We officially gather with the church on Sunday mornings from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. On most Sundays, people will hang around after the meeting until we are forced to lock the doors (We rent a meeting space, and our lease states that we have to leave the building at 12:30 p.m.). From there, some people return home, while others continue fellowshiping with one another over lunch – either at a home or a local restaurant. We meet again on Sunday evenings for prayer. Again, after the offical meeting Sunday evening, some people return home, while others gather in various homes and restaurants.
However, once a month (usually, this is not set in stone), we have a Lord’s Supper. We actually call it a Lord’s Supper/Fellowship. There is no set agenda for our Lord’s Supper/Fellowship, but I thought I would describe a “normal” meeting.
After we leave our Sunday morning meeting, we meet back together between 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. in order to give people time to go home and pick up their food. We will meet back together either at someone’s house (or backyard), a local community center, a park, or other location. As people arrive, they begin setting up tables and chairs and possibly tents, if we are meeting outside. Also, the fellowship begins. One of the more difficult things to do is to gather people around the table, because there are so many conversations going on. While we plan to start at 1:30 p.m., we try to wait until everyone arrives before we actually start. If we know someone is planning to come, we will wait for them – we have waited up to an hour before.
Once everyone arrives, we partake in the elements of the Lord’s Supper. This is accompanied by Scripture reading, prayer, songs… it always differs depending on who is serving the Lord’s Supper. We partake of the bread and the cup together. Then, we continue with a full meal. (We have never had the Lord’s Supper with only the bread and cup.)
After everyone has finished eating, we begin a time of sharing and prayer. Again, what happens during this time changes from month to month. Usually, it includes singing, Scripture reading, prayer, testimonies, words of thanksgiving, etc. What happens during this time depends upon what God is doing in our group at that time. After this, we continue fellowshiping with games, conversations, etc. This usually lasts until 6:00 p.m. or later. (Our last Lord’s Supper/Fellowship ended at 8:00 p.m.) However, even this isn’t the end of fellowship for some. Sometimes people leave our Lord’s Supper/Fellowships only to meet again at someone’s home.
From the beginning to the end, people are continually coming and going. There is no set schedule. Everyone knows they are welcome to come and go as their schedules and families require. We also invite “visitors” to join us. We’ve always thought that our Lord’s Supper/Fellowships were the best way to get to know us.
Is this the only way to partake of the Lord’s Supper? No. Certainly not. But there are certain aspects that are always included in scriptural accounts of the Lord’s Supper: bread, cup, meal, fellowship. We have tried to include each of these as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
We are always willing to learn from others. How do you partake in the Lord’s Supper with the church?