The Kiddie Table:
Why I Share Communion With My Kid
I’m probably not in the majority of parents when I say that I allow my 3-year-old daughter to participate in communion at church.
In fact, up until recently, I would have disagreed with myself. Becoming a parent changes you in many ways, and I was not expecting this.
Churches love to welcome little kids, proudly presenting a colorful classroom with a slew of volunteers to teach your littles about Jesus. We like to put them to the side with their “mini-church” and go about our “more important adult stuff over here.”
Now, I am also a children’s church teacher, so I highly endorse children’s church and applaud all efforts around the world to teach kids the Gospel. But we cannot have the mindset that they are not a vital part of the church today — right now, as they are.
1 Timothy 4:12 is often recited as encouragement to younger adults when it says, “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
But we also shouldn’t look down on children and think that God’s love and power can’t be shown through them or that they can’t have a relationship with God or understand spiritual things. Jesus set a great example when He said, “Let the little children come to me.” We can learn so much from them!
When my daughter was old enough to see everyone in church being served cute little cups of juice and bread, she wanted in immediately. Her excitement was visible. Have I ever been that excited for communion? Why do I approach it so stodgily? Yes, it is a reminder of our covenant with Jesus, and it is sacred, but we can enter that rite with joy and thanksgiving in our heart.
So here I was, faced with a conundrum. I could give communion to my daughter or I could tell her that she’s not yet welcomed into the church family or the Lord’s Table.
But there is no kiddie table. There is no kid-sized God portion.
We must remember that the Last Supper that Jesus celebrated with His disciples was a Passover celebration — a seder dinner. I’ve had the great joy to participate in several Messanic Jewish Passover dinners, and guess what? Children are welcomed at that table, and not only that, they have a very special role to play that night.
My daughter has an understanding of Jesus, His sacrifice, and of God that fits with her age. She talks about how Jesus lives in her heart and in Heaven. She gets excited about church and asks if we can worship by singing “Jesus songs.”
Were you ever picked last for a dodgeball team? It’s not nice to feel left out or picked last.
And, frankly, I worry this is what we are doing to kids when we tell them they are not welcome at the Lord’s Table.