Why are We Observing the Lord’s Supper Every Week?

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26, ESV)

If you’ve been gathering with us, you will have noticed we are observing the Lord’s Supper each Sunday morning when we gather. For many who have grown up in the church, especially Baptist churches, this is a new practice. Most Baptist churches have traditionally observed the Lord’s Supper once a quarter or once a month. To be sure, the Bible nowhere tells us how often to take part in the Lord’s Supper, it only reminds us that “as often” as we do it, we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). Why, then, are we observing the Lord’s Supper each week? That’s a great question! Allow me to try to answer that question:

The History of High Pointe and the Lord’s Supper:
As I was told, in 2005 High Pointe had not observed the Lord’s Supper for over a year. We immediately began to plan for the Lord’s Supper once a quarter, then once a month. Due to nursery and Kids ’Pointe rotations, the same members were missing from the Lord’s Supper each time. So, we added 5th Sundays to our Lord’s Supper observance in order to try and address that problem.
For several years now, some of the staff have raised the question of the frequency of the Lord’s Supper and the possibility of its weekly observance. Some reasons given for weekly Lord’s Supper observance:
  • This was the practice of the early church.
  • It helps keep short accounts among the membership.
  • It displays the gospel in yet another way during our gathering.

The main objection to weekly Lord’s Supper, though, was that it could seem rote, become routine, and thereby, lose its meaning. Here are some responses to this objection:
  • By 2005, the Lord’s Supper had lost its meaning because it wasn’t being observed at High Pointe.
  • By having a different elder lead the Lord’s Supper each week, we approach the table a little differently.
  • Actions/practices do not lose meaning simply by doing them more often:
  • Telling your spouse you love him/her (you should do that more than once a week).
  • Eating meals together as a family
  • Singing, praying, preaching, reading Scripture – we do these every week when we gather.

Personal Experience
As I shared in our Straight to the Heart article on February 14, some time ago when Jeanine and I were visiting another church, a few minutes into the service, a man and woman sat next to us. She was engaged in the singing and the sermon. The gentleman, not so much. That’s when it all came together for me. If worship is a right whole-person response to all God has revealed himself to be for us in Christ, then we respond to God in worship with more than just singing songs and listening to a sermon. To be sure, at High Pointe we sing the word, read the word, hear the word, pray the word, and listen to the word preached. On occasion, we get to see the word displayed in baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Still, I realized during that church service that we should be presenting the gospel in as many ways as God has commanded on a regular basis: reading, hearing, singing, praying, preaching, baptism, the Lord’s Supper. While we may not be able to do a baptism each week, we certainly can observe the Lord’s Supper.

Four Reasons We are Observing the Lord’s Supper Weekly
Reason 1: To follow the early church’s example
  • The early church in Acts 1-8 was Jewish in background (met at the Temple and kept the Sabbath).
  • But those who embraced Christ gathered on the Lord’s Day for distinctly Christian worship.
    • Acts 2:42-47 | They devoted themselves to the word, breaking bread (Lord’s Supper)…
    • Acts 20:7 | “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread,…”
    • Each week when we gather on the Lord’s Day, we commemorate (remember) Jesus’ death.
    • One way to remember Jesus’ death is by participating in the Lord’s Supper.

Reason 2: To build up the body
  • The Lord’s Supper is a participation in the body and blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16).
  • When we take the Lord’s Supper, we participate in the ONE body (1 Corinthians 10:17).
  • The Lord’s Supper is a picture that reminds us we’re part of Christ’s body united by Jesus’ death.
    • The Lord’s Supper is not about ME; it’s about US.
    • Therefore, we will only take part in the Lord’s Supper when we ALL come together.
    • This is one reason we only serve the Lord’s Supper when we gather only to those in the room.
    • The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, not an individual experience.

Reason 3: To maintain the distinction between Christians and non-Christians
  • In the 1980s, the “seeker-sensitive” movement sought to make church gatherings inviting to unbelievers.
  • Many of the elements that distinguished between Christians/non-Christians were downplayed.
  • Observing the Lord’s Supper weekly allows us to draw attention to the line between belief and unbelief – EVERY WEEK – in a powerful, yet inviting way.
    • In our confused churches where non-Christians attend and are allowed to think they’re Christians, we need to make that distinction clear every time we gather.

Reason 4: To worship God truly – on the basis of the truth of Christ, by the power of the Spirit
  • True worship is a right, whole-person response to God’s revelation of himself in Christ, in the fullness of the Spirit.
  • In other words, all true worship is a right response to God’s word.
  • We respond to God/his word by singing, praying, and hearing the Word.
  • We also respond with our whole person – body/spirit.
  • The Lord’s Supper is a right, whole-person response to God’s word.
  • As often as we eat the bread and drink the cup, we remember Jesus’ death and look forward to the eternal kingdom.
  • In a time when Christian worship has been equated with only music, or when churches are experimenting with “creative ways” to “encounter God,” we must gather together and only respond to God in the ways he has prescribed in Scripture.

The elders believe these reasons (and there are more we could give) far outweigh any reasons not to observe the Lord’s Supper weekly. We are working hard each week to make sure our gatherings are more reflective of Scripture than of culture. And, in doing so, we are hoping to encourage your right, whole-person response to God and his word when we gather.

May our Lord grant us the grace to worship him in spirit and truth, for he is seeking such worshipers.

Love,

Pastor Juan

1 Comment


Rita King - April 7th, 2021 at 1:27pm

Praise God, we love you!

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