Do you ever feel like altar calls can be kind of awkward?
In the student ministry I volunteer with, we have a commitment to sharing the Gospel every week at every gathering. When the time comes to give an invitation for students to accept Christ, there’s this buildup of expectancy of what God is going to do. That part is great.
But what can be awkward sometimes is when you don’ t see any hands go up. As the speaker, you never want to be stuck up front, saying, “Anyone… anyone…. Bueller… Bueller…”
What You Can’t See
Have you ever felt like that? I have. As youth leaders, our deep desire to see students come to know Christ and be changed by the Gospel can give us a distorted view of what should happen when we present an invitation in a traditional “altar call.”
This is not a commentary on how to present the Gospel to big groups, but rather a suggestion that we change our view of the outcome. I think we need to be OK with seeing no raised hands sometimes.
You see, I never raised my hand. You could’ve never counted my confession of faith in any altar call anywhere, but I accepted Christ during one. One Christmas Eve when I was 13 years old, the pastor was talking about this gift that God was offering us and it was just up to us to dust it off and open it up. I believed in my heart, and I was saved. I didn’t raise my hand that day, but I began my journey with Jesus. And it was the adult leaders and pastors that God put in my life after that moment that helped me grow and understand my decision.
Why You Shouldn’t Give Up
So don’t be discouraged by no raised hands!
Keep sharing the Gospel. At every gathering, keep inviting students to accept the gift of Jesus. You never know what God is doing in the hearts of your students. And then follow up. Keep dialoging about their journey, keep encouraging them, and keep leading by example.
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.Galatians 6:8-9