VOL. 22 NO. 5. 2012
Apostolic Evangelists Share Altar Working Insights
Donald Butler, Branson, MO -- Altar workers should work as a team with only one person instructing the seeker. This will eliminate confusion. We use a three-group strategy, learned from Mike and Vickie Oliver. These groups consist of 1) instructor, 2) worshippers and 3) intercessors.
People come to the altar for various reasons. First of all, find out if the person desires the Holy Ghost and is willing to repent of all their sins.
Secondly, those working in the altar must have faith the seeker will receive the Holy Ghost. As the instructor, you transfer your faith or doubt.
Communication between the instructor and seeker is critical. Many people do not know how to pray or repent, so we often repent with them. Tell them the Holy Ghost comes straight from the Lord and to focus on Him. Assure them that after they have repented, they will receive the Holy Ghost. Tell them they don’t have to beg; when they open their hearts and invite Him in, He will come in.
Confirm to them that no one can speak two languages at once. They need to allow God to speak through them. 
Wayne Coleman, Lake Station, IN -- The word sensitivity comes to mind. There are several factors that may be involved with that person praying at the altar. We must be sensitive to each individual’s needs accordingly. Many are not convinced and may bring personal problems, cultural issues, emotional issues, and things of that nature with them that may hinder them from receiving the Holy Ghost. We must be sensitive to not coach the person praying, but at the same time try to win them. 
Many altar workers get caught up in enthusiasm. We need to season that enthusiasm with wisdom and discernment. We should not pat people on the face or ever tell someone they have received the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost comes from a holy God. I believe tongues are the initial sign of the Holy Ghost, but the evidence will produce a holy life and hunger for God afterward. Seed thrown on the ground doesn’t just grow by itself. It needs to be cultivated.
There is a need for more training in mature altar working, and we need a greater passion for it. We have become familiar with the phrase “pray for souls.” But in this hour, more than ever before, there should be an intense and passionate cry ringing forth from us to pray for souls.
Ronnie Davis, Lorena, TX -- When praying with souls in the altar, be careful about being overly energetic in your own excitement and avoid physical touch. It may hinder and cause them to be reluctant. Allow the sinner to kneel in genuine repentance first. Falling down and repenting in tears should be their first reaction. We often move too quickly to pray them through.
Secondly, it is important that altar workers concentrate on themselves by getting into the Spirit. The Bible says we are like a well of living water, springing up. The Spirit of God moves through us to touch the one that is praying. Altar workers should concentrate on helping pull that soul out of the fire. The worker should not distract or allow others to distract, but get into the Spirit.
As the one praying moves from repentance to the stage of reaching out to God, the altar worker should also reach out to God through praise and worship. This helps the faith of the one praying to reach the throne of God. Then, as they reach the pinnacle of receiving the Holy Ghost, the altar worker should celebrate with them in praise and worship. 
Felix Crowder, Indianapolis, IN - Most importantly, we should communicate to people the essentials necessary to receive from God. Repentance is essential, so make sure they confess their sin and sinfulness to the Lord and tell the Lord, from the heart, that they are turning away from sin. Since many people don’t know how to express their feelings to God to get results, be ready to lead them in their prayer with a simple, “Lord, I have done evil, sinful things with my body. I have had evil thoughts and attitudes. I have said evil things with my mouth. I turn away from those things. I’m sick of myself (with emphasis). I repent!”
You should have confidence they can now receive the Holy Ghost. I encourage you to prepare them for the laying on of hands. Tell them that often people in the Bible received the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues at the laying on of hands. I tell them what they are feeling is God’s Spirit, and when I lay hands on them, they are going to speak with tongues. I also tell them when it happens, they’ll be speaking sounds they’ve never heard before, and it may sound like baby talk, but they should go ahead and speak it. With their hands lifted, I tell them I am going to lay hands on them and they should yield themselves to the Spirit, speaking in tongues. I then lay hands on their forehead and generally they quickly receive the Holy Ghost. 
Brian Norman, St. Louis, MO - When praying with someone to receive the Holy Ghost, it is very important to make sure that person has truly repented of their sins. Without sincere repentance, it is impossible for them to have a genuine Holy Ghost experience. Altar ministers should explain repentance to them, and give them an opportunity to do so. After they have repented, explain and encourage them to lift their hands, open their mouth, and praise the Lord Jesus. Tell them as their praises go up to God, His Spirit will begin to come upon them and inspire them to speak out new words (other tongues). Praise with them as an example and to create a faith-infused atmosphere.
Secondly we should encourage them but not coach them. Never ask them to repeat a phrase. It must be as the Spirit gives them the utterance. As God’s Spirit moves upon them, it is proper and faith building to lay hands on them to receive the Holy Ghost.
Jerry Holland, Nashville, TN - The first priority for altar workers is preparation. This should begin before you enter the service. Your thoughts should be prepared before your actions. Allow your faith to believe those things that have not yet been seen.
The second priority is prayer. Keep yourself connected to God. You cannot give what you do not have. Spiritual begets the spiritual.
Thirdly, you should be passionate about praying with someone to receive the Holy Ghost. Feel with them and for them. Never consider the outward when dealing with the inward. Jesus saw them and was moved with compassion for their needs. Love the way He loved.
It is of vital importance that YOU are full of the Holy Ghost. Any self-sufficiency is not permissible when dealing with the supernatural. The power from Him will be felt by them. Faith is imperative when working with the eternal. Never allow your faith to wonder or wander. Forget your feelings. It’s not about you, so it’s not from you. Gifts are from the giver. Just be the vein through which that gift can flow. 
Compiled by Linda Schreckenberg
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