Department of Pastoral Care
This auxiliary that operates within the church was first introduced as “Watchers Over Tens” in The Church of God Assembly of 1916. The name was changed to “Assembly Band Movement” in the Assembly of 1928.
The purpose of this auxiliary is to assist the pastor in caring for the sheep. Members are divided into smaller groups within the local church and there is appointed what is called an undershepherd to assist the pastor in caring for those few that they are put in charge of. Other religious organizations today use a similar operation using names such as “small groups” or “cell groups.” In The Church of God we generally call them “prayer groups” or “prayer bands.”
Through this program in the church, special care and attention can be given each member. The undershepherd does not take the pastor’s place but just assists him in the huge responsibility that he has. God introduced a similar plan to Israel in the Old Testament. Moses was given wise counsel to assist him in caring for the people.
Exo 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
In praying to the father, Jesus said, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (John 17:12) This is the goal of the church and our ABM program is designed with that in mind – giving special care to God’s people.