“You Visited Me” – Home Communion Ministry

One ministry that will touch lives and endure the tyranny of the urgent is a “Home Communion Ministry.”

There was a man who called at the church and asked if he could speak to the Head Hog at the Trough. The secretary said, “Who?” Then she gathered herself and said “Sir, if you mean our pastor you will have to treat him with a little more respect than that and ask for the …’Reverend’ or ‘The Pastor.’ But certainly you cannot refer to him as the ‘Head Hog at the Trough.'”

The man said, “I understand. I was calling because I have $10,000 I was thinking about donating to the building fund.”

She said, “Hold on for just a moment-I think the little piggy just walked in the door.”

As a senior pastor of three churches and executive pastor of a fourth, I know the church matters that call for immediate attention …

… somebody in the AA meeting smoked in a classroom … the preschool children tracked sand in the nursery again … a thief stole sound equipment … a deacon complained that your sermons are too long … a retired man wants to give a large endowment to the church.

The list goes on.

One ministry that will touch lives and endure the tyranny of the urgent is a “Home Communion Ministry.” A first step is to ask for volunteers. Then train them in the meaning of Holy  Communion. Some steps below how to carry out the ministry:

Identify those home bound or in care centers would like to receive Communion. You could start with a notice in the bulletin.

Calendar the monthly Communion visits in the office calendar. Those home bound will likely not complain if they are forgotten. One missed month turns into two, then three … then just forgotten.

Buy enough home communion sets to facilitate the ministry. Yes, these portable communion sets are available on Amazon from about $20 –

For a small to medium church, three to four sets should suffice.You can use a  quality grape juice and store bought communion wafers. Or you could make your own Communion bread. See our video below on how to make your own bread. Carry enough elements so you can serve family who may be present on your visit.  Communion wafers and plastic disposable cups are available online.

Empower lay ministers to serve Home Communion. While Home Communion  makes an ideal extension ministry for clergy, lay ministers  may find their calling in this ministry. Deacons and elders can assist coordination and implementation of the work. One option for this ministry is to provide a monthly Communion Service at a care center.

Prepare a simple service of Communion. The attached Home Communion Service might be place to start (click)- Home Communion Service

Without a church or pastor? A blessing to prepare your own Home Communion Service

You may say, “Jim, we don’t have a church or a pastor to serve us.” Should you find yourself between churches, please consider the linked Home Communion Service as a sacramental blessing for you to prepare your own Home Communion Service. Gather the elements and prayerfully examine your heart as you partake of the Lord’s Supper.  As you remember the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord, may you experience the Risen Christ as the two disciples on the Emmaus road who met the risen Christ – And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24:27).

May you know that you are not alone. We pray that God would lead you to a church you could call home. Stay tuned for the upcoming lesson on how to find and attend a church.

Pastor Jim

Thanksgiving – The True Holy Grail!

Today on Christians Need to Know, we will talk about Thanksgiving – your key to opening the doors of relationships in your life …With God and with others.

Fred and Madge are the perfect neighbors. Their house was decorated for Christmas the week after Halloween! Children and families pilgrimage to their yard. They also bake. This week they brought over their homemade cinnamon rolls with tart sour cream icing – two plates full.

Fred and Madge’s Cinnamon Rolls 

Giving someone the gift of bread, something made with your hand, is the universal sign of friendship … It opens doors of relationships!

Today as we share Holy Communion together, also known as The Lord’s Supper and the Eucharist.  The Eucharist from the Greek word that Jesus used when he gave thanks to God before sharing the bread and the cup with the disciples. Why did he give thanks? We see that Jesus gave thanks this way before momentous signs he performed –

In John chapter 6, Jesus gave thanks and multiplied the five small loaves and two fish to feed a multitude. John 11, Jesus gave thanks, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me” when he raised Lazarus who had been dead three days.

It was with his grieving friends at Lazarus’s tomb that “Jesus wept.” Jesus gave thanks as a vessel to hold and pour out the power of God. While others have searched for the Holy Grail, the cup that held the wine of the Last Supper, the true Holy Grail was the Eucharist – Giving Thanks to God – before we share in the power of God to open the door of relationship. Jesus Christ through his life, death on the cross, burial and resurrection offers us a restored relationship with God and others!

Years ago after my 3rd pastorate, having lived in 5 church parsonages, I found myself single and between churches. I felt very isolated and alone. Almost like my memories of those church and family dinners happened to someone else.

Now working in the insurance industry,  I then lived in a condo, with my two sons visiting for the holidays. My youngest knew to smuggle in cans of chili because I was a terrible cook. The season caught up with me. For the holiday dinner, I took my two boys to Denny’s restaurant. What I didn’t expect, was seeing other fathers, alone in the restaurant, with their children. My astute youngest surveyed the room and said, “Dad, this is embarrassing!”

There in that odd bunch of single fathers and their children, the waitress served as an angel, sharing the bread of fellowship and joy with those who felt alone.

I’m grateful for that Denny’s dinner, because that humble shared meal reminded me that even when we feel alone, we are not.

Some of you hearing this feel desperately alone, hurt, estranged from your family, friends and church. And you are not sure how to move forward.

First, let’s follow the example of the Lord, “Give thanks to God! – that he loves you and that Jesus Christ is your Savior.

Now, as an expression of your thanks, share something done by your hand with another!

  • A postcard, card or letter
  • A loaf of bread
  • A coffee with the person behind you in Starbucks.
  • A smile with an overworked cashier

And you will receive the power of the Holy Grail to open doors of relationships! While we have no control over others, even God allows free will, we will find the door opened in our life.

Now: Pause this recording and gather a small piece of bread or cracker and juice, grape juice if you have it. 

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NKJV)
23  For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
24  and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
25  In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26  For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes again.

Thanks for Walking with me today on Christians Need to Know!

Remember, Keep on the Sunny Side and Give Thanks!  As the singer, Willie Nelson, said, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around!”

Stay with me in the next video as my lovely wife, Carol, shows us how to make homemade Communion Bread!