I am unashamedly in favor of calling kids to commitment, but the altar call has been abused to the point where I think many youth workers second guess the Holy Spirit’s desire to call kids to commitment.
Let me first say, kids can accept Christ without a physical coming up to an altar or to the front of the church, but I don’t believe that is all an altar is for. Altars are for sacrifice, worship, and for prayer. A call to the altar is not and does not have to primarily be for salvation only.
I fact, I recently saw a post form a young man that was t camp I preached at this summer. Here are his comments:
He is thanking me for giving so many altar calls. What he does not know is, I always give altar calls ( you can read his whole testimony here.
Here is another conversation I had with another young man who was not all that familiar with altar calls.
Conversation with a camper this summer
Him: “thanks for doing that thing last night”
Me: “what thing?”
Him: “you know that thing, where you come down to the front…”
Kids are hungry to commit not only to something, but to someone. That someone of the altar call should not be us, or our program, it should be Jesus. Let’s not waste a kids time, energy, or faith by calling them to anything other than a life long love affair with Jesus. Let’s not abuse the privilege a kid gives us to leading them to living water.
What do you think? Do you think youth pastors abuse the privilege of the altar call in calling a young person to faith? Tell me your experience.
Part II Coming Soon