A radical change that is critical in the new apostolic epoch is repositioning the altar. In a liturgical church, the altar-table is central. However, unlike Evangelical-Pentecostal churches, it does not share the floor with the people. It is exalted and removed, railed and inaccessible. What is needed in Evangelical-Pentecostal churches is a view of the altar-table as an extension of the pulpit. The pulpit symbolizes preaching and teaching, the critical importance of objective truth. The altar represents heart engagement with God, in prayer, in response to and about the proclaimed word.

We must make the altar-table, not the pulpit alone, the centerpiece of worship engagement. Pastors must preach as a prelude to congregational prayer engagement.

Currently, people go to church and hear others sing about God, and a pastor then talks about God. In fact, the pastor may share something he thinks God said! But, it is what he heard; what he read. The people come to church, hear about God from people who have supposedly talked to him, but they do not talk to God – not as a congregation.

Invite the people to talk to God. Gather them informally around the pulpit-altar-table for prayer as a congregation. Slow down the communion event. Make communion with God possible during communion! Preach to provide insights into renewal and as Biblical markers for personal, responsible action – and invite the congregation to pray for grace to live as God intends, to action based on revealed and declared truth. Preach the process of Spirit-empowered change, and then pray it. Preach people to a place of prayer. Refuse to continue the active-pulpit – passive-pew dynamic. Call for prayer; then call for action. Preach with the intent of people acting on the Biblical ideas – not passively listening. Do not preach for mere content affirmation or mere emotional effect. Preach toward positive, biblical change!

If you are a pastor, take these words to heart and implement them. If you are a church member, implore your leadership to engage God in prayer. Gain prayer ideas, resources and support with The Praying Church Movement. Join today>

Read more in Doug’s new book, The New Apostolic Epoch: God’s Determination to Have a Praying and Missional People.