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The Apostolic Witness Band/Movement

by Dr E.T. Dodoh

God has called us for salvation and service. When God called Abraham out of Ur in Chaldea as he came to the promised land, he worshiped God, paid Tithes to priest of the Most High God and offered his son Isaac as sacrificial-service to God. Jesus invited the disciples unto Himself and told them, “I will make you become fishers of men”. Conspicuously, God called us for Salvation and also for service.

It is necessary to know that the number one work which God wants every Christian to do is to win sinners to Christ. One reason for the failure of modern churches is that they become a one-man affair: The Christian leaves the work of evangelism, preaching, teaching, visiting to the preacher alone.

This has never been God’s order. God’s order has always been that every Christian should be a witness.

The work of evangelism-witnessing, is a great challenge to all the Christians of this generation. Having seen the trend of traditional religion, Cultism, Occult, Witch-craft, corruption and Violence penetrating fast and serious into our society and their evil consequences, God has given us the mandate to take the gospel to every human being in our generation who is a sinner to be converted. it is, “The Great Commission”.

The Apostolic Witnesses

The Apostolic witness is that arm within the church, which has for its objective the general interest and advancement of the spiritual life of all the young people. They initiate, cultivate and establish a witness band of Spirit filled members in very assembly/gathering, to train and develop the juvenile to deeper Christian life and to make Christ known to the lost world.

The Composition of Membership

This movement is made of young people of both sexes, from the ages of 15 to 40 inclusive, except the leaders. But young people between the ages of 13 and 14 may be incorporated into the movement as junior members, attending full membership on reaching the age of 15, provided the necessary conditions of membership have been fulfilled. Membership includes mostly the youth of both sexes who are zealous and energetic for the course of Christ. That is why in many countries of the world, it is never called “Witness Movement” but “Young People’s Movement”.

Some other denominations outside The Apostolic Church, established youth meetings in their churches but The Apostolic Church has Witness Movement as youth meeting. And that it is necessary that members of the Evangelical Team, the TACSFON (The Apostolic Campus Student Fellowship of Nigeria), and other arms comprising of young people in the church should make the Witness Movement their base. Other officers of the church Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Workers, Helpers, Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses are important members of the movement.

The Binding Duty of the Witnesses

In this present generation, we witness to the Apostles that what they have heard, seen, and written are all true. Acts 4:33, 13:30-33.

1. The primary duty of The Apostolic Witness is Soul-Winning. It is the “Great Commission” and must be handled tenaciously by every true member of the Witness Band. This include translation work, production of tracts and pamphlets and supporting the missionary endeavour.

2. They perform the ministry of exhortation of believers, conversion of New Souls and encouraging the backsliders to return back to God. They train up the young Christians and send them out for evangelism.

3. They prepare programmes for Rallies, Open Air Services and Visitations. They are entrusted with the responsibility of visiting the sick, the bereaved and the homes of the unbelievers watching for opportunities to win them to Christ.

4. The work of Grace is exercised by the witnesses. Some times they make some contribution in food and clothing for the widows, the orphans and the destitute ones in the community. They make provision of shelter to the poor who have no means to secure a place of comfort for themselves. Their ministry is very vast and entails all that is virtually found in the “Great Commission”.

Weekly Table of Activities

The Witness Movement holds regular class every Wednesday at a stipulated time given by the local presbytery but the duration of the meeting is about one hour, forty five minutes. The nature of the meeting is that of worship, fellowship, teaching the art of witnessing, Bible Truths and Church Doctrines. They can be comprehensively outlined in this form:

First Week – The study of New Songs and Revision of old ones

Second Week – They learn the Scripture, Memory Verses with the Recitation of old ones including Tenets, Rules of Belief, Rules of Conduct, etc.

Third Week – They are taught the difference between Testimony of Salvation and that of daily Deliverance and the proper way of presenting a Testimony. And the members are given the chance to give their Testimonies.

Forth Week – This week is that of Bible stories, Bible characters, lives and work of the Apostles, Prophecy and Missionary activities which must be taught effectively.

Fifth Week – Is a week of general Revision of the studies made or taught throughout the month.

There shall be no prophecy except an Elder or a Pastor is on the chair.

The Officers

Leader, Secretary, Treasurer, Committee and Presbytery.

Locally, a leader must be appointed for the leadership, a secretary to record the minutes of the meeting and the other secretarial work. The treasurer appointed takes care of the fund. A committee of five or almost seven people shall be appointed to have the oversight of the movement who report the progress or problem of the band/movement to the presbytery.

Motto

The motto of the Movement is “God First”. However, we have other abbreviations and expressions which denote the aspiration and the spirit of evangelism or witnessing when incorporated. And they are as follows:

WITNESS – “GOD FIRST”

B.A. – “Born Again”

D.D. – “Devil Defeated”

N.C.N.C – “No Cross No Crown”

Finally, the faithful members are allowed to wear the badge always and the Uniform during Rallies and Open Air Services, but whoever backslides must surely return the badge to the appropriate authority.