Most churches ask members of their congregation to spread the word of the gospel, but few go to the lengths that Grace West Church in West Des Moines does to train disciples, or to encourage them to plant their own church.
“The focus here has shifted on how we do church,” says Pastor Bob Deever. “Most churches focus on trying to find ways to fill pews, but our focus is to fill people with Christ and to obey what he asks us to do, which is to make disciples make disciples.”
To help accomplish that goal, Grace West is hosting two series of ongoing, weekly seminars. The first, Disciples Making Disciples, is led by Deever every Sunday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the church. The other, is known as The Timothy Initiative (TTI), in which Grace West Church has become the Midwest training center for a nationwide program that encourages churchgoers to plant their own churches, regardless of their denomination. Those interested in participating are encouraged to contact Grace West for more details.
“Both programs are about equipping people and freeing them up to follow their hearts,” says Deever.
Grace West’s pastor cites the enormous costs involved with operating a church and catering to the spiritual needs of those who can’t attend traditional Sunday services as two of the many reasons why TTI appeals to so many people. He says that more than 25,000 churches have been planted since 2008 as a result of TTI, reaching more than 400,000 people and training more than 25,000 students.
“We can teach anyone in any community of any denomination to go out and plant a church and serve an ethnic group or their neighborhood,” he says. “The average church size is about 16 people per plant, but it’s not about numbers or location, it’s about the kingdom.”
Deever’s Sunday seminars regarding discipleship are ongoing. He welcomes members and non-members of his church to attend.
“We need to teach more people to love Christ and to share that love,” he says.
Grace West Church
6820 Ashworth Road
267-9094 • www.gracewest.org
Celebration Service: 10 a.m.
Youth Morning Elective: 9 a.m.
Youth Group: 6-7:30 p.m.
Awana: 6:45-8 p.m.
Prayer Meeting: 6:45 p.m.