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.
2011-2012 ABM BoostThe 2011-2012 theme is "One Goal".
Webster's dictionary defines the word "goal" as: 1) The place at which a race or trip is ended; 2) an end that one strives to attain.
The definition of strive is: 1) to make great efforts, try very hard; 2) to struggle, contend or fight.
Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
So, what is it that we are striving to attain? We strive for the same thing that Paul was striving for – an eternal home in heaven where we will ever be with the Lord.
We know the parable of the Ten Virgins – How five were wise and five were foolish. The wise virgins brought extra oil to fill their lamps but the foolish virgins did not; ultimately keeping them from enter into the celebration (Matthew 25:5-13).
It is important for us to be ready to meet our Lord at any given time. Are we prepared to meet Him? We do not have to fear as long as we are ready to meet Him at any moment. Luke 13:24 says, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." If we are going to attain our goal, we must keep ourselves close to God and away from the snares of Satan. We must be prepared for His return at all times.
Jesus teaches us to seek forgiveness for our faults and deliverance from temptations and the evils of the world. It will be advantageous for us to follow His instructions. His desire for all is that we obtain Heaven; and we, as individuals, should be desirous of the same for ourselves and for others.
Every auxiliary in The Church of God has a responsibility to help fulfill The Great Commission. The work of the Assembly Band Movement is to see souls won to Christ, added to the church, matured and kept until the Lord returns for us! This is the work and the responsibility of the Assembly Band Movement.
As individual members, we are to love the Lord with everything in us. And if we truly love the Lord, and His love dwells in us, then we should love our neighbors also. We should be so full of the love of God that it will spill over onto others.
We all have a responsibility to win souls, to keep souls for eternity, to pray one for another, and to encouraging one another along the way. This is a part of obtaining our Goal. Yes, it will cost us something. It will cost us some time, some effort, some prayers, possibly even some funds; but keeping our own relationships, witnessing to others, helping kingdom saints understand the fullness of The Church of God, keeping, encouraging and admonishing the members, caring for our Pastors and Overseers as they care for us, and praying for our General Overseer and our Leaders, are all important in our endeavor to be pleasing unto the Lord.
Colossians 3:12-14 says, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness."
Jesus said in John 13:35, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
If we treat others with love, those around us will see it and will know that it is the love of God dwelling in us and flowing out to others. His love in us is the bond that will draw us to one another; and if we love one another, those who come into our midst will see it and recognize it as the love of God.
One day, when I was a college student, I was driving into town, and as I was sitting at a red light, the Lord spoke to me and said, "I've done for you, what will you do for me?"
I thought about this question and the next day I told a friend of mine what had happened. I was surprised when she said that she had been told the same thing; and before long, we found that God had spoken the same thing to a number of our friends. God was getting down to business with us.
So, I pose this question. Are we doing all that we can, or all that we should, for Him?
God gives good things to His children. He desires for us to assemble ourselves and have worship and fellowship with one another. He wants us to love and encourage one another. We can not get through this life alone. We need the love of God and the help of our brothers and sisters to see us through this life into eternity.
Has the Lord done for you? Are you willing to do for Him? It's time for us to devote all that we can to God in order to get the work done.
John 15:9-11 says, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
What greater fulfillment can we attain than to work diligently in the Master' service? Will we do it? Will we do as He commands? I want to do it! I want to be a soldier in the Lord's army!
I want to attain the "Goal," and I want you to attain the "Goal." And in order for us to attain it, we have work that is yet to be done. We can't shirk the work if we want to obtain the prize. Let us strive together...let us not strive against one another...but let us do the best that we can do while we have the opportunity to do it; for Jesus, Himself, said in John 9:4: "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."
My prayer for all of us is that this will be our best year yet in service for The Lord! Let us work diligently to win and keep souls for our Lord; that we and others may obtain the Goal!
In Luke 12:32, Jesus encourages us with these words: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
Let us strive to enter in!
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' keepers.
Bible Training Institute - Leadership and Pastoral Development course.
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 polity to car 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.