How Often Should We Take the Lord’s Supper


I had been the lead pastor of my church for about a month when I noticed that the Lord’s Supper wasn’t on the official church calendar for another couple of months. Attempting to be a good Baptist pastor, I called the chairman of deacons. “Hey, how often do we take the Lord’s Supper around here?” I asked.

He replied, “Hmm. I think we do it a couple of times a year, but check the church constitution.”

Of course! What was I thinking? The answer had to be in the church constitution, and indeed it was. It was clear as day; the church was to come to the Table quarterly. Four times a year we were to eat little wafers and drink a shot glass of grape juice.

Since then I’ve asked several church members why they think we should or should not take the Lord’s Supper more often. I’ve heard answers all over the spectrum, but most of all, I’m told that observing the Lord’s Supper “too frequently” would make it less special. Of course, the thought of only singing or preaching or taking an offering quarterly never crossed anyone’s mind. Those things don’t lose their effectiveness, but apparently eating of the bread and drinking of the cup would become nothing more than robotic repetition.

Recovering Regular Observance of the Supper

In Acts 2:42–47 it becomes quite clear that the early church gathered often to eat together, and part of their regular meals together included the observance of the Lord’s Supper. As far as I can tell from the Scriptures, no command is given that requires churches to come to the Table each week, only four times a year, or any other set regular time.

However, the key to the frequency of the Supper centers on the purpose of the Table. Why do we eat the wafer and drink the juice? Sure, Paul writes to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 11 that the Lord’s Supper serves as a unifying remembrance of the atonement of Christ for the church. Yet, Paul makes it a point to tell the Corinthian Church, a group known for their divisions and colossal sin issues, “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Cor 11:26). As often as you come to the Table as a church, you proclaim the Lord’s death.

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SOURCE: For the Church
S. Peyton Hill