Reimagining the Altar Call

Jackson Campbell
4 min readOct 10, 2023

Reclaiming and Reimagining the Liturgy of the Altar Call in Christian Worship

The Altar Call

As an evangelical kiddo, the altar call was one of the most important parts of our weekly worship services — arguably THE most important. The “Altar” for evangelical christians is less about a specifically-designed table where the communion is consecrated and is more about an open space where the people of God are welcome to re-committ themselves to the work of Jesus Christ — publicly. If you asked most folks in an evangelical church where the “altar” is, they’d point to the steps near the pulpit. A lot of methodist congregations have a fancy railing with cushions so you can comfortably kneel. Either way, the looks didn’t quite matter. It was a place for prayer. It was a place for conversations with God. It was a place for conversion. It was a place to lay down the burdens you’d carried throughout your week. For many, it was the place they met God for the first time. For many it was a place where they found relief they’d never felt before. For a significant number of people, it was unfortunately a place where shame and guilt reigned supreme.

In addition to that, the altar call in many progressive congregations has been liturgically sucked dry of any emotion or significance. It is merely a placeholder for a bygone era of mass conversions and…