Basic Guidelines for Counseling at the Altar
1. Prepare your Bible: Highlight key verses for salvation, baptism, and other special problems you might encounter when dealing with people at the altar.
2. Prepare your heart: Pray before the invitation.
3. Privacy: Choose a place with the least amount of distractions. Some churches take those who come forward to side counseling rooms.
4. Ask this question: “Why did you come forward today?”
5. Always use the Scriptures: Let those who come forward read from your Bible when possible. Try to always give a solution to their problems from an open Bible. Give Biblical answers and solutions– not your personal opinions.
6. Take them to the next step: If a person has recently been saved, take him to the next step of baptism. If he is a mature Christian and wants to get victory in a certain area, use the Three Steps of Change found in Ephesians 4:22-24.
Explain that change can’t take place unless he follows all three steps.
A. Put off-He must put off the bad habit. This whole chapter deals with almost every sin that a person might experience. Eph. 4:22
B. Renew his mind-He must renew his mind day by day. How does he do this? By getting into God’s Word daily, by listening to sound preaching and music, by reading Godly books and testimonies of Godly men and women. (Explain Garbage in-garbage out theory)
C. Put on-He must replace the bad habit with a good one. Ask the question, “When does a man stop being a thief?” Most people say, “When he stops stealing”.  Answer him by saying, “No, look at verse 28. “When that person begins working and stops stealing, he is putting off stealing, and he is putting on working to get his money.”
7. Deal one on one if possible: One altar worker for each person coming forward.
8. Introduce yourself and fill out an altar card.  Have someone hand the card to the pastor. (If the person has come forward to be saved, to be baptized, or to join the church, the pastor will want to review the cards and announce certain decisions before the church.)
9. Give the person appropriate literature: After you have dealt with the person, give him some literature that he might take home to review. By doing this, you are helping him as he begins his new walk with the Lord and his next step of Spiritual growth.

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