Valley Real Life (VRL) is an independent, non-denominational church that was founded in 2003. It was formed as a church plant from Real Life Ministries (RLM) in Post Falls, Idaho. On September 7, 2003, a group of 125 families who attended RLM but lived in the Spokane Valley began holding weekly services in Central Valley High School.
As the church grew, the mobile model of church became increasingly difficult. They purchased property in 2006 and on September 14, 2008 the first services in their current location.
Valley Real Life Church is the largest multi-generational church in the Valley that guides and journeys in relationship with imperfect people, so that life change continually happens. They are engaging communicators, connectors, contributors, and coaches who find ways for people to pursue relationship with God and others. They want to reach the world for Jesus Christ, one person at a time and genuinely listen intently and mobilize strategically and they help people take the next step to grow through Christ-centered discipleship.
They are intentional to lead and live out radical vulnerability, measured through stories of change. At Valley Real Life it is okay to be real. They seek to courageously inspire people to move forward, in life together, to always pursue one. Since 2003, with multiple locations, and thousands of people being transformed, they want unstoppable relational momentum for disciple-making disciples.
Valley Real Life Kids Ministry seeks to create engaging environments for all kids (nursery) up to 5th grade. They focus on creating both large group and smaller class environments where all can feel cared for and welcomed.
The Kids Ministry for VRL meets during all worship services (Thursday evening and three services Sunday morning). Classes are broken down by individual age/grade levels up through 3rd grade and a combined class for the older elementary grades (with breakout small groups for these groups as well). This model is sure to change as the numbers are growing quickly for each grade-level.
VRL Kids Ministry seeks to meet the learning styles for all kids. Programming includes elements that will help kids stay engaged through active movements, music/singing, games, crafts, stories and biblical instruction. Valley Real Life Kids Ministry approaches each of these elements with a desire to be creative so that truth is modeled, learned and applied by these young hearts and minds.
Being a part of multisite Church gives VRL many advantages. The VRL Kids Ministry team works together for the overall scope and sequence of the ministry, while allowing the implementation to be contextualized for each of the three campuses (plus the online campus) of VRL. Likewise, the individual campuses seek to have collaboration at the core with the kids ministry teams (paid and volunteer).
Valley Real LIfe Kids leadership seeks to teach and model God's Word in relevant ways. Both large and small group settings take time in God's Word to discover what the Lord has said to His people. VRL is known for their commitment to real and applicable teaching of the Bible.
Valley Real Life Church is a staff-led, elder governed church.
The leadership culture at VRL is marked by character, laughter, authenticity and a desire to do all with excellence.
Dan Shields serves as the Lead Pastor. Dan is a strong, passionate and driven leader. Dan cares immensely about the next generation and believes they are the biggest driver of the church. He pushes hard because he cares so deeply; he is very loyal and supportive of the people on his team.
Dan has been the Lead Pastor of Valley Real Life for 5 years. He moved from Post Falls, ID after stints in Arizona, Northern & Southern California. He was raised on the west side of Washington and loves the Pacific Northwest, especially the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Huskies and Gonzaga Bulldogs. He is married to his wife, Carolina, and has 3 kids. He has helped Valley Real Life achieve new heights in attendance, outreach, discipleship and care for people.
VRL Church operates with a lead pastor and 2 executives. Dan has been on staff for five years. The Executive of Operations, Alison, has been on staff for four years and the Executive of Ministry, Jay, has been on staff since early in 2020.
Nobody knows what post-pandemic ministry will look like. Kids ministry across the nation has proven to be one of the largest challenges as some families simply have not yet returned to in-person ministry settings. Online participation is here to stay. The new Kids Ministry leaders will have a unique opportunity to lead the ministry to families choosing to do ministry at-home while redefining what ministry on the campuses of VRL will look like.
Valley Real Life is a fun environment with many rewards-- however it is a driven environment as well. The new leader should come in ready to laugh, but also equipped and driven to work. The Kids Ministry team does much in collaboration, therefore they prioritize in-office times so that community can be built and ideas can be shared.
Because of the size, scope and the anticipated growth of VRL Kids Ministry it is imperative that the new Pastor come in with the knowledge that much of his or her time will be spent with the adult population in kids ministry. Time interacting with kids is always desired, but the realistic expectation for this new hire is that he or she will equip and empower leaders for relational ministry with kids and their families.
VRL Kids Ministry has a solid foundation of long-time families to build upon. In addition, new families are drawn to the growing central/original campus. The new Children's Pastor will be charged with the opportunity to build upon this foundation and continue to relationally invest in leaders, families and kids to continue building a culture that is both invitational and biblically relevant.
Most of the focus of the new Pastor's ministry will be on the Barker Campus. Because the sheer number of attendees is so large, it is anticipated that ideas will be implemented here first, therefore, much of the focus for the new leader will be concentrated on this campus. However, the new Pastor should pour time and attention into the appointed main leader for each of the others VRL campuses.
As VRL Kids Ministry continues to grow, it is imperative that the new Children's Pastor continues the ministry structure that is scalable to grow with the church. This happens through the recruitment, training and sustaining of the leadership team. VRL Kids Ministry had a strong group of volunteers prior to COVID-19, but now a new strategy for recruitment is needed. The new Pastor will team with his or her staff so that others are equipped with the effective tools and methods to meet children where they are, partner with parents through these development years and equip kids to love Jesus and others well.
EXPECTATIONS, SKILLS & ABILITIES