Is there a meaningful role women can play in preparing the Lord's Supper?

We have found one.  Though most roles in preparing and serving the Lord’s Supper in many churches are played by men, certain women play a very significant role in the preparation of ours.  For those unfamiliar with the common practice of Southern Baptist Churches, the Lord’s Supper is done once a quarter (4 times a year) and small tiny crackers (size of a thumbnail) are often used as the bread. 

In response to a dear friend challenging me on trying to change our practice to make this experience more meaningful, we made a few changes from the norm.  We changed the frequency to once or twice a month.  Instead of using small, stale crackers we began using real bread (one loaf broken during the presentation for visual effect and the other cut into pieces and passed out). 

This is where some precious ladies in our church play a meaningful role in the Lord’s Supper.  The bread used for the Lord’s Supper is made by a certain lady in our church and is brought the day of the Lord’s Supper.  The bread is fresh.  It is visually appealing.  The joy these ladies feel in being able to serve the church in this way is tremendous. 

Imagine the appreciation the congregation feels knowing someone has labored to bake this bread to serve them.  Imagine the joy that lady in the church feels as she watches the entire congregation partake of the bread she made that represents the body of our Savior.  This has proven very meaningful to all involved and has enhanced our experience as a congregation every time we come to partake. 

I know this scenario proves more difficult depending on size of church and method of coming to the Table.  Nevertheless, I encourage you to find a way for ladies to appropriately serve in this area, as it has done nothing but enhance our unity as a church and communion with Christ at the Table.

Posted in Discipleship
7 comments on “Is there a meaningful role women can play in preparing the Lord's Supper?
  1. J Ducommun says:

    Our church (less than 25 members) has incorporated the ladies in the Lord’s table as well. We practice the Lord’s Supper once per month with the ladies preparing the small table (set up, table cloth, etc.) and the wine and bread. The bread is presented to the congregation whole and broken by the pastor and distributed by the deacons. The wine (we use grape juice in preference to some – although I lobbied for real wine…) and is served in individual small cups. I should mention that the bread is made without yeast (they conceded that to me..). At the conclusion the men gather the fragments and the women clear the table (just like home ; ).

    Enjoy your blogsite.

  2. Brian, This is a great idea. One question:

    It sounds like you have switched to leavened bread. Do you think we risk losing any of the significance of this event, and its original ties to Passover, by using leavened bread?

    By the way, I greatly enjoyed your book on Visiting the Sick. We have many elderly in our church and I’ve made a lot of hospital and bedside visits in my first four years of ministry. I appreciate your pastoral heart.

    • Brian Croft says:

      Great question. I don’t think we lose significance by using leavened bread anymore than we lose it by using grape juice (which most do). The elements are a representation of the body and blood of Christ. The visual efffect is what we thought would enhance it.

      Thanks for your encouragement about the book. I’m very glad you and your elders have found it helpful.

  3. Preston says:

    Wonderful, We are going to start this. We have the Supper the first Sunday of each month – and we are still baptist – I think.

    Continue to write – it has been helpful.

  4. Matthew says:

    This is a curious post to me since I know of no place in Scripture that tells us how the lord’s Supper is to be administered and who is qualified to administer the elements. What, Scripturally, do you find to limit or disallow women from serving the elements? Are we to suppose that the love feasts of the early church were meals prepared and served by men only?

    Appreciate the blog and forward it to young pastors often.

    • Brian Croft says:

      Scripture appears unclear on the specifics of who serves. However, it seems to be a common practice for men to lead in many cases since the Lord’s Supper is a part of the main public gathering of the church, which is led typically by pastors and male leaders.

      Good question and one I will continue to think through. Thanks for writing.

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