What is a Communicants Class?
The word “communicant” is a very old word that simply means “to share with”.
Basically, this class helps our young people get ready to take The Lord’s Supper and to become “communing members” of Holy Cross, which means they will be able to share in the life of the church as professing members. But so much more than that, it helps to confirm their profession of faith, give them assurance of their standing in God’s grace, and give their church family opportunity to rejoice with them in God’s work in their lives.
Why do we do this?
Since there are responsibilities associated with engaging in the Lord’s Supper, a child is not automatically served the Lord’s Supper upon a profession of faith. The child must be capable of understanding and embracing the responsibilities that accompany communing membership.
If you baptized your child as an infant, you claimed God’s covenant promises on your child behalf, but now your child must claim these promises on his/her own. This class aims to build on the foundation of biblical instruction that the child has received at home and is an act of confirming and strengthening your child's faith.
Upcoming Class Dates & Details:
- Next Class: April 25, May 2, May 16 (no class May 9)
- Classes held at Holy Cross in the Big Kids room
- Child participants follow along with provided workbook
- Child should bring their Bible. No other materials needed
- One parent required to attend with their child
- Lunch provided
Below are some guidelines to consider before enrolling your child in the class:
- The child should be between grades 3-7. Consideration will be given, in special cases, to children that fall outside of this age range.
- Before a child begins the class, he/she should have already made a profession of faith (normally to a parent or guardian) OR it is apparent that your child is exhibiting a sincere desire to know more about a relationship with Jesus. This class is not meant to lead a child to Christ, but rather confirm and strengthen their faith. However, opportunity will be given in the class to respond to the gospel with a parent.
- All children seeking membership and participation in The Lord's Supper must have been baptized or scheduled to be baptized prior to membership.
- The child should have a strong desire to begin this process. It should not be primarily parent-driven.
- The child must attend all three sessions. At least one parent must attend all sessions with their child.
- After the class, parents will be asked to complete a brief online questionnaire to give evidences of their child's profession of faith.
- After the class, the child will be asked to attend a Sunday morning worship service where they will affirm their membership vows and be presented to the congregation.
- Finally, parents must be willing, even after having their child attend the class, to delay their child's participation in The Lord's Supper if the elders have doubt about his/her salvation or genuine interest in being a communing member.
Parent Participation & Elder Responsibilities
The Bible teaches that the primary responsibility for the spiritual training and teaching of children belongs to the parents (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Ephesians 6:4). Therefore, this class is not designed to replace the instruction of parents but to partner with parents in significant ways by modeling to them how to instruct children in the gospel.
To this end, the elders are available to offer ideas, suggestions, guidance, pray with and for families, and meet with families to discuss spiritual issues or concerns.
We encourage parents to interact with this material along with their children as much as possible. The material found in this workbook can easily be reviewed and discussed at home.
Understanding that God can work in our children’s lives at different times, parents of children under the recommended age wishing that their child participate in confirmation may do so by requesting a pre-assessment elder interview to determine if they should pursue the communicants class. This is also available for parents who are still unsure if their child is ready for the class.
If the child was not baptized as an infant or before going through the communicants class, then information on how to schedule a baptism will be given once the class is completed. All children must be baptized before being admitted to The Lord’s Table. Baptisms may take place on the day of their membership vows, and with other children. Our normal and preferred mode of baptism is by pouring of water over the child’s head.
How can you discern if your child is a Christian?
Admitting the obvious—we are not God and cannot see the heart. However, it is important to look for evidence in a child’s life to discern a credible profession of faith. Below are some biblical evidences for helping parents discern that a child, teenager, or young adult has become a new believer in Christ:
- Growing affection and need for Jesus and the gospel.
- Heightened understanding of the truths of Scripture.
- Increased kindness and selflessness toward siblings.
- Greater awareness of and distaste for sin.
- Noticeable desire to obey parents.
Here are five questions to consider when looking for evidence of true saving faith in your child:
- Does my child appear to truly love Jesus, or is he or she just telling me what they know I want to hear? Look for genuine affection for Jesus and discern if this is rooted in what Jesus has done for them.
- Does my child independently seek to know God’s Word? Look for times when your child seeks to understand God's Word apart from your prodding.
- Does my child demonstrate greater understanding of deep spiritual truths? Look for how your child appears to understand truths about God, the gospel, and the Bible better than before.
- Is my child demonstrating spiritual fruit contrary to his personality? Look for unnatural, supernatural fruit in your child's thoughts/behaviors that wouldn't occur otherwise.
- Is there independent remorse for daily sins? Look for your child to confess sin or admit a lie before you confront them.
If you believe your child is ready to confirm his/her beliefs and meets the guidelines above, Holy Cross welcomes him/her to enroll in our communicants class.