Do’s And Don’ts Of Altar Ministry
Proverbs 11:30 says, “…he that winneth souls is wise.” How we approach people determines how successful we will be in reaching them. This holds true for witnessing and for altar work. Certain things we do in an altar service can hinder God’s Spirit while other things can enhance the operation of God.
First of all, personal hygiene is an important factor in altar work. The altar worker needs to make certain that his or her personal presence does not create a distraction for the seeker. Personal cleanliness plus liberal use of deodorant and cologne or perfume provides positive results.
Along the same lines, it is wise prior to church services not to eat foods that linger on the breath. Onions and garlic should be avoided. In addition to these considerations, it is usually helpful to always use some type of breath mints. Some common sense in this area goes a long way toward minimizing
When actually praying with seekers, the altar worker should avoid the following:
1 Spitting on the seeker.
2 Screaming in the seeker’s ear.
3 Smothering the seeker.
4 Placing hands on the seeker in any inappropriate manner or place
5 Slapping the back of the seeker.
6 Grabbing or jerking the seeker.
7 Attempting to get the seeker to repeat words in other tongues after somebody else.
8 Touching the seeker’s jaw or chin.
Remember that the seekers have feelings and they may not understand everything they are experiencing. Our proper actions can help ease their fears and questions.
When several people pray with one individual, the manner in which they pray becomes very important. First of all, they should give the seeker room to breathe.
Everyone has an invisible circle of space around him or her that is their privacy area. If someone violates that area, it makes people very uncomfortable. Secondly, altar workers should avoid more than one person speaking directly to the seeker at the same time. This helps prevent the seeker from getting confused. Also, altar workers should never get right in the face of the seeker. Even the worker talking directly to the person praying should speak at the side of the seeker’s head.
Altar workers should strive to do positive things at the altar. This includes praying. As simple as it may sound, everyone at the altar should be praying. They should not just be looking around and / or talking. Even if not praying with a specific individual, the altar worker’s prayer and worship can help keep the proper atmosphere of praise.
The altar worker’s prayer at the altar should be full of praise and worship. This is not the time for personal requests. Instead, worship and glorify God for His greatness and the moving of His Spirit. When seekers hear people creating an atmosphere of praise, they will tend to follow them with the same kind of prayer.
The altar worker should strive to be sensitive to the flow of the altar service. Watch the seeker and determine where he or she is in coming to God. For instance, the worker does not want to pray a sinner’s prayer if the seeker is ready to receive the Holy Ghost.
All effective altar workers must have faith. Expect good things to happen. Believe God for great works and miracles. Have confidence that positive results will take place.
Finally, altar workers should counteract or remove any hindrances to the seeker or to God’s Spirit. This includes such simple things as making sure that a supply of Kleenex is available. If the seeker seems tired of kneeling, suggest that he or she sit or stand. Many little things can be done to help create for the seeker the best atmosphere in which to seek God.
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