Family Ministries is introducing a new NMC tradition that we are VERY excited about – “Family Communion Sundays.” On the first Sunday of the month, we are going to include the 1st – 8th Graders in the worship and communion portion of the main service. One of our values here at NMC is the integration of the generations so that our children have a chance to be a part of the larger NMC family – watching, modeling, belonging, and learning. This is an important step in raising our children and we are excited to create this new family worship experience.
First Sunday of the Month
- Check your child in through the electronic check-in station and then take him/her to the Worship Center with you. After the worship and communion portion of the service, we will release the kids to go with their leaders and they will finish the service in their regularly scheduled programs.
- Kids will continue to be signed out from their classrooms after the service.
- Our high schoolers are given the opportunity to join one of the Sunday morning teams to serve – ushering, greeting, parking, hospitality, praying, kids check-in station, preparing communion, etc. on these special Sundays. Arrive on the patio at 8:15 or 10:15 for a Prayer and Briefing along with an assignment for that service.
- I have never taken communion with my child – what do I do? Deut. 6:4-9 tells us that as parents it is our job to teach our children God’s commands. One of the best ways for us to teach our children is through the participation in communion and taking the opportunity to teach your child what it symbolizes.
- I come from a tradition where communion is begun with a special class or ceremony. We want to respect and honor those who have other traditions but here at NMC, we only ask that your child has asked Jesus to be their savior. We are comfortable with a child taking communion, at any age, if they are a follower of Jesus.
- If my child isn’t ready to take communion, what do I do? Great question! This is a moment where you can sit with your child and explain what is going on. There is no shame in waiting until your child is ready. If you look around, not all the adults go forward. We always let people know that if they want to sit and contemplate, what has been said, then we want them to feel comfortable doing that.
- The elements are up front – do I go with my child? Yes! We encourage you to take communion with your family and use this time to teach your child what it looks like to reflect on what Jesus has done for us. It is also important for us to supervise our children and teach them what it looks like to respect others who are also taking communion and reflecting on Christ’s sacrifice. It does tend to be a more quiet, reflective experience.
- How can I prepare my child ahead of time? Read through Matthew 26:26-29. Give your child the context of the Scripture – Jesus was having a special meal with his best friends. This meal was like a Thanksgiving meal and had many symbols in it. One of the symbols was bread and another was the wine. When Jesus picked up the bread to “break” it up for his disciples, he used the bread as a symbol to now represent himself or his body. “My body is broken for you.” Then he took the cup which represented “redemption” and he said, “This cup is poured out for the forgiveness of your sins.” He was saying to them that his body (which represented the bread of life) and the cup of wine (which represented his blood being shed) were all symbols of what he was going to do on their behalf to SAVE them from the consequences of their sin, because we have sinned we are separated from God. Because of Jesus, all our sin once confessed to him, is transferred to Jesus and we are made clean before God. We can have a friendship – we are no longer separated. God’s Spirit called the Holy Spirit comes and lives in us. He gives us the strength to follow God’s commands found in the Bible.
- Wouldn’t the Kids’ Leaders be better teachers than me? Our Kids’ leaders are fantastic and they work so hard to prepare quality, age-appropriate and engaging learning experiences for your child. However, God gave the command to parents to teach God’s commands to their children (Deut. 6:4-9) with the understanding that families live in supportive, caring communities. We want to provide you with an opportunity to teach your child and we will continue to surround you with lots of teaching and caring support.
Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions – I would be happy to talk through them with you!