Dave Livermore (email here), Senior Pastor, Kelso-Longview District (OR Conf) writes:
“We faced a real problem in our church every Communion Sabbath. One Communion Sabbath our head elder actually head counted 100 people leaving after the sermon as we were separating for the feet washing ceremony and not participating in the elements. So we took that as a challenge to give our people a reason to stay with us. We seek to make our Communion Service the best service of the quarter. All I can tell you is that today, we have to the best of my knowledge nobody leaving.
Here is how we remedied the problem: We hold our ordinance of humility early in our service, before our praise service and before the sermon. The distribution of the elements is the last part of the communion service. Here is one example of a special communion service. After partaking of the elements, we had made up in advance a second portion of communion bread. We had it placed in four strategic places in the Sanctuary. After we had served ourselves the elements, I said, “Many times the ones we hurt are all around us right now. We have this opportunity to make some of those wrongs right at this moment. If you’d like, get up out of your seat and take a piece of bread to someone you need to make up with, or someone you just want to express your love for. But use this moment to show someone God’s love in a practical way.” The room exploded with people getting up and taking bread to others. Family who had not talked to each other for years, made up. I don’t have the words to describe how God used this to bring healing to so many. It was one service that I will never forget.”