Etiquette in Altar Work
As an Altar Worker, it is important to remember that etiquette is a critical aspect of altar work. We must always approach the altar with common sense, as it will govern how we interact with those seeking prayer. One of the most crucial aspects of etiquette is hygiene. We should always ensure that we maintain good hygiene, such as checking our breath and body odor before approaching someone, as poor hygiene can lead to spiritual abortion.
Approach and Positioning
When praying for someone, it is essential to be mindful of your approach and positioning. We want to make sure that we do not scare anyone away from the altar, especially those who may not be familiar coming to the altar. Our body language and facial expressions are essential, and we should not put our hands on someone without permission and introductions.
Preparation for Altar Work
It is also important to remember that altar working does not start at the altar call but when you enter the sanctuary. We must acquaint ourselves with those around us before the service. When praying with someone, always be positive and speak in faith. Negativity has no place at the altar, and we must always let common sense govern sense. If God has called us to do something, we must have confidence in ourselves to carry it out.
Compassion and Understanding
Compassion is a powerful force that can move us to do great things in God. As altar workers, we must be spiritual but also apply our spirituality in a practical manner. We should always ask questions and seek to understand the person we are praying with.
Proper Conduct in Praying
It is also important to be mindful of those who may be more eccentric in their worship, as we want to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and respected at the altar. When praying with someone, and you feel that person might bring on the flight of the dove, always move yourself between the person you’re praying for and the person who’s approaching. Never cut in on someone who’s praying for someone, as it can disrupt the flow of the spirit. If someone you’re praying for is tarrying and not making progress, it is acceptable to go get a minister and replace your role.
Encouragement and Speaking in Faith
When we finish praying with someone, it is essential to speak faith and encourage them. If the person seeking prayer is seeking forgiveness and to be filled with the Holy Ghost but did not receive the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues, speak faith, and let them know that they coming to the altar is a wonderful show of faith.
In conclusion, as altar workers, we must always approach the altar with etiquette and common sense. We must maintain good hygiene, be mindful of our approach and positioning, and be compassionate and understanding to those seeking prayer. By doing so, we can create a positive and welcoming environment at the altar, where individuals can feel comfortable seeking the Lord. Let us always speak in faith and encourage those seeking prayer, and remember that the altar is a place of death and birth in the right spirit.
Footnotes: A lot of this is from notes taken in Altar Worker class at Pine Grove Pentecostal Church on Wednesday, February 15th, 2023, led by Bro Heith Ellingburg and Bro Chris McGrone.