Saturday, July 15, 2006

Baptism & The Lord's Supper

I'm studying for a series we're doing at our church next month on the ordinances—baptism and the Lord's Supper. "A Christian ordinance," writes Donald Whitney in his book Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church, "is a ceremony that the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded to be permanently practiced by the church." Last fall our pastoral team gave ourselves to studying this topic and identified some weaknesses (due to our leadership) in our church's practice of the ordinances that need to be addressed. So we're anticipating God's help as we bring clarity and thorough teaching on their importance both in the life of our church and the life of the individual believer.

I'm posting because I'm curious to hear from you about your personal experience of the ordinances and your church's practice. If you have a minute, please post answers to the following questions:
1. When were you baptized in relationship to your conversion and how old were you? What was the spiritual significance of baptism for you in your Christian life? And if you're a believer and you haven't been baptized, why not?

2. How does your church conduct baptisms? How often? What context? How important are they and do many people attend? And what effect do they have on the congregation?

3. How does your church celebrate the Lord's Supper in terms of frequency and how the meal is shared? Do you partake as families? Pass trays? Tear real bread or eat those hard little cracker things?

4. Do you personally prepare for communion and if so what does this involve? And what is the consistant spiritual effect of taking communion? If it's not much don't feel bad about sharing that either.
If you can post answers I will be most grateful. I am actually really curious to hear from you.

One important rule: let's refrain from turning this into a debate over infant baptism. If you're a Presbyterian brother/sister just note that for questions 1 & 2 and we'll all be cool.

Thanks for dropping in.

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