The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in greater Des Moines is home to an English congregation, a Spanish congregation, and a Laotian congregation.
The English congregation holds a meeting every Thursday at 7pm and Monday at 1pm. These meetings consist of reading a Bible passage from the New World Translation that all Jehovah’s Witnesses use, discussing the Bible passage interactively, and reflecting on how to live out Jehovah’s teachings in their daily lives. Each service is led by a different person; there is no one religious figurehead in charge of the community. The topics covered in the meetings are predetermined by the global community long in advance. After each meeting, the community spends time talking to each other and checking up to make sure everyone is doing well.
Most of the practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not have to be done at a specific time or for a certain duration, but nearly all Jehovah’s Witnesses dedicate time every day to practice their religion. Many members of this community are parents and practice their religion through teaching their children about the Bible and God’s love. Another important factor of practice is “ministry.” Ministry is the practice of going out into the community to spread the word of God to others. It is important to emphasize that this is not an attempt to convert everyone to the religion. The point of ministry is to make others aware of the gifts that God has given to the world and to help others consider how they can show their appreciation through leading moral lives and giving God thanks. Ministry is a requirement of maintaining an active membership with this religion. Still, it is viewed as an opportunity rather than an obligation. Jehovah’s Witnesses feel a sense of responsibility to their community and God; ministry is a way to connect the two in an engaging, dynamic manner
The leaders in this community, called “elders,” preside over the meetings and the Bible readings. The elders are in place not as authority figures, but as spiritual guides to help people develop their relationship with God. Elders are men who are good role models of spirituality that have age and wisdom that allows them to aid their community.
By Luke Miller
- 1421 Buffalo Rd, West Des Moines
- (515) 226-9094
- It is a sign of respect towards God to dress up for the meetings. This can include a dress shirt and tie for men and a dress for women. But the Church emphasizes that one’s clothes do not need to be particularly expensive or fancy.