Update on Our Communion Services on Sunday Nights

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We have been having weekly communion services on Sunday nights and I wanted to share a few thoughts about how that has gone. The service consists of about 20 minutes of singing, a 7-10 minute devotional thought on a subject specific to communion and then talks around the table with groups of 8-10 where we take communion together and discuss the topic as groups.

We wanted to make the point that there is more to communion than how it is structured for 500 people on Sunday morning without saying that how we do it on Sunday is messed up. I think we did a good job explaining that. But we didn’t really get the buy in we had hoped. I don’t know if some people are still in the “Sunday night communion is only for those who missed it and I didn’t miss it, so why should I come and take it?” camp or what. It is hard to get people to change their thinking about something in such a short amount of time or to get momentum moving in a new or fresh direction. It takes time for people to understand it. Since we only do Sunday nights at the building three months a year I am afraid we don’t have time to turn the ship. We also have a problem with accoustics in our fellowship hall that makes it hard to hear. Every surface is hard and the ceiling is extremely high so you have to listen intently to the devo thought.

Now for the good part. I have had some really great communion with people that I would not known as well if we hadn’t taken this step. It has been a big part in helping two new people who have really had a rough life lately get connected and has led to a weekly Bible study with one guy who I didn’t really know before this but now am getting to know really well. I feel like Christ has been glorified and his sacrifice has been remembered, together. I am thankful to actually be able to commune with others during the Supper and not sit isolated in a room full of people. Last, our praising God in song has been amazing. The accoustics in our fellowship hall is terrible when someone is talking but amazing when we sing.

I am not sure if we will do this again next summer or if we will remove the devo and just sing through communion. What we may do is not have table discussions since it is so hard to hear but have two guys lead the bread and cup with some brief thoughts on those and sing through communion together. This is a work in progress and I wanted to give an update on it. I will eventually post the outlines for our table talks here on the blog when they are all completed.

0 Responses

  1. I found the Sunday night we participated in there to be wonderful. It really created a close-ness with my brothers and sisters there and a sense of worship that one ‘owned’ and ‘shared’ as opposed to a worship conducted by someone else on Sunday morning. The only drawback, as you mentioned are the acoustics and trying to hear those across the table from you. I was thinking in that setting that it might be handy to either pull out some area rugs for the room or roll out some rugs for each Sunday night. The acoustics with singing would still be wonderful, but the carpet would absorb maybe just enough of the sound and keep the chairs from scraping.
    My humble opinion! Thanks for sharing here on your blog. I have also been telling others how you guys have been doing it there.

  2. What you’re coming up against is the strength of long-standing tradition. Hopefully I’ll see you Monday at Highlands, and maybe we can talk about it more there.

    What you’re attempting is outstanding. We say so many things that, when push comes to shove, we do not mean. For example, the reason for Sunday night service, supposedly, is because the elders decided it is a good time for us to get together for additional teaching and worship. Let the elders make another decision (such as have small group meetings for teaching, fellowship, and worship, as we did in one congregation where I was one of the elders, and see how strong that reason really is!

    Let the elders change the format of a time together – and see how strong tradition really is. Sometimes I believe that tradition is stronger than direct statements of Scripture for many of us. (See my excursus on Tradition in my Mark studies posted on your website!)


    1. Oh so true…actually, I won’t be there Monday due to a conflict in my schedule. I hate to miss the close meetings like that but there is no way I can make it happen this month.

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