Category  |  communion

True Fellowship

The word fellowship conjures up some rather strange associations in my mind. When I hear it spoken, I immediately think of coffee and donuts, along with the basement meeting spaces in churches where those coffee and donuts are served. Most strangely, I also think about the 2001 movie The Fellowship of the Ring. So somehow my concept of Christian community has become inextricably tied to a tale of men, dwarves, and elves dealing with “one ring to rule them all.”

A Large Portion

As I was putting my 11-year-old son to bed one night, we finally got around to talking about what had happened at church that morning. When we went forward to take communion, he used only one hand to break off the bread. As a result, he ended up with an exceptionally large piece—causing me and the administering elder to break into smiles.

Your Body

I like to write out my thoughts before I type them. But when I use an old pen that rolls roughly across the paper, my thoughts thump along in fits and starts. When I can’t squeeze the ink out, I can’t squeeze the words out, and I quickly toss the pen aside for a better one. A free-flowing pen opens my mind, and the words often come pouring out as fast as I can write them.

you choose Q: what's the mission of the church?

Q; What's the mission of the church?  —Sean

A: The church is a holy priesthood. As a body, it shares the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost and intercedes with God for an unbelieving world (1 Peter 2:5,9). Acts 2:42 summarizes the activities of the earliest fellowship of believers—activities that should still characterize the church today—this way: “The believers devoted themselves to the…

you choose Q: what does it mean for the elders to administer the Lord's Supper?

Q: In the Westminster Confession of Faith it states that the sacraments are to be administered by ordained ministers. Elders are to shepherd, govern and protect. I’ve been thinking a lot about this in terms of the Lord’s Supper. But what does it mean for the elders to administer the Lord’s Supper? Does this mean simply explaining what we are…

leaving church

Poised at the door of the church auditorium, I hesitated. Why? I realized that I didn’t want to go to church. It’s not that I didn’t want to go to any church at all. I simply no longer wanted to go to this church. My wife felt the same way. A few weeks later, after 20 years as members, we made the agonizingly painful decision to leave. But leaving is not the same as quitting.

June 10, 2013

What does taking communion (The Lord’s Supper) mean to you? Why is it so important?


If you don’t know how to “threethrow,” don’t worry—it’s easy. You hold up your hand and pin down your pinky finger with your thumb. The three remaining fingers represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You can use this gesture to connect with other Christians “when verbal fellowship can’t occur,” says Mark Mitchum, who originated threethrowing. He hopes that this hand signal will “connect [Christians] for a few seconds and allow fellowship and encouragement [to occur].”

a beautiful community

In his book A Good and Beautiful Community, James Bryan Smith quotes an early Christian document known as the Letter to Diognetus (AD 120–200): “Though they are residents at home in their own countries, their behavior there is more like transients . . . they obey the prescribed laws, but in their own private lives they transcend the laws. They show…

shared happiness

The 2007 film Into the Wild tells the true story of Chris McCandless. Upon graduating from college in the early 1990s, McCandless had become disillusioned with his conventional life. Without saying a word to his family, he sold all his belongings, disappeared into the back country of the western United States, and eventually ventured deep into the Alaskan wilderness—alone.


in the tent

As I was sorting through the daily mail, my life suddenly merged with the lives of fellow believers thousands of miles away. As I looked at the simple foldout from a magazine, the brown and white colors of the map muted the violent attacks these persecuted Christians endure. The map, pinpointing places where the gospel goes forth with great struggle,…

breaking bread

Last month my brothers and our families enjoyed an outstanding dinner with our Amish cousins. The Amish begin every dinner with a silent prayer of thanksgiving, and—perhaps because their homemade meals are so delicious—they do it again at the end. Besides their terrific food, I was struck by the Amish emphasis on fellowship. Mealtime wasn't merely a refueling pit stop,…

why take communion?

Recently I was the guest speaker for the worship service in a church on Communion Sunday. When the pastor asked me to oversee the taking of Communion, I did it the way my home church does it. The pastor later told me that it was not the "usual way" they did it. He also said, however, that it was good…