We Declare War!
On New Year’s Eve 2010, Reid Temple’s Executive Minister, Reverend Matthew Watley, issued a call for Reid Temple to “Declare War.” On that same evening, Pastor Washington advised the congregation that if we want to be effective in battle, "It's Time to Take Out the Trash.” Throughout the month of January 2011, Pastor laid out Reid Temple's war strategy by calling on each member to “Take Jesus Seriously.” These teachings were a look at the requirements that the Bible has established for Christians to move from Membership to Discipleship. The "We Declare War" booklet was produced to capture the sermons and Biblical principles that initiated this declaration of war.
Pastor Washington's goal is to develop a Community of Disciples who will serve God and His people. His desire is to grow each member towards Christ by having them define where they are in their spiritual growth and challenge them to move to another level in the membership development process.
How Does The Discipleship Program Works?
Spiritual development and discipleship are at the forefront of Pastor Washington’s teachings and vision for Reid Temple. Every member of Reid Temple is expected to become a Disciple. Romans 12:1 calls for us to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God which is our reasonable service and verse 2 challenges us not to conform to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is good and acceptable and in the perfect will of God.
Pastor Washington commissioned 12 ministers to develop the From Membership to Discipleship manual to challenge and inspire the members of Reid Temple to grow spiritually. The manual highlights the four stages of spiritual growth and development practiced at Reid Temple: Membership (Follower), Fellowship (Fellow), Stewardship (Steward), and Discipleship (Disciple). Each member is challenged to assess themselves in term of their spiritual growth and being intentional in their commitment to grow to the next level.
Membership (Follower) Stage: Followers go beyond just being a member whose name is on the church roll. Followers acknowledge being “born again” (John 3:6-7) and decide to take Jesus seriously. The Follower accepts that salvation is something only God can do and that salvation is adoption into the family of God. The Follower understands that salvation is a process and accepting Jesus is our guide and makes every effort to believe His words, trust His wisdom and do His will with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
Fellowship (Fellows) Stage: Fellows have moved beyond being a pew member and actively partici8pate in the life of the church. Fellows take responsibility to grow in fellowship and learn with other believers to advance the kingdom of God through ministry. A Fellow demonstrates commitment to a joint spiritual partnership with regular prayer and acts of worship. (Acts 2:42-47)
Stewardship (Steward) Stage: Good stewards acknowledge that everything they have comes from God. They faithfully manage what has been entrusted to them in a manner that brings God glory and betters the world. Individuals who are growing in stewardship seek godly guidance as to how to maintain, distribute or allocate their resources and teach others how to do likewise. (Psalm 24:1)
Discipleship (Disciple) Stage: Disciples are steadfast and obedient to the word of God. They reflect the love of Christ in their attitude and actions towards others under all circumstances. Disciples do the hard work and are intentional in their love for Christ and others. (Philippians 3:17-19)
The Expectation Of Members:
1. Become a disciple
- Strengthen your relationship with Christ
- Attend Bible Study, Sunday Service, and study the “From Membership to Discipleship” manual
- Grow in tithing
2. Recruit disciples
- Enroll in ministry for training and development
- “Go” – Provide service through ministry
3. Make disciples
- Witness to and empower others to strengthen their relationships with Christ