Question:

We have a small congregation. We are not under an eldership at this time.  My question is: Who is qualified to serve communion or can anyone serve it? We have a couple of young boys aged 6 and 7 who are following the men who serve, so they can learn how. Sometimes the kids carry the tray, as I saw this morning. I have never seen the children actually serve anyone. There have been several splits in this congregation over who can do that. I have always been taught that servers on the Lord's table are baptized believers who are men. I asked one gentleman this morning who is qualified to be an elder what he thought and he said, the children are actually saved and safe until they reach accountability and he thought there was nothing wrong with them learning how to do it at this age. What do you think? And if they can do this, what would prevent them from saying prayers, etc., before the congregation?


Answer:

In many congregations those serving on the Lord's table also give a short talk and lead prayers. It is for this reason that Christian men are used to serve the Lord's Supper. Since this a Christian practice, it would stand to reason that Christians are used to carry out the Lord' decree. The use of young boys who are not yet Christians, sends the wrong message. It assumes the boys will eventually become Christians. While that is desirable, there is no guarantee because each person must freely choose of his own free will. More, since they are not yet Christians, partaking of the Lord's Supper would have not real meaning to them. It would be nothing more than an empty ritual.

There are no rules regarding how the Lord's Supper is to be served -- whether the unleavened bread and the grape juice is passed out or those partaking come forward. Congregations choose to do what works best for them. There are no direct rules about who may serve the Lord's Supper if it is passed out.

What I find puzzling is that there is no need to cause controversy. Children do not need to learn how to serve the Lord's Supper. It is not a difficult task. They can observe it being done from their seats and when they chose to become Christians they can participate in it fully, knowing its full meaning.

However, there are specific rules to not claim a "liberty" that causes a brother to stumble (leave the church). "For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ" (I Corinthians 8:11-12). Splits are being caused over these matters; that alone is reason for this practice to stop of using non-Christian boys in serving the Lord's Supper.