Friday, April 10, 2009

Communion By Numbers

Communion By Numbers:

is a unique, interactive time to fellowship together, converse together, seek God together and experience the act of Communion in a new way together. We will remember Jesus and his time spent with the disciples during the Last Supper and we will remember the sacrifice He made, once and for all, so that we may live, and experience life to the full (John 10:10).


presented by the youth group

[a recap]

DOWNLOAD A PDF OF THE BULLETIN HANDOUT WITH ALL OF THE COMMUNION BY NUMBERS ACTIVITIES LISTED: communion-by-numbers-bulletin [right click, save as, or click to print]

SET UP: We had 12 round tables with 7 chairs at each table. 75 people attended. Each table group could go through the Communion by Numbers handout with full instructions, at their own pace, pausing after #6, so as to do #7 & #8 with all tables together.
SUPPLIES: each table had enough of the following for each potential person (for us, 7 of each per table): rocks, nails, small black pieces of construction paper, tea light. Also needed: a box of matches per table, various images of Jesus and various markers.

We did this as part of a Maundy-Thursday service prior to Easter. Our youth group helped design the service. I got the idea from Jonny Baker & Grace Pocket Liturgies PDF download from Proost. (also avail. at

It could be adapted and used at any time of year for any age group.

Come Thou Fount [worship led by Bryan & Robin Kandel/stool, acoustic guitar, microphone]
composed by the 18th century Methodist pastor Robert Robinson

Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount I'm fixed upon it
Mount of thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I'm come
And I hope by thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wondering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above

BEGIN Communion By Numbers [Introduction & Welcome, Corey + Tim]

1. Introduction and Memorable Meal
Go around table, introduce yourself. On a night like this, just a few days before Jesus would sacrifice himself on the Cross for all humanity, he gathered around a table in the Upper Room for what is known as the ‘Last Supper.’ This became a meal that the disciples would not soon forget.
QUESTION: Think of a memorable meal. Families and friends often gather around the table for a time of fellowship. Share with the group a time that was significant and memorable and meal that was shared with loved ones. What made it so special and memorable?

2. Ebenezer
The 2nd verse of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing mentions raising an Ebenezer.

1 Samuel 7:12-13 reads “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the LORD helped us." So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israelite territory again.“

Ebenezer literally translates as ‘stone of help’. Samuel built an altar after God had protected the Israelites in a battle against the Philistines.
With the rocks on the table, build an altar together. As you build share a moment in your life when you felt God’s Real, Holy Presence and Divine protection.
May each and every one of us always be blessed by the grace and peace of Jesus Christ through the Ebenezers that God has placed in our lives!

3. Imago Christi (Image of Christ)
Look at the various pictures of Jesus on the table. Choose a favorite. Share why you chose the image you did.
Share what you want to remember about Jesus.

4. Confession
Think of something that has, at times, taken your attention away from God or has distracted you from God.
Focus, for a brief moment on that distraction.
Pray. Ask God to take away that distraction and to restore your connection to God.
Place an ‘X‘ on the piece of construction paper in front of you symbolizing the elimination of that which distracts us and takes us away from experiencing God.

5. Affirmation
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 reads “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Go around the table and take turns affirming the person to your left. This is a time to lift each other up.
If you don’t know the person to your left very well, offer some encouragement.

6. Nail
Not long after Jesus would share the Last Supper with his disciples in the Upper Room, he would hang on a cross in the company of sinners. In the eyes of the people who wanted him to die, he was a sinner. He spoke the truth about love, relationships, the church, the world, God... and people weren’t willing to hear it.
Sometimes we’re not either.
Take a nail and hold it in your hand and reflect on why Jesus sacrificed himself for all mankind. Think about some of the things that Jesus taught us. Maybe love the Lord your God with all your heart, or maybe love your neighbor as yourself. Maybe you’re thinking about the Great Commission: go out into all the world and make disciples. Maybe you’re thinking of the Beatitudes where Jesus says blessed are the poor in Spirit, for there’s is the Kingdom of Heaven. Or maybe it’s another truth he taught...
Reflect as you hold the nail in your hand. Then share with your group if you feel compelled to.


Show Safe Space Easter movie from Proost (i think that is where i got it) [1 min 30 sec]

7. Communion
After the short video clip and Communion prayer, uncover the bread and break it. We will take communion by intinction. Go around the table and serve each other. Take a piece of bread and dip it in the cup.
The Bread represents the body of Christ, broken for you.
The juice represents His blood, shed for you.
So that you may know and remember the sacrifice Jesus made for you, so that you may experience life and life to the full.

8. Light
Jesus Christ is the true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. (John 1:9) He empowers with these words: You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. (Matthew 5:14-15)
Light a candle and be challenged to let your light shine before all men.

Before you exit, come and place your nail at the foot of the cross on the stage. Give thanks to God.

“for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:49-50)

Go in peace.

show The on loop from Proost in background as people place nails at foot of cross.

table set up: pictures of Jesus, markers and pieces of black construction paper, bulletin, communion elements, tea light candles, matches, nail, rocks, etc.

nails placed at foot of cross at close of servicenails placed at foot of cross at close of service

ebenezer altar (stone of help)ebenezer altar (stone of help)

light of the worldtea light candles were lit at the end of the service. "you are the light of the world, a city on a hill can not be hidden."
communion elementscommunion elements

youth helpersyouth helpers
Communion By Numbers

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