Communing Members

This Sunday after worship we will have an informational meeting for parents and children wishing to go through preparation to become communing members of the church. This is sometimes called a “Communicants Class”. What is this and why do we do it?

Let it be said that we believe the children of one or both believing parents to be children of the covenant and as such are members of the visible church. We don’t view them as outsiders. This is different from saying they are regenerate and have expressed faith in Jesus Christ. We are acknowledging their place in the covenant community (I Corinthians 7:14).

When we baptize one of our children we are applying the sign of covenant admission through baptism, the former sign being circumcision (Genesis 17, Colossians 2:11-12). We view such children as members albeit non-communing members. That is they are members who have not yet been admitted to the Lord’s Table.

We see in Scripture the need to have expressed true faith and true repentance before coming to the Lord’s Table. According to I Corinthians 11:28, a person should practice self-examination as preparation. We believe this means, among other things, that they should possess a credible profession of faith.

This is what the PCA Book of Church Order has to say:

The children of believers are, through the covenant and by right of birth, non-communing members of the church. Hence they are entitled to Baptism, and to the pastoral oversight, instruction and government of the church, with a view to their embracing Christ and thus possessing personally all the benefits of the covenant… Those only who have made a profession of faith in Christ, have been baptized, and admitted by the Session to the Lord’s Table, are entitled to all the rights and privileges of the church.

The purpose of this meeting is to provide some structure and material to parents who feel their children are ready to be admitted to the Lord’s Table thus becoming communing members. This is for children who evidence that they understand the gospel, see their need of God’s grace and mercy in Jesus Christ, and exhibit a desire to live as a follower of Jesus.

The Session has not set a specific age for communing membership. We are looking to parents to use wisdom and discretion in this matter. We will give you materials that will basically help your children understand what the full privileges of communing membership are. After about 6 weeks, I will have a 3 week review session in my office on Sundays during School of Discipleship. For those parents and children who are then ready, we will have an informal time with other members of the Session to hear the children express their faith and readiness to come to the Lord’s Table.

All those interested parentsplease come for a brief meeting after worship THIS Sunday, September 7th in the conference room/classroom.