Friday, August 20, 2004

Altar Call

I'm working at an American Baptist Church, and this Sunday, I'll get to participate in my first altar call. It's something that's definately outside my tradition. To be fair, though, it's not really a full-blown, you must convert or burn in hell sort of altar call. In fact, they don't even call it an altar call, but an Invitation. Basically, we offer an opportunity for people who want to begin a walk with Christ (or if someone just wants to join the church) to come forward and talk with the pastor, etc. It's really fairly low-key.

This Sunday, my job is to invite people. Thankfully, I don't have to do the follow-up actually talking to people who come up part, because I would be pretty lost. Like I said, it not really something that was ever done in the Methodist Churches I've been a part of. In fact, it's all a little scary.

However, I have to admit that this is an important part of church life. Most Methodist Churches haven't had an honest to goodness conversion in so long that they wouldn't know what to do if they had one. If someone came up after service and said they wanted to commit themselves to Christ, most pastors would probably be taken a little off guard, and might not know what to do. We're awefully good and education and raising up disciples, but not so good at the adult "conversion." So anyway, I think this will be a really good learning experience, doing the whole altar call thing, and I'm glad that I'm going to be able to know what to do with new converts.

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