Why Members-Only Communion?

The Lord Jesus Christ said “do not give dogs what is holy,” (Matthew 7:6), and the early church document “The Didache” considered that verse helpful in deciding whom should receive the body and blood of our Lord. We at Covenant Bible Church have chosen the practice of Members Only Communion to accomplish these good purposes.

We believe that the Word of God is clear that the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ are to be partaken of each Christian Sabbath, administered by pastors or other qualified men, and done in a manner consistent with its portrayal in scripture: the breaking of bread, prayer, with reverence and self-examination, partaken of at the same time and in-person with the church body … and only by those who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who are not living in unrepentant sin.

Although the Word of God is clear on these points, the exact method a church employs to ensure that communion is administered solely to those who are converted and repentant is not specified in Scripture. Thus, in our desire to most uniformly adhere to the teachings of Scripture, we the body of Covenant Bible Church task our elders with the authority to administer communion only to those who are active members in a New Testament church.

This is not to exclude anyone, nor to make them feel bad, nor to deny this means of grace to any true believer. The intention is to exhibit the importance of church membership as regards confirmation of a person’s faith (John 20:23). Additionally, this protects our overseers from accusations of playing favorites. If someone enters the church acting in a way that is obviously not in accord with godliness, our elders will deny them communion due to their lack of membership status, rather than outward appearances, and this will be done without partiality.

Thus, if you are not a member of a New Testament church, we urge you to find a church home and covenant with that body, whether that is here or somewhere else. Once this is completed or if you are already a member at a church, we are happy to confirm your good standing with one of your pastors and, consequently, you will be able to partake of the Lord’s table with us.

If a person subject to discipline at any church, denying that soul communion is an act of love as we prayerfully hope for his or her restoration. Missing out on the means of grace God has provided to his people is meant to drive the unrepentant to repentance, not bitterness.

We trust the Lord will bless our efforts to conform to His teachings regarding the body and blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, to whom all glory, honor, and praise belong.