Biblical Guidance for the Lead Pastor: Preaching, Altar Calls & Follow-up


Preaching should be one of your strongest gifts. There are many styles. Choose the styles that best fit your personality and gifting.

  • Topical or thematic
  • Book by Book
  • Expository
  • Prophetic Exhortation
  • Testimonial

How to Make your preaching even better:

  1. Always preach (and read) the Word to the people.
  2. Read the words exactly as printed in order to reinforce our doctrine of “plenary-verbal inspiration” (i.e. that every word in Scripture is inspired by God). This is also why I recommend we use NKJV primarily from the pulpit, in our classes, and for printed materials. We help people memorize Scripture beginning with our children to get the exact Word we want.  Then other translations or paraphrases can be added to enhance. ESV, NLT, and The Message are paraphrases.
  3. Be careful to explain the basics of the faith as you preach. Keep everything simple and make it clear so even the newest disciples will understand. Assume illiteracy exists and constantly address it and teach the people twice by doing this.
  4. Pray over the Word and for pray the people. Pray about anything the Holy Spirit might quicken to you as you preach.
  5. Don’t say things like “we’ll look at that later in my message” or “we’ll examine that more as we work through this sermon”. It makes it sound like the message is going to be long and could discourage some; especially new people.
  6. Personal life illustrations are always the best to illuminate your message.
  7. For our multiple site church, look directly at the camera frequently and mention the other campuses by name.
  8. Move around on the platform and look into the eyes of the people in different sections of the auditorium. This makes a large church smaller.
  9. Have large altar calls based on your primary message point, then draw new converts out of that group.

Altar Calls

39Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?… 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. Acts 2:39-41 (NKJV)

Sample altar call:

When you are somewhere within ten minutes of closing your message, the anointing comes upon you, and people are responding in their hearts you will know. Some will have tears , some stares, and some obvious conviction.

Have all the people stand immediately (you could finish some teaching points even later after you make your first appeal with people gathered at the front).  Ask people to bows their heads (or not) and go for it. While the iron is hot so to speak, strike the anvil (black smith language)!  (Band rushes to the platform and starts strong backup music of your prior choice- but not too sweet and slow).

“You know God is speaking to you.  This is your time.  God is giving you an opportunity to change, to receive His grace- right now- run to this altar.  C’mon- the Lord is here and you are ready.  Step into the water of forgiveness, healing, help! “

People come in droves, keep em coming- like a cattle drive- keep calling them.  “There’s more.  I know there are more and God is speaking to you!  C’mon!” Keep appealing until you can sense a breakthrough.

Then start praying first a generic prayer and get everyone under that same anointing you are under.  Let the tears flow and the hearts be saturated.  Maybe sing once through a song while appealing for more to come and waiting for the HS to keep working.  (Apply this to other campuses also of course)

Then eventually, begin to sort sheep and goats:

“Now if you came forward and you need to make Jesus Lord and Savior of your life- or you need to get seriously right with God- them I want you to move over here to my left (your right) and meet Pastor _____ . He/She will help lead you in a special prayer time with a counselor, take you to a side room and give you personal attention and a free book.  It will take just a few minutes but it will change your life“

(By the way I think we need a monitor and audio in the side counseling rooms so the atmosphere stays similar as they go there.)

“Those of you who are still here- you might be a veteran member of this church or another- but God is speaking to you and you know this your time to change and breakthrough and receive what God has for you…etc.”


Then use our workers and our materials (cards) to help people and start follow up at all levels. This ought to be discussed at the summit with our Pastors.  Tell them you are going to make this change.

Follow Up Comprehensive Plan

We need a comprehensive strategy for pulling in our net with people who are walking in our doors.

Altar Calls Back Room Baptisms Encounters Alpha Groups
Have dynamic altar calls and draw in huge nets Lead persons leading counselors to pray for people

Secure permanent info cards

Baptisms at all locations- every Sunday?

Baptism Plan?

Encounter Retreats, cleanse, confess, renounce, breakthrough, baptism of Holy Spirit, Healing Alpha Groups

And other small groups, new converts plugged in immediately


– Pastor Wendell

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