In most churches, the altar call is considered a crucial moment. It is an appropriate ending to a powerful message because the altar call provides the congregation with an opportunity to immediately respond to what they have just heard. It doesn’t matter how powerful your sermon was unless you did justice to it with a convincing altar call. After all, that altar call of a few minutes can be the difference between life and death, and heaven and hell for somebody seated in the congregation. Therefore in today’s post let us find out how to do it in the most effective way.
1. Prepare in Advance
Someone said, “Public presentation is always validated by private preparation”. Despite the fact the altar call is given at the end of a message, the moment is backed by your advanced spiritual preparation. It’s would be better for you to not extend an altar call at all than to extend one with no prior preparation at all.
2. Take a Breath Test
This is self-explanatory. Chew peppermint or wash your mouth with a suitable mouth wash solution before walking to the pulpit. You are going to be standing very close to people you will be praying for and whispering to their ears. Do yourself a favor and rescue your reputation and the soul of the person you will be praying for!
3. Guard Your Passion
The sermon you are preaching must manifest your own passion for God and his word. If you are not passionate about your sermon don’t expect others to respond to your altar call because they won’t be passionate either. Passion emerges from your relationship with God. Don’t confuse it with personality traits such as vibrancy, bounciness, or even charisma.
4. Maintain Focus
People become very receptive nearing the climax of a sermon. Don’t let distractions to waste such opportune times, (mobile phones, etc.) As a preacher, you should be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and know when to stop speaking and let God do the rest. Just Grab the moment by its neck. You will be glad you did.
5. Be Specific and Clear
Clearly announce who is expected to come forward. Such as whether those who need healing, those who want to accept Christ, etc. Don’t mix up people with different expectations. If you really want to announce who you will be praying for and whom the other Pastors will pray for. It’s best to stick with one specific group however.
6. Coordinate Properly
Emotions are an indispensable part of an altar call and worship music plays a huge role here. Hence talk to your musicians in advance. If possible give them a copy of your sermon note. Whatever you do make sure that they are in sync with you. There is no such things as good hymns and bad hymns but the wrong hymn at the wrong moment can derail the entire altar call.
7. Minister Personally
Don’t pray a common prayer and dismiss the crowd. Ministry to an individual is a sign of care and concern. It builds faith. Don’t hesitate to lightly lay your hand on the head or the shoulder but don’t push for God’s sake! There’s only one God. Stop applying for his position. In case you are ministering in a megachurch get the assistance of all the other pastors also.
8. Urge Testimonies
Allow people to confess their own spiritual encounters. If you are looking forward to inviting someone take their permission first. This way more people feel encouraged to respond the next time an altar call is given. Do not force anyone however and don’t spend more than 3-5 minutes on this.
You can make mistakes with your sermon but not with the altar call. You will always have a second chance to correct your sermon but not with an altar call you have to get it right the first time itself. Like I said after all that altar call might make the difference between life and death, and heaven and hell somebody seated in the congregation. It’s my sincere hope and prayer the tips outlined here will help you do it the right and the most effective way.
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