I once visited a large church in another city on a Saturday evening. When I entered the foyer, a man frantically ran up to me and said, “Thank God, you’re here! Follow me.” I smiled and followed him into a side room, leaving my wife to find her own seat.
“Ok,” he said. “I need you to cover Section F at the end of the service.”
“Section F?” I asked. “Where is that?”
He quickly handed me a map and replied, “You must have missed our training meeting.”
“Uh, well, yeah, I wasn’t there,” I replied. “It’s probably because I…”
“It doesn’t matter now,” he interrupted, “At the end of the service, when the music begins to play behind the pastor, come back here for the elements.”
“The elements?” I asked. “Are we going to serve communion?”
The man rolled his eyes.
“Yes,” he replied. “This is the Communion Room.”
“Oh, sorry,” I replied. “I didn’t know.”
“Well,” he replied, rather annoyed, “That’s what happens when you miss training meetings.”
“I’m sorry,” I replied, “It’s just that I…”
“Just come back here when the music starts and we’ll give you what you need, ok?”
“Will do,” I said as I left for the service, map in hand.
As the service began, I confirmed where Section F was from a man standing near the sound booth.
Finally, I found my wife sitting close to the back of the worship center.
“Where have you been?” she asked.
“With this guy who serves here,” I replied. “He asked me to help serve Communion.”
“Do you know him?” she asked.
“No,” I replied. “I don’t know anyone here.”
“Did you tell him you were just visiting?”
“I tried, but he wouldn’t listen.”
At the end of the sermon, the music played and I returned to the communion room as instructed. While there, I was given a bucket filled with disposable communion packets including both the juice and the bread.
I quickly made my way to Section F where I stood and imitated the actions of the man in Section E in front of me. Within three minutes, I had served everyone in my section and returned my bucket and remaining elements to the Communion Room.
“Thanks,” said the man in charge when I returned the bucket. “By the way, how long have you been a part of this church?”
“I’m not a part,” I replied. “I’m just visiting. This is actually my first time.”
“Really?” he asked. “And we asked you to serve Communion?”
“Yeah,” I said with a smile. “I just figured your church was really into the concept of Open Communion. Have a great day.”
“You too,” he said. “Oh, and one more thing.”
“Don’t tell anyone about this, ok? It’s kind of embarrassing.”