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How to Give an Honest Invitation

The Word did everything. I did nothing. The gospel simply ran its course.
Martin Luther
At a small-town community Thanksgiving Eve service attended by only a handful of church pillars, an evangelistic invitation might be superfluous. Yet the same community's Easter sunrise service, attracting the curious, the civilly religious, and those catching an early service for appearances, is hardly the place for vague talk and a dismissal. People need a way to respond to the message before blankets and chairs are returned to car trunks and a perfect opportunity is wasted.Preachers laboring to convince worshipers about the most important topic — salvation — have long used the invitation as a way to solidify decisions. But when is the altar call appropriate and when is it not? How can it be done with integrity? Are there better ways for seekers to walk the sawdust trail?Leighton Ford, long associated with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has witnessed and conducted thousands of altar calls. ...
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