Juggling Sheep
Welcome to Juggling Sheep, Jay Perry's blog about time management and personal productivity for pastors. Learn to balance work, life, family, and personal spirituality.

Share your best practices, tips and tricks, processes, sermon planning ideas, and resources. Feel free to email me: jaylperry[at]gmail[dot]com.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sermon Relevance and Altar Calls

I originally posted this over at apokalupto as a response to whether or not pastors should be making altar calls:

After a couple of years preaching, I came under the conviction that I was actually training people to ignore God and Biblical Truth by NOT calling for commitment. Essentially, I was opening up the Word of God, preaching, applying, and then letting them leave. "Good sermon, Pastor."

The more people hear the Word of God and DON'T make a commitment to act or change, the more we are just training them to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

That is why I will never do another sermon without asking for some kind of commitment (even at weddings and funerals).

The hardest sermon for me to preach with any kind of personal commitment or application is State of the Dead.: What... I will never tell a "so-and-so died-and-went-to-heaven" joke again?

I have a very hard time asking for people to come forward or stand up. I feel that a lot of Altar Calls are manipulative (especially as I've been trained to do them in Evangelistic Meetings).

But I went to a church once that had the sermon first! And then participating in the rest of the service was a default response to the sermon time. The music, the prayer, the offering, the sign-up for ministry, the announcements - everything was couched as a personal response to the sermon.

That touched me. And when I realized that it's the only church service model that takes into consideration that true worship is a response to what God has done or taught, I was hooked. It wouldn't work well at my current church, but...

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