Our Practice of the Lord’s Table

The New Testament says very little about the format of Christian meetings, or how we should break bread together. It seems the Holy Spirit wanted to give the believers the freedom to worship the Lord as they so desire. Still, we can find in it some general principles for how we should gather together, and we seek to follow these as a church.

Week by Week
on the Lord’s Day

On the first day of the week…we were gathered together to break bread.”
– Acts 20:7

Every Lord’s Day we come together to break bread, that is, to have the Lord’s table, or what many Christians refer to as “communion.” As Acts 20:7 indicates, this practice of breaking bread each Lord’s Day seems to have been the pattern in the New Testament. This is certainly not a rule, but a practice that we generally keep.

To Remember the Lord &
Declare His Death

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

During the Lord’s table, we sing hymns, pray, testify, and praise the Lord together, gathered around the bread signifying the Lord’s body and the wine, or juice, signifying the new covenant in His blood (Luke 22:19-20). As the spirit leads, some brothers eventually break the break and pass the cup. All those who have believed in Christ as their Savior, and who have thus been born again to be the members of His Body, are free to partake of this bread and wine.

As we break bread, we remember the Lord and declare His death until He comes (1 Cor. 11:23-36). For so many of us, this meeting is a source of spiritual health, strength, and weekly renewal in our Christian lives in which we offer our love to the Lord and thank Him for all that He is to us, and for all that He’s done for us.

With All the Saint’s
Participating

What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has!”
– First Corinthians 14:26

Our practice of the Lord’s table is participatory, rather than being led by someone such as a pastor or following a formal liturgy. That is, at the table all the believers are encouraged to pray, to testify, to call a hymn for the congregation to sing, and in general to draw on their experience of Christ throughout the week to overflow in worship to the Lord.

Few Christian gatherings practice this kind of worship today, so it may be a new experience for those who are visiting us for the first time. However, once again this seems to have been the New Testament pattern. For us, it is a real privilege and blessing to have the freedom, and the responsibility, to worship the Lord in this manner. It makes us, and all the saints, responsible directly to the Lord to bear the meeting before Him, rather than depending on someone else to lead the meeting for us. Practically speaking, this to practice the New Testament priesthood of all the believers (1 Peter 2:5, 9).