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High Pressure Altar Calls

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Paul Kersey, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Paul Kersey

    Paul Kersey New Member

    Sep 11, 2007
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    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.
  2. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club

    Apr 8, 2003
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    The key word you used was "manipulating" .

    As you, I believe an invitation can be used appropriately. However, I have seen pastors that will sing "Just As I Am" thur 5 times with all four stanzas. This can be especially intimidating especially in smaller churches, as someone will feel pressured that the invitation will continue until at least one person goes forward.

    Of course you also mentioned mass invitations. I have been in services like that, and when 70% + of the congregation goes forward then many of those who have not "walked the aisle" may seem less than spiritual. In cases like that, I will NOT go forward (unless the Lord specifically tells me to) if anything, then others will feel like they are not the only one to be under the "manipulating" the pastor.

    Please continue to speak with the pastor and I shall pray with you in this matter.