Turning the Ship

I’m on Your Team

I hear so many stories of churches in decline. It baffles me.  If you are pastoring one of those churches, please understand, I’m on your team. For many years, I dug myself in at Redemption Church and never peaked my head up to see what others were doing or saying. What changed in my heart? You can read more about that here. God has opened my eyes that we are in this together.

How Do You Turn the Ship?

I’ve been at the controls on a bass fishing boat, and I’ve seen the controls on a cruise liner; they aren’t the same.  However, they do have something in common, so let's focus on the similarities.  We have the same end goal in mind, growth, both spiritual and numerical.  

Let’s discuss the altar for a moment. Some pastors have given up on the altar call. I have not; no judgment here, just encouragement. I would encourage you to reconsider not having an altar call.  It gives your congregation an instant view of whom the Lord spoke.  I know what your thinking, but nobody came forward, so what will they think about my preaching. Relax, The Lord is speaking through your sermons. You just haven’t trained them to go to the altar.  How do we train people to come forward? You can read more about that here.

Altar Calls also allow your church to pray for one another: a keyword, church. Yes, you're there praying for the person, but why create an atmosphere where leadership and the congregation pray for one another. The cool thing about praying for one another at the altar is it doesn’t have to be verbal. People are reluctant to pray aloud, and the altar allows them to place a hand on their back and pray silently.  

Our ship was also turned by creating a celebration for every time God saved someone. Luke 15:10 … there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”  Every time someone was saved, I read this verse and encouraged our church to applaud and celebrate Jesus for saving a soul. It doesn’t take long for the congregation to catch on, and it becomes automatic. Today I say something like, “Do you hear that? I think I hear angels”, and before I can finish, an applause breaks out.  

I have also found it helpful to repeat the verse before the altar call, show the lost person we are excited for them before they make the walk to the altar. They say a picture is worth 1000 words, so I’ve included a short video to show you what it possible.    
Has this been helpful? If you would like to discuss this article in-depth, you can start the conversation by contacting me.  

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