Preparing a three-minute Communion meditation has challenges that are unique from crafting a 30-minute sermon or Bible lesson. A sermon speaker or lesson teacher is able to follow the arc of a story, and take time to unpack the meaning of a text. A meditation presenter, on the other hand, has only a few critical moments to engage the congregation and lead them to the foot of the cross. Preparation is critical to crafting a Communion message that hits the mark. Consider the following suggestions:
Make the Point
Being clever or creative is not of greatest importance, and can become a distraction in the short time you have to share. Consider whether an illustration or story will distract from, or lead toward, the ultimate point. Be sure that what you share quickly moves to a clear and compelling message of the cross. The remembrance of Christ’s body and blood will never be stale or lacking in power. As Paul indicated, things of great importance are worth repeating (Philippians 3:1).
Make It Simple
If your church is growing and reaching out, you will be speaking to people of many faith stages. Consider the terminology and illustrations you use. Don’t assume your hearers understand theological terms. If you are sharing a less common concept, frame it in a way that helps those who are newer in the faith understand its meaning and impact. The message of the cross should be kept simple and accessible (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).
Make Every Word Count
Write your meditation in manuscript form, then read and speak through it multiple times. Could concepts be stated more clearly? Could sentences be constructed more concisely? As you hone the meditation, your familiarity with it will increase so you will not be overly tied to your notes when you deliver it.
Make It Personal
Remember to speak as one who has been personally delivered by the message you are sharing. Speak with the passion and amazement of one who has experienced the power of the cross firsthand. By your example, you invite others to revisit their own conversion.
Andy Heisler serves as discipleship minister with Newberg (Oregon) Christian Church.