Service Changes Again? You Bet!

By Nate Powell

When we made some changes to the worship service at the beginning of 2019, the church was informed that we would make several changes to the service, and that we would solicit feedback, and then evaluate what we should do moving forward toward a service that includes more prayer, rearranged order, and streamlined timing to fit everything into the service.

We asked for feedback, and there was one consistent thing we heard, time and time again: Communion time needs work. We need more quiet music for meditation. Less singing while we are taking communion. And so, we have heard you, and now that we are through with staff transitions, we are ready to make some changes that I believe we will all be on board with.

Starting this Sunday, communion time will be moved back to the time proceeding the sermon. The bread and juice will continue to be passed from the back, as the deacons have been doing. But we will sing a song focused on the cross leading into that time, an elder will prepare our hearts to take communion and reflect on Christ’s sacrifice, and we will have quiet music playing so we can pray and meditate while the bread and juice are passed. But we will do one thing different: we will hold that meal individually until everyone has it, and we will then take, eat and drink together.

Why make this change? I do want you to know that it does have a scriptural purpose and is not simply change for the sake of change. When we read Paul’s reflections on communion in 1 Cor 11, we see him helping a church move from a trivial serving of the meal to a significantly deep demonstration of communal faith in Christ. How did they do this? 1 Cor 11:33: “So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord’s supper, wait for each other.” Four key words: wait for each other. In doing this, we don’t just take and eat. We stop and reflect on what he did and why our sin put him there. Our few minutes to take a pause before makes us reflect more deeply on His greatness & our sin problem. The taking in unity reminds us that he didn’t just do it for me, but he sacrificed himself for all of us. I would encourage you to reflect on this 1 Cor 11 passage.

It will take a bit of time to adjust to this change. But in the end, it will help the believers here at ACC reflect deeply on the love displayed on the cross and sin that nailed Jesus there. I have been at and served at churches that do communion this way. I will be leading us through this change in the month of July, and then some of the other elders will join me in August. I’m looking forward to experiencing the Lord’s Supper over the course of the next few weeks with all of you.