Assembly Band Movement
Assembly Band Movement
The Assembly Band Movement (ABM) is the Church's department of pastoral care, and its purpose is to see that each member of The Church of God is shown the proper care. The Assembly Band Movement is one of the five major auxiliaries that has been set in the Church. Originally introduced in 1916, the ABM has maintained its purposes of keeping, maturing, and equipping the membership of the Body of Christ for the overall work of the ministry for the evangelization of the world with the full gospel of Jesus Christ.
Purpose of the ABM
The Assembly Band Movement is the Church's department of pastoral care, and its purpose is to see that each member of The Church of God is provided the proper care. In accordance to the principles of government as outlined in Exodus 18:13-26, the pastor divides the local church flock into various bands for supervision. The leaders of these bands, or undershepherds, are given the oversight of the band. Their duties include conducting monthly band services to encourage the members toward spiritual growth and development, writing to correspondent band members, and praying for the spirituality of the band. Band leaders are expected to report monthly to keep the pastor abreast of any needs facing band members.The Assembly Band Movement will prove to be a greater asset to The Church of God in the very near future as the zeal of the Lord enlightens and enlivens those gallant men and women who have accepted the burden of being their brothers' and sisters'.
History of the ABM
The Assembly Band Movement began in these last days in 1916, and is presently ministering to the saints in the same manner of spirit in which it was intended when it was first introduced in the days of Moses for governing the children of Israel. It is not known as to whether or not the Early Church had such an auxiliary as the Assembly Band Movement within its policy to care for the membership; however, there are scores of Scripture in the New Testament that sets forth the need for such an auxiliary in the Body of Christ as a help to care for the sheep. Paul states that God has set helps and governments (1 Corinthians 12:28) within the Body of Christ to edify itself in love. The aspect to "...bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ..." (Galatians 6:2), surely sets forth the need for an organized method and a unified effort to keep the sheep safe in the fold (Church).Presently, in The Church of God, there are great men and women, the band leaders or undershepherds of the Assembly Band Movement, working energetically to keep the sheep safe and secure within the Church. Jesus, speaking in Matthew 18:11-14 reveals the depth of His concern for just one little sheep that has gone astray. "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:11-14).Prior to the foundation of the Church in the Wilderness (Exodus 19:5-6; 24:1-7), God knew that it would need a proper form of government for it to operate effectively and efficiently. Preceding the covenant made at Sinai (Exodus 24:1-7), God moved upon Jethro to give Moses the advice to govern the people in a more satisfactory manner. It was while in this selfsame Spirit that A.J. Tomlinson, General Overseer, was moved to bring before the General Assembly of 1916 what he called "Watchers over Tens". This concept was accepted in that Assembly and has been practiced ever since in The Church of God. The inspiration for this recommendation sprang forth from the Scripture in Exodus 18:13-26.