TEXT: 1TIM. 4:16
The theme of this great seminar is appropriate with regards to the maintenance of the principle and doctrine of the church.
A lot of ministers of the gospel in this end time only shout blessings, promotion, deliverance, financial upliftment on the pulpit and have no time for the spiritual life of members of the church such as holiness, integrity, faithfulness, righteousness, truthfulness, and other Christian virtues that can mould the life of people for heaven.
Some churches in the twenty first century are full of contemporary heresies, syncretism, heathenism, immorality, suspicion and corruption. Many are no more ready to talk against the evil practices that are being committed in the church for fear of victimization. However, in this context about the movements of the church, our focus may look at Sunday School movement, witness / evangelical movement, men’s movement, women’s movement, choir, prayer band, Band of hope, TACSFON and Bible class.
(1) SUNDAY SCHOOL MOVEMENT
The Sunday School Movement is the organization within the church which has for its purpose the winning of children to Christ, they inculcate Christ into the new converts and some time convert the admirers to be full members of the body of Christ and further they give exhortation to adult members of the church. For these reasons the Local Churches Administration ought to encourage all members to be present in the Sunday School for evangelization, edification, exhortation and comfort of the body of Christ. Prov. 22:6; 2nd Tim. 2:15.
(2) WITNESS / EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT
The Apostolic Church witness movement is an organization within the church which has for its objective the general interest and advancement of the spiritual life of all young people in the church. They initiate, cultivate and establish a witness band of Spirit filled members in every assembly, to train and develop the juvenile to deeper Christian life and to make Christ known to the lost world. Jn. 15:16.
(b) The Composition of Membership:
This movement is made up of young people of both sexes, from the Ages of 15 to 40 inclusive, except the leaders. Also any member above 40 but has the conviction to remain in the band should be encouraged. The young people between the ages of 13 to 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. Eccl. 12:1.
(c) Youth in the Apostolic Church:
The youth are the nearest future leaders in every generation they shall soon occupy the offices of the present day leaders. Hence they should be shown the old landmark. I mean, that they should be taught the fact and know- how in leadership of this church. In actuality, the ministers and presbytery of this church should make it mandatory for all youth in this church to be automatically members of the witness/Evangelical movement of this church. And the proper teaching of the truth be propagated for their future advancement. Some other denominations outside The Apostolic established youth meeting in their churches but The Apostolic Church has witness movement as youth meeting. It is then mandatory that all the -member of the Evangelical team, the choir, TACSFON and other arms of the church comprises the youth make the witness movement their base. Other offices of the church, Apostolic Projects, Teachers, Workers, Helpers, Missionaries, Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses are important members.
(d) Negligence in Teaching:
It has been observed that some of the local leaders do not know how to handle the youth and the witness teachings in principle and practice. And throughout the year round the Assembly has no outside programme that energies the youth. Consequently, the movement in some Assemblies become very weak and boring and about to die off. We advice that the Pastors and capable Elders should assist and put more life and vigour into that arm of the church. Teach them the art of wining souls, their qualifications as soul winners and send them out for practicalization.
It is necessary to know that number one work God wants every Christian to do is to win sinners to Christ. One reason of the failure of the modern churches is that they become a one – man affair, the members leave the work of evangelism, preaching, teaching, visiting to the Pastor above. This has never been God order. Gods order has always been that every Christian should be a witness. Acts 1:8. The work of Evangelism – Witnessing is a great challenge to all the Christians of this generation. Having seen the trend of African traditional religion, Islam, cultism, occult, witch-craft, corruption, immorality, tribalism, crime, sexualism, homosexualism, murder, hatred, indiscipline, kidnapping, lesbianism, oral sex, masturbation, rape, sadism, suicide, cheating, marginalization, 419, dupers arm robbery, ritualist, Boko Haram, etc. Deut. 28:15-68; Rom. 1:28-32. Our youth-the witnesses should be trained to imbibe the right vision, to be God fearing, obedience, self-reliance, honest, truthful, sincere, self-discipline, righteous, faithful, uprightness, loving–kindness, etc. Ps. 1:1-6, Deut. 28:14, Gal. 5:22-23, so as to provide quality leadership to the present and future generation. Above all to go out into the streets, into vehicles, market places, hospitals, clinics, prisons, etc. even through the internet and make Jesus known to this generation. You are blessed when you make the above practical. Dan. 12:3.
(3) MEN’S MOVEMENT:
The Men’s Movement is an organization within the church that seeks to deepen the spiritual. life of the male members of the church by meeting together for prayers, fellowship and meditation in the word of God. To enter into intercession on behalf of the divine purposes and to work generally among the men at the direction of the leaders. They can move outside to proclaim the Gospel from one community to the other, with enthusiasm and boldness of the Holy Spirit. They also contribute towards the support of the cause. They mostly follow the scheme.
(4) WOMEN’S MOVEMENT:
The Women’s Movement is an organization within the church that seeks to deepen the spiritual life in the female members, by meeting together for prayers, fellowship and meditation in the word of God. To enter into intercession on behalf of the Divine Purposes, and to work generally among the sisters at the direction of the leaders. To cooperate with the local presbytery and the Area and Field scheme of work. They also contribute towards the support of the cause. Gen. 14:20, 28:22; Lev. 27:30; Matt. 23:23; 1st Cor. 16:2. They sometime go outside and proclaim the word. Matt. 28:5-8.
(5) THE CHOIR BAND:
The choir group is that organ of the church which does study songs and present their rendition in church services. But they do accompany the witness movement for outing in soul – winning. It is in the youth organization which the witness movement should be based.
(6) THE PRAYER BAND. ACT. 12:3-17.
This is that arm of the church which has their main activity as to pray. When there is spiritual problem facing the church they do gather and pray till they get result. Normally they have their day of meeting within the week, but the members must live in holiness, truthfulness, faithfulness and without hypocrisy. Their assignment is to pray and that prayer should be in accordance to The Apostolic Church Doctrine. And they should be in the witness since they are youth of this church.
(7) THE BAND OF HOPE:
This band of hope group refer, to the children between the age of 5 to 12 years who are being brought up at the feet of their leaders. They inculcate in them the background doctrine of the church, the fear of the Lord, holiness with the zeal to serve God without reservation. Luck 2:40:52. They have their scheme of work.
The Apostolic Church Students fellowship of Nigeria is an arm of the glorious vision which does come together for fellowship in their higher institution of learning. They do worship and study the word of the Lord. It has been established mainly for the conversion of nonbelievers on the school campuses. But when they resort home, their base is in the witness where they assist for the work of evangelization. Pro. 11:30; John 15:16.
(9) BIBLE CLASS:
Bible class is that forum where all members of the church irrespective of age or sex gather usually on Fridays to study God’s word. The author of the Bible is the Holy Spirit. The pages of the Bible are an authoritative revelation in written form, of Gods nature and purposes. The Bible is the source book of our knowledge of God; it is the textbook of divine truth; the guide book to everlasting life. The Bible is the library of Books, divided into two main sections; the Old Testament containing 39 Books and the New Testament containing 27 books. The cardinal theme of the Bible is Christ who becomes the key to understanding of it, the doctrine, principle and practice of The Apostolic Church is based on the Bible. When the whole church come together to study the Bible and practicalise, there is always a great revival in the church and in the community.
Let the local presbytery make it obligatory for all the members of the church to be participant in the Bible class for the revival of the church in our generation. While all the youth in our churches should enrol in the witness for the evangelization of the dying world. May God bless you as you as you obey for the time is too short. Rev, 22:12-13.