I've been ordained to the Gospel ministry since 1996, and I can count on one hand the number of times I have given a traditional altar-call invitation. It just isn't part of my background or training. I realize it's easy to criticize altar calls for being hokey or even misleading, and I have done so myself. But aren't there ministers who criticize the altar call because their beliefs about God's sovereignty make them uncomfortable with addressing the lost person's will at all? That making an appeal to the person's will somehow tramples on God's sovereign prerogatives, or amounts to a denial of the sinner's spiritual impairment? That would be a mistake. Throughout the Bible God Himself appeals to human motivations -- fear of death, fear of judgment, desire for happiness -- and the Lord Himself calls on lost person to repent and believe. God appealing to motive implies those motives still exist inside the person, since God is wise and never acts in futility. We might choose not to have the keyboardist play "Just As I Am" eighteen times, but you should not refrain from calling on the lost person to choose Christ.
Jack is the teaching elder of Ironworks Pike Community Church. He is a graduate of Columbia Biblical Seminary http://www.ciu.edu.