Why Doesn’t FCC do Altar Calls?

Someone asked me that question recently and the answer is simple: because people typically don’t make long-term, life-changing decisions right at that moment in a worship service.  In my experience most people who come forward are doing so out of a sense of obligation or guilt or emotion only.  I believe that the Christian walk is best done in relationship with other Christians and specifically as part of a local church family.  That’s why I know 99% of the time beforehand who’s coming up on a given Sunday if I give an “invitation” to confess Christ, recommit your life to Christ, or officially join our church.  That doesn’t mean I won’t surprise people at times or be surprised.

So we don’t do the traditional altar calls but depending on the message I do give “invitations.”  I just won’t sing 6 songs in order to get people to come forward.  If the Holy Spirit isn’t urging them in the first 3 minutes then I don’t think any music or verbal manipulation should be done.  Manipulation?  Yes, if I really want people to come forward and make a decision, I can get that done.  I did it when I first got into ministry.  But then I saw the reality of those decisions a week later.  Most of those decisions have no accountability and are more like New Year’s resolutions.  Few succeed.  Many churches have gone to a similar understanding.  But that doesn’t mean altar calls are bad or wrong…just memorable.  Like this…

What do you think?  What’s your experience?

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