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Building Community Through Communion

Looking for a wonderful means of worshipping as a group? Why not lead your group in sharing the Lord’s Supper? If you’ve never done this before, the idea certainly seems daunting, but here is a simple form by which your small group can share this sacrament. Of course, churches vary in their treatment of Communion so you may need to adapt these suggestions to your church’s beliefs.

Steps in Serving Communion

1. Out of the context of your own experience, say something brief about God’s love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, commitment, tenderheartedness or faithfulness. Connect your words with the personal stories of the group. For example, “These past few weeks I’ve experienced God’s mercy in the way he untangled the situation with my son. And I’ve seen God show mercy to others of us here too, especially to Jean and Roger.” If you prefer, you can write down ahead of time what you want to say.

2. Read 1 Corinithians 11:23-26*:
The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this break and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

3. Pray silently, and pass the bread around the circle. While the bread is being passed, you may want to reflect quietly, sing a simple praise song, or listen to a worship CD.

4. When everyone has received the bread, remind them that this represents Jesus’ broken body on their behalf. Simply state, “Jesus said, ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’ Let us eat together,” and eat the break as a group.

5. Pray silently, and serve the cup. You may pass a small tray, serve people individually, or have them pick up a cup from the table.

6. When everyone has been served, remind them that the cup represents Jesus’ blood shed for them. Simply state, “The cup of the new covenant is Jesus Christ’s blood shed for you. Jesus said, ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’ Let us drink together.” Then drink the juice in a group.

7. Conclude by singing a simple song, listening to a praise song, or having a time of prayer in thanks to God.

Practical Tips in Serving Communion

1. Prepare the elements simply, sacredly, and symbolically.

2. Be sensitive to timing in your meeting.

3. Break up pieces of cracker or soft bread on a small plate or tray. Don’t use large servings of bread or grape juice. You should think about using grape juice— and not wine—because wine can cause some people to stumble.

4. Have all of the elements prepare beforehand, and just bring them into the room or to the table when you are ready.

*Here are some other good Communion passages: Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:14-20, 1 Corinthians 10:16-21 or 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.  

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Brett Eastman served as the Small Group Champion at Saddleback Church and Willow Creek Community Church for over a decade. Brett has produced and either authored or co-authored over 200 small group curriculum series including the bestselling Purpose Driven Small Group curriculum, Doing Lifetogether published by Zondervan, which has sold over 3,000,000 copies. He also was the primary designer behind the 40 Days of Purpose Campaigns that fueled over 25,000 churches around the world. He also wrote and produced the first Purpose Driven small group series for Rick Warren that influenced the development of over 50 small group series to date.