What is "The Walk?"

It’s not a place, but a people. It’s not a meeting, but a movement. “The Walk” is what we call our  church family and it is what we actively and intentionally do to express our faith. Most of all, “The Walk” is the joy of discovering who God created you to be.

“The Walk” is a Biblically-grounded, three-part process of growing in faith by seeking to:

  1. Know God personally through a commitment to being in the Bible daily and worship weekly.
  2. Love Jesus passionately through a commitment to fellowship, being in small groups with and caring for fellow church family members.
  3. Live purposefully through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit by seeking to understand how God has gifted each of us, the plan he has for us and committing to bring this to life through our time, gifts and life so that others might know Jesus, his salvation and the perfect plan he has for them.

Our Staff

Pastor

Steve McElroy

Background: I grew up in southern Iowa, married the pastor's daughter (Alison) and spent almost 20 years in advertising and marketing before experiencing God's life-changing call to ministry. Alison and I have been married for 35 years, have two wonderful adult children and are partners in chasing whatever Jesus wants us to do and wherever he invites us to go. I'm an Iowa State graduate and received my Masters of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology.

Role At Church: I'm a preacher, teacher, leader-maker and communicator of the vision and direction God is laying on our church family. Oh yeah, and I play drums with the praise band for some extra fun.

Favorites: I could eat pizza every day of the week (as long as it came from different places), enjoy a range of Contemporary Christian music from folks like Toby Mac to Chris Tomlin, love watching movies with my family (both at theater and home) and have a long-time love affair with the game of basketball. I eat home-made, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies with my wife every evening.

Favorite Bible Verse: "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God - what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

Director of Faith Formation

Beth Greiner

Background: I grew up in Eastern Iowa in the small town of Shueyville (in-between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City). I got married to my husband, Donavon, in 2014 and we have 2 daughters (4 and 1). I graduated with a Masters from the University of Northern Iowa and taught for 3 years as a special education teacher before staying home full-time with our first child. God has now given me the opportunity to use my education background at the church to teach our children and youth about our Lord.

Role At Church: I organize the activities at our church that are for our youth. I also coordinate Faith Formation classes for our kids in preschool-7th grade, coordinate and lead Youth Group for 6th-12th grades, and help choose curriculum for our adult small groups.

Favorites: I love spending time with my family, camping, biking, and sports. I cheer for the UNI Panthers first, with the Iowa State Cyclones at a close second. I love working with our youth and seeing them make connections between their lives and Christ.

Favorite Bible Verse: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:33-34

Director of Worship

Rileigh McElroy

Background: As a pastor's daughter, I'm not really sure where I'm from because I've moved so much. I have roots in southern Iowa, graduated from high school in northern Iowa, but I've officially made West Des Moines my home. I've been making music since I was six years old when I first started playing the violin. Throughout my education, I was involved in band, choir, speech and theater and even studied church music in college. In addition to being Director of Worship, I'm a radio personality at central Iowa Christian music station, Pulse 101.7FM and am finishing a degree at William Penn University.

Role At Church: My role is to help lead our church family into a deeper sense of worship through music whether that is through traditional hymns or the latest praise and worship song.

Favorites: I am a fast food connoisseur. Chick fil a, Taco Bell, and Culvers are some of my absolute favorites. I listen to all sorts of music ranging from Taylor Swift to Switchfoot to Kanye West. I like to spend my free time going to concerts, watching reality tv, and working out as often as I can.

Favorite Bible Verse: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? Luke 9:23-35

Director of Facilities

Tom Riggs

Background: I was born in Cherokee, Iowa and grew up in North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, northern, central, and southern Iowa. I spent almost 30 years in human resources and safety, and the last 10 years in employee benefits before retirement. Bettie and I met accidentally and have been married for 46 years. I have two wonderful adult sons and their families: including 4 grandchildren. I graduated from Drake University and achieved the designation of CEBS – Certified Employee Benefit Specialist. I spent 20 years as an Assistant Scoutmaster.

Role At Church: My job is to care for the upkeep of the church property. I fix things that need to be fixed.

Favorites: I enjoy working on and riding bicycles. I have ridden across S. Dakota 3 times and in 24 RAGBRAIs. I enjoy taking trips with my wife, going to movies, music concerts, and the Iowa State Fair. I like pizza and diet coke, all types of music and NPR news.

Favorite Bible Verse: "I can do all things through him who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13

Secretary

Carol Sisney

Background: I grew up in Rockford, Illinois, moved to Wisconsin and then eventually ended up in Des Moines, Iowa. I have been married to my wonderful husband Steve going on 4 years. Between us we have 4 adult children and 6 grandchildren. They are all my pride and joy!

Role At Church: I have been the Church Secretary for 9 years and love every minute of it!

Favorites: I love to read books on my Kindle, outdoor gardening (I actually enjoy weeding!), cooking, watching movies at home and spending time with the grandchildren!

Favorite Bible Verse: "I can do all things through him who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13

Core Beliefs

God as Trinity

God is the eternal creator and ruler of all things. We believe scripture reveals God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We call this the “Trinity.” As three, they are co-eternal and of one purpose, will, and love.

God The Son - Jesus - Is Our Savior

Jesus – God in the flesh – came into this world to reveal to us and restore our relationship with God. Jesus’ died on the cross so that our sins – all that separate us from God – would be wiped away. His resurrection from the dead proved that all he said and did was true and sure.

Salvation By Grace Through Faith

When we make a profession of faith in Jesus – who he is and what he did – we are given the gift of salvation. We call this unearned and undeserved gift “grace.” This gift – activated by our faith – results in removing the penalty of sin from our lives and restores our relationship with God wherein we experience God’s presence and leading in our lives today and will live with Him in His eternal kingdom after this life.

The Bible

The Bible is our foundational document. It is God’s Word given to human authors under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the way we can know the person of God, how God ordered this world and his will for our daily living. The Bible is best understood when we answer these four questions about a given text: (1) What did this passage mean to its original hearers? (2) What part does it play in the Bible’s total witness? (3) What does God seem to be saying to my life, my community, my world, through this passage? and (4) What changes should I consider making as a result of my study?

The Church

We believe that the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today. It’s mission is to make disciples – followers – of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The church is “the communion of saints,” a community made up of all past, present, and future disciples of Christ. We believe that the church is called to worship God and to support those who participate in its life as they grow in faith.

Mission Of The Church

As Jesus directs in Matthew 28:19-20, the purpose of the church – and every member of it – is to “make disciples for the transformation of the world.” This is living our lives in such a way that we enable others to know, choose and share Jesus.

Wesleyan Roots

As a United Methodist church, we exist because of our founder, John Wesley, his brother Charles, and others’ desire to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. Together they pursued “holiness of heart and life,” which Wesley described as “universal love filling the heart, and governing the life.” The dual emphasis on both what we believe and how we live, is foundational to who Methodists and Wesleyans are.

Grace

Scripture teaches that we are incapable of achieving holiness under our own power. Instead, we receive it as a gift because of God’s great love for each and every one of us. Christians use the word grace to describe the gift of God doing for us what we cannot do on our own.

Wesley taught that God’s grace is with each of us throughout our lives. By grace God prepares us, justifies us, and then continues to grow us as followers of Jesus Christ.

Prevenient Grace Prepares Us

Wesley taught that God loves everyone, and invites all of us to be in right relationship with him. Because we are unable to do this on our own, God prepares our hearts and minds to accept Jesus’s invitation to follow him before we are even aware of it. As we read in the Bible, “But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

By God’s grace, we recognize our brokenness, long for something more, and learn from Christians who show us God is love by word and example. Wesley called this prevenient grace, which simply means the grace that comes before we know or love God.

Justifying Grace Restores Us

The Bible teaches, “For by grace you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). This means salvation is not something we deserve or earn, but something that God has done for us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

When we recognize our sinfulness and repent, we receive God’s forgiveness and are called to live a new life of following Jesus by loving God and our neighbors. We receive this gift out of what Wesley called God’s justifying grace, because we are “made right” with God. Our relationship is restored.

Sanctifying Grace Grows Us

The moment of justification is the beginning of a wonderful journey with Jesus toward holiness of heart and life. As we participate in God’s work in the world through acts of piety like worship and prayer and acts of mercy like serving others and working for justice for our neighbors, we make ourselves available to God who forms us into the likeness of Jesus.

Wesley sometimes said that God perfects us by his grace, but he never intended that to mean we would never make a mistake. Instead, Wesley taught that by God’s grace we would stop sinning intentionally when made perfect in both our love of God and neighbor. We do not wish to harm either of those relationships.

This process, which we might call spiritual growth today, is not something we do. Instead, it is God who lovingly works in us and for us. Wesley called this sanctifying grace, “the grace by which God makes us holy in heart and life.”

FAQs

What are your COVID protocols?

In-person worship

We are creating as touch-free a worship experience as possible. Seating is done with consideration of social distancing and we politely ask that masks be worn by all in attendance (those leading worship on the altar space are not masked, though a safe distance away from congregants). Hand sanitizer is easily accessible and seats and all touched surfaces are cleaned between worship services.

Small groups

Adults are encouraged to meet with their small groups using the recommended procedures to keep their group safe and healthy when meeting.

Additional resources

Everyone is encouraged to check out RightNow Media for more resources to use with children and small groups. It’s free!

What happens when I visit the Walk?

When you arrive, you will be greeted by a member of our hospitality team (easy to spot in their red “Walk” shirts). They will help you figure out things such as finding the worship space, where kids gather and practical things like “where are the restrooms.” The hospitality team will give you a card to fill with your contact information (you can give that back to any hospitality team member after worship). You will also receive a free “Walk” t-shirt for each family member. We don’t call or single out visitors in worship. You can be incognito if you like! In the days following your visit, you can expect a letter or email from a hospitality team member thanking you for your visit and checking for any questions you may have.

Is The Walk a non-denominational church?

The Walk is a United Methodist Church with strong Wesleyan roots and historically orthodox teaching. “The Walk” is a name that we gave to the ministries of the church and expresses Jesus’ call for us to be his disciples – to follow after or “walk” with him.

How do I become a member of The Walk?

Individuals may note on the visitor cards given to them by hospitality team members that they are interested in exploring membership, or they may contact the church office. Prospective members are invited to a quarterly informational class (between Sunday morning worship services) where they discover more about the church. To become a member, a person must have been previously baptized (or be baptized for the first time as part of their joining). Though we love receiving new members, our focus is making followers of Jesus.

How can I be baptized? Do I have to be a member to be baptized?

As a United Methodist Church, we baptize all ages, including infants. Typically, an individual who can speak for themself will desire to be baptized in conjunction with or as a result of making a profession of faith in Jesus. In the case of infant baptism, parents speak on behalf of their child committing to do all they can to help raise their child in such a way that the child will one day make their own profession of faith in Jesus. Infant baptisms are done by sprinkling water, while baptisms of more mature individuals may be done by sprinkling or full-body immersion. Individuals may fill out the attached form to request a baptism. Individuals are baptized prior to becoming members of the church.

Take the first step with The Walk

1. Plan a visit

Take the uncertainty out of attending a new church.

2. Attend a service

Join us next Sunday and stop by after service to meet Pastor Steve.

3. Discover The Walk

Every month we host a time where you can learn more about our church and how to become a part of what we are doing.