This lesson is designed to help you if you have been given the opportunity to do communion at the worship service. This is an outline of the message given at midweek and is intended to give structure to our communion speakers so that we can have an organized service.
Structure. Structure is essential in delivering a consistent message. It also can help you a lot when you are trying to come up with a topic and make it flow during your talk. If we are going to grow as a church and grow individually, we need structure. This is no time to rebel and do it your way, if we all attempt to follow a organized structure, it will help people connect with God and also keep the flow of the worship service moving.
Preparation. Being prepared is the key to everything in public speaking. There are very few people who can just wing it and have everything come out fine. John 14:2 says Jesus has prepared a place for you and I in heaven. The key word is prepare, we can at least do some of the legwork necessary to help our people. There is no part of the service that does not have any preparation. The song service requires a lot of thought and practice, its hard enough to go up there and lead the congregation in song without preparing it first. The same goes with the sermon, it takes the speaker a whole week to prepare what they are going to say and how they plan to deliver the message. Preparation and structure go hand in hand.
This is the structure or format that you can use to prepare for communion.
You can change the order around a little bit if you like. Lets break it down into components so that you understand the format.
Introduction This is fairly easy and straight forward. Introduce yourself and give the audience the scripture reference you will be using for the communion. This allows them to turn to the page while you are getting ready to connect them to God.
Headline The goal of communion is to help everyone make a connection to God and to remember the cross. A headline is something you state that gets everyone’s attention. Good Headlines grab the listener and tell them that this is not going to be boring and you need to listen to what I am saying.
Commentary The commentary is the verbiage that supports the headline. This is where you make a simple point that is about the theme of your message.
Scripture The key to a good communion is to use ONE scripture. When you ask people to start searching their Bibles for the next awesome scripture that you think is essential to your message, you risk losing them. So many people start searching, some can’t find it, pages are rustling and you may go to the connection killing “pause” All scripture is awesome, so pick one and go with it. One thought, one scripture, its as simple as that.
Prayer When you are done with your scripture you may tie together the point of the scripture to the point of your message and then go to prayer. A lot of times I use the prayer time to “clean up” my message. If I forgot something important I just add it into the prayer. Also when you pray, do not read it. Reading it sounds mechanical and rote, something that other churches do with great ineffectiveness, pray from your heart.
That pretty much covers the structure lets take a few minutes and give you some good practical points to implement into your outline.
Time The perfect communion is 6 to 8 minutes long. A disciplined man or woman learns this and prepares for this accordingly. It is imperative you stick to this timeline. When you go long, you do three things. The first is you mess up the time line of the service and the song leader may have to adjust the number of songs sang because you went too long. The second is, it is not fair to the person that is speaking next when you go long. Thirdly and most importantly, when you go long you increase the odds of losing the connection you are trying to create between the listener, the point, and the cross. So how do you know if you are on time or not? Practice. I practice my communions several times before I get up and speak. I also use a cool timer app on my Ipad and set it to 6 minutes. I then go over and over my delivery and my point so that it flows nicely and its tight. Good preparation does this every single time, it will also make you confident and cause you to memorize your thought which lends itself to you speaking more naturally to the audience. Practice and timing are great tools.