Children and Communicant Membership

children-communicant-membershipAfter reading Children and the Lord’s Supper, along with several other resources approaching the issue of paedocommunion from one side or the other, I wrote my congregation’s position statement and paper on the topic: “Children and Communicant Membership.” The other pastors and elders discussed the issue after a period of study, and affirmed this statement as the belief and practice of our church. I hope and pray this summary and paper may prove helpful to many Christians and churches that are interested in exploring how we ought to approach the subject of paedocommunion.

Here is the position statement that summarizes the position paper:

Children are a heritage of the Lord (Ps 127:3). Christian parents love their children and eagerly desire for their children to grow in their knowledge and faith in God. Pastors and elders also love the children of the church, all whom God has placed under their shepherding care. As Christians we seek to bring our children to the Lord to participate in the sacramental means of grace. Thus we baptize our children, the sacramental sign of God’s seal of ownership on them and a call to repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. But we do not bring our children to the Lord’s Supper, the sacramental sign of God’s spiritually sustaining those who have answered that call, until they have given public testimony of their own faith. This practice puts us at odds with a minority group of Christians who serve the Lord’s Supper to their children before a public confession of faith. We disagree with this practice on biblical, theological, confessional, and historical grounds. However, we seek to remove, by adhering to a few guidelines, every artificial barrier churches may place between our children and their participation in communion. Therefore we hold to the Lord’s covenant promise to be a God to us and to our children (Isa 54:13; Acts 2:39). We trust God for the day when our non-communing children, whom we view now as full-members of Christ’s church, will confess for themselves the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Eph 4:4-6; Jude 3) and enter into the full privileges and responsibilities reserved for communing members.

This entry was posted in Church History, Church Life, Ecclesiology and Sacraments, Westminster Standards and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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