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Should the Lord’s Supper be the First Meeting on a Sunday?

Should the Lord’s Supper be the First Meeting on a Sunday?
Mar 15 13 Responses Print Save as PDF

I have had a few discussions recently where the format/order of meetings have come up. It’s an interesting discussion.

Some have advocated that the Lord’s supper is the most important meeting of the church (not a view the Scriptures back up) and that it should be the first activity of the church each week.

Others feel there is more flexibility in how and when the various meetings are conducted.

The Bible’s silence

What should be noted is that the Bible has nothing to say about the order and timing of meetings. This is not coincidental.

The fact that the Scriptures do not outline details of church practice should indicate to us that each local church has freedom to meet when it works best for them.

Major on the major

What is important? I personally don’t believe the Lord cares when we hold the Lord’s Supper. Whether it’s first thing Sunday morning, second meeting, in the middle of another service etc. isn’t the main issue.

What is important is the desire of our hearts to remember Him. What is important is that we come together in love, and share the worship of our hearts.

What do you think?

Is the order of church meetings set in stone and unchanging or is there freedom and flexibility? Share your comments below and on our Facebook page.

Crawford Paul

Crawford is an elder at Rolling Meadows Bible Chapel in Ontario and has a passion for the assemblies. He and his wife Beth serve in various ways within the assembly to build up and encourage the believers. He is president of Legacy Ministries Canada, an organization focused on helping individual Christians, local churches and Christian organizations with financial, legal and governance matters. Check it out at legacycanada.org

13 Responses to Should the Lord’s Supper be the First Meeting on a Sunday?

  1. Jim Lamason

    Hi Crawford.. I think it sets the tone for the rest of the day, then the rest of the new week.
    In some respects I am one of those who believe we could do daily if we could. At least we should see if we can develop the same mindset daily.

  2. Doug Stubbs

    Crawford, you have entered upon a subject that is tender and at the heart of believers who have come to love the hour plus devoted to remembering our Lord. It is a special gathering, unstructured as other services of the assemblies and can exhibit the Holy Spirit’s guiding better than any other. It has proven to be a sanctifying experience for the saints, and for those who prepare beforehand, judging themselves and coming with their spiritual baskets filled with manna from heaven to present to the Father, it is a most precious weekly experience.
    However, I am not convinced in our day that practicing it at a time when outsiders and unchurched people more readily will “attend church” is wisdom. The Acts 20 description on this subject suggests the Lord’s supper was held later in the day, after which Paul preached till midnight. So being bound to such a tradition that may have been valid 50+ years ago is simply tradition. I feel we as brethren assemblies have missed out on a powerful opportunity to reach lost souls by holding to this time for remembering our Lord.
    Doug Stubbs

    • Crawford Paul

      Thanks for your thoughts Doug. I too appreciate the way we conduct the Lord’s supper but I also believe it’s only one way, not the way. There is room for each church to do what will benefit their group.

  3. Bruce

    He asked us to do “THIS in remembrance of Him.” It was night after supper. Was it the first day or evening? of the first day? More inportain is to do it and offtin. Can it be done more then one day a week?

  4. One more recent meeting in the Summer of 2018, an elderly lady in our assembly passed out from dehydration during the meeting and we had to make some quick, impromtu changes to the gym in the basement.

    What really struck me was that even though we eventually got the emblems downstairs to partake of them, I pointed out that we are not gathered to the bread and wine, but to a Person, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I have seen one place (non-assembly) do their “communion” every 3 months (4 times a year) and on a Tuesday night of all things. Their way of doing it is with a potluck dinner, typically shared in by all the believers, and then partaking of “communion” after the meal. Their idea is that there was a supper going on in the upper room before the Lord instituted His Own. It’s an interesting concept and one that I don’t think would work in many other places but this one.

    That being said, my particular issue of breaking of bread is how solemn the meeting is, but then it’s all jokes and stories in the next meeting. My question is: What happened to the solemnity? Is one holier than the other?

    • Crawford Paul

      Thanks Patrick. Would you say that all meetings should be solemn?

      • I’m not asking for slemnity, I’m seeking a consistancy. Is one meeting truly greater than another?

      • I just plead the case for consistency. Is one meeting greater than another? Who said it is? Does scripture back that claim? I had a major issue for years with our evening meeting/prayer time as I felt like we were always telling the Spirit when we were done, rather than waiting on Him. Prioritizing the pulpit over the prayer room every time.

        • Crawford Paul

          Great points. I don’t believe there is a priority of meetings. They are all important. We are very much bound by the clock.

  5. J. Jacob

    More of an FYI, rather than a “thought”: There’s an assembly in NJ that’s large (for an assembly), which has 2 FBH’s. FBH1 precedes the Lord’s supper, and FBH2 follows it.

    Obviously, it won’t work for most assemblies, but it shows a practical way that an assembly has addressed its own need.

  6. Steve

    Crawford, sorry for the delay in the response to this good question. I agree with the notion that it doesn’t matter in what order or what time we have the meeting.
    I feel that, seeing each NT Church operates individually and not like a corporate groups of churches(even though I think we should think about leaning that way a little. Another topic for another time) that we can take an honest look at our local church and really think about what works best for everyone who is part of our group.
    I think/ I know we tend to put traditions and templates in front of the actual needs and issues of the local body. It’s a very prideful attitude that I have scene of, “this is when we meet, we’ve done it for X amount of years, people should adjust. If they don’t then they are not serious about being here.”
    Now I know we would say that we would never be like that, but I’ve heard and scene it’s so many times it’s sad. And if we have that attitude and pride then we are not building or helping the church l, we are harming and hurting it.
    We all know we live in different times than the 1960’s and prior, where there are now parents who both work, one parent families, people who work late and or overnight or multiple jobs, etc., and can’t make the early meeting because they are beat and I don’t blame them. We acknowledge the issue, but don’t do anything to address it, except to say a cheesy word of encouragement and then trudge on with our heads down.
    If we don’t want people to “forsake the assembly of others, and build up one another in love and good works,” then we need to make sure that people can make it and want to make and don’t feel forced. So yes, we should consider the time, the template and tenor of our meetings with the body in mind, while keeping Christ as center. The Gospels show that Jesus met people where they were at and didn’t force them into a mold or template. We, as the body, should be doing the same
    about the body. Sorry for the novel, but I just got rolling a little .

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