I've been reading this series of blog posts and it has been challenging me to be more intentional about calling people to a response. post 1 post 2 post 3 post 4
Now, I'll clarify that my view of salvation is likely a bit different that Craig Groeschel's, I understand his passion to call people to a decision. To raise your hand and acknowledge a desire to live for Jesus is a HUGE step! It is however, simply one step of a lifetime of walking. Just because a person raises their hand or repeats a prayer doesn't mean salvation is a "done deal" - salvation is never finished until we die, but there something to be said for challenging people to make a decision or acknowledge that they're considering a decision. Which is what I try to do. I usually give people a couple options, "I'm serious about following Jesus" or "I'm curious, want to learn more and need you to pray for me."
This past Sunday, I was prepared to give both options. But after the first option of "I'm ready to turn from self and follow Jesus," I was blown away by the number of hands I saw raised. There were probably 20 people who raised their hands! I couldn't believe what I was seeing and I just about lost emotional control.
The Holy Spirit has been moving in powerful ways in our worship services. Sunday was the biggest response I've ever seen. We prayed for obedience and honest before the service, I just didn't expect so much of it!
I now need to work out a system for people to take the next step after raising their hands, taking communion for the first time, or whatever response we offer during worship.