I serve on the staff of a SBC church. The senior pastor consistently seeks to get a large portion of the congregation to come to the altar, not in an evangelistic appeal, but to enable someone to pray with them, put their arm around them in support, etc. I am fairly new to this church, but I have an extensive background in the SBC, and I have never experienced this exact situation before. I personally believe in giving public invitations for those seeking salvation and, if the Spirit leads, for those seeking to recommit or draw closer to the Lord. However, it seems as if, in this pastor's view, the altar is a place of special significance in dealing with God. I have addressed my concerns with him and he will agree with what I am saying, yet he continues doing it. Personally, I don't see a biblical basis for compelling (manipulating?) large portions of saved people to come to an altar simply because he thinks it will help them in their relationship with God. I do respect the man, and I do feel he is sincere. I am seeking opinions on this practice and whether you feel there is a biblical basis for it. I have found that youth ministers / younger ministers seem most prone to this sort of "experiential" ritual. I enjoy my role in the church - I am just a bit wary of this practice. Many thanks.