Lord’s Supper, parents are invited to take from those serving, the bread and juice needed for their children. Before we all eat together, parents are encouraged to explain the symbolism of the Supper to their children and to then hand the bread and juice to them. This requires people to speak—albeit quietly—during a time when many people may be used to there being very little noise being made.
Some things to keep in mind
We understand that some adults may object to children in general sharing the Lord’s Supper, or may feel for various reasons that their own children should not partake. We believe the choice as to whether a particular child partakes lies with that child’s parent/s (or legal guardian/s). We will respect that choice, and we ask that others do the same.
God requires his people to conduct their corporate worship in an orderly fashion (1 Corinthians 14). This requirement applies to celebrating the Lord’s Supper with children present. Hence when we share the Supper, all children of school age are asked to sit with their adult carers, even if some children are not going to partake in the Supper.
Lastly, if a child is present who does not have a Christian parent or legal guardian, then they should only take part in the Supper if:
- they are present with a Christian carer, for example a grandparent;
- they are capable of choosing to take part; and
- their parent/s or legal guardian/s are happy for this to occur.
Questions or concerns?
If you have any questions or concerns, please please contact our Minister, Matt Purnell ( (02) 6921 2317; firstname.lastname@example.org). Authorised by the Elders on 3 March 2016.