Examining Children for Communion

When parents want to bring their children before the Elders of the church to be interviewed, they often ask what the process involves. From the perspective of the Elders it is a joyous moment and opportunity to hear the profession of faith out of a young child’s mouth. However, I have come to learn that from the perspective of the child, it is an intimidating process where the seemingly all-knowing men of the church are going to see how little they know.

I thought it would be helpful, for the benefit of the parents (and the children), to write up a short guide to help parents through this process. I use it with my children and when I speak to them about Communion, or go through their catechism in the evening, I work to bring them to a knowledge of at least these five areas. These five areas are the minimal things I would want to and expect to hear from a child. Hearing a child articulate these areas I would be satisfied as their Pastor/Elder that they had a profession of faith that was biblical, that they understood the Gospel, and of course that they could discern the elements of the Supper.

God – Starting with the basics. Can they tell me what God has done, who He is?
Q. Who is God?
A. God is the Creator. God made everything. He has revealed himself in the Bible

Sin – What is it that separates us from God? Do they know they are a sinner?
Q. What is sin? Do you sin?
A. Sin breaking God’s law. Yes, everyone is a sinner.

Consequence of Sin – Do they understand why they need Jesus?
Q. What is the result of sin?
A. There is a penalty for breaking God’s law. When we break God’s law we must pay the penalty unless God saves us from the punishment.

Jesus – This is probably the question most children struggle with. But it is arguably the most important. What has God done to save them? Do they know are to speak about Jesus?
Q. Who is Jesus? Why do we need Jesus? What did Jesus do? Where is Jesus?
A. God sent his son, Jesus to die on the cross for me. On the cross Jesus took the penalty for my sin.
Jesus died for me.
Jesus was dead and buried for 3 days.
On the 3rd day Jesus rose again from the dead and is with God the Father in heaven.
Jesus will come again.

Communion – Do they know what the elements of the Table are? Do they understand what they represent?
Q. What is communion?
A. In communion we remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
The bread is the body of Jesus and the cup is his blood.