The ministry's founder, Douglas Birk, was prompted by God to start Gift on the Altar Praise in 1994. The foundational scripture upon which the ministry was formed is Matthew 23:18-19. Jesus said:
18 You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.'
19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
"Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers."
We understand from this scripture that God doesn't focus first on the gifts we have to offer (talent, ability). He wants us to focus first and foremost on our relationship with Him (altar means "a place of offering") and spending time with Him. That relationship with Him makes the gifts we offer to him acceptable in His sight. God's not looking for great artists, he's looking for worshipers!
The gift itself is nothing until it is offered to God in obedience to His will. That's why this ministry is called Gift on the Altar Praise. We will always remember that the music we write is nothing without God's Altar making it everything we cannot. We rely on the Anointed One and His Anointing to make our gifts acceptable and usable by God for His glory. We're just musical servants...