If you’ve never been to Verve, something that might surprise you is that we offer communion every week.
Why do we do communion in the service, versus at some other time or in some other place? Well, we don’t believe the service is for non-Christians. If you come to a Verve service you’ll see that we very much have non-Christians in mind when we design it, but still the service is for God. It is a worship service for Him. And, second, the service is for believers who need to be built up in their faith and need to connect with God.
Also, we don’t want to hide the mysteries of the faith from people who don’t yet believe. We don’t want to shield non-Christian from the hard-to-understand or less palatable parts of the faith. If we do, it could feel like a bit of a bait and switch, and it’s also likely to leave them less prepared for their future if they do choose to have a relationship with Him.
Why do we communion every week? Well, one reason is that it’s the example we have in the Bible. (See, for instance, Acts 20:7.) (See also early church history, such as Chapter XIV of the Didache written in about 90 A.D.) Does that mean we have to do communion every week? I don’t think so. The example we have from churches in the Bible doesn’t include indoor plumbing, but we don’t follow that example. If God commanded having communion every week, then it would be a have to, but it’s just their example. But it is the example we have, and so I think we need a convincing reason not to if we were to choose to do it less often.
The other reason we choose to do it every week is because it means there is never a service where we don’t have the opportunity to tell people that Jesus loves them and died to take on their sins so they can be made right with God. Like other churches, we will sometimes have services where the message is about marriage, or your job. But we never have a service where the central component of Christianity – that we were separated from God because of our sins, but can be reconciled to God because of Jesus’ sacrifice – isn’t a component of our service, because every service includes communion.
For church planters and pastors out there who think about such things, I’ll share in a future post how we do communion and how we introduce it (especially considering the fact that a large percentage of the people in our service are not believers).