Sunday nights at the building pose its own special set of issues. You can do a scaled down Sunday morning. You can just sing. Or you can try something outside of the box. Last year we had people tell their story. It was moving and I still remember much of what was said and the tears that were shed. This year we are taking the Lord’s Supper Sunday night. We have always offered the Lord’s Supper on Sunday night via our small groups or service at the building. That method always seemed to me to miss the whole point of the Supper. The Supper was never meant to single people out who missed it. It was meant to be done together. That is kind of the whole point. So this summer we are taking it all together and we are taking it around tables as we share with each other different thoughts about our Lord.
Any time you try something new like this (or at least new to us) there is potential for awkward moments. We have tried to eliminate as much of it as possible but it is still there. Our primary goal was to get out of the way and let people worship and have time together with each other and with the Lord. This way the Supper becomes communal and corporate rather than individualistic. One of the worries I have had in this is that someone might come away wondering why we continue to offer the Supper the way we do on Sunday morning and wonder if that approach is sufficient. Our goal is not to bash the Sunday morning in rows approach but to make Sunday nights as good as possible. In doing so I think we get more at the spirit of what the Supper is all about.
Here is what we did. We set up the fellowship hall with tables and chairs and had the entire service from the tables. We started off with singing and then had a 15 minute study from John 6 on sacrifice. All of that was done with everyone in the room. After that the service centered at each of the tables and those at the table with you. We had scriptures to read and questions to discuss. We took of the bread and the juice and discussed what those meant to us. We took prayer requests from those at our table and prayed specifically for each other and our loved ones. Then in any time left over we had time to talk with each other and fellowship. Each table had someone to lead the discussion and the service. They were each given an outline to follow so they wouldn’t have to come up with all of it on their own. We also didn’t want there to be tables that were looking for someone to lead them. That took some coordination and didn’t go perfectly but it was close. Overall I would say it was a success with a few wrinkles to iron out. For anyone who wants to learn more about the Lord’s Supper I would highly recommend John Mark Hicks’ book Come to the Table
Have any of you tried this or experienced it? What types of things were included? What worked and what didn’t?