Ministry Highlights

Find the details of Vision Weekend!


Help us pause to reflect on how God has moved during the
2017-2018 ministry year. As you read, let's celebrate!


Children's Ministry - as told by Amy Natzke

  • We hosted a special Kid's Baptism Celebration in August with 18 baptisms.
  • Nursery updates included new carpet, fresh paint, and storage, which gives a new, fresh look to the nursery area.
  • The Great Pumpkin Party and Harvest Hoedown welcomed 7000+ attendees and 600+ volunteers over three nights. It was our biggest year yet, and we saw some brand-new, first-time guests!
  • We provided backpacks and school supplies to over 100 children living at Chapel Ridge West in partnership with Project: Impact and the kids in Wednesday night Sparks and 34th Street who used their shares from learning verses to purchase the school supplies. This was double the number from last year.
  • This was our fourth year of building bridges to Chapel Ridge West apartments. We now have a solid group of kids who attend regularly on Wednesday nights and fill the 15 passenger van every week. We also have three families who regularly attend on Sunday mornings. During Love you Des Moines Days, we gained momentum in deepening our relationship with Chapel Ridge West families and had 40-50 kids attend the programming each day.
  • We held a special service for kids when Lee Strobel spoke that encouraged 400+ kids to look for ways to reach others for Jesus.
  • 425 kids registered for Wednesday night programming (ages 3 years-5th grade).
  • Hundreds of boxes were donated to Operation Christmas Child including 22 filled by our Sparks and 34th Street kids who purchased the contents with the shares they earned for learning verses.
  • Over 400 kids heard the Good News at a special Easter with Kids service on Easter Weekend.

Global Outreach - as told by Don Long

  • Over 100 individuals took steps of faith to serve on short-term trips, which helped make a Kingdom difference around the world. During one trip, we were able to witness 19 Iranians step forward to indicate a trust in Christ and to be baptized.
  • Generous giving allowed us to support 36 individuals and ministries worldwide.
  • Additional individuals and families stepped forth to sponsor children through Compassion International in Honduras.
  • Our Business as Mission team saw the opportunity to expand into Kenya while continuing the ministry in Myanmar.

Hand in Hand Special Needs Ministry - as told by BEth Castile

  • We held our third Night to Shine event and welcomed 260 guests. We styled over 100 ladies with a special gown during our dress boutique! Throughout the entirety of the event, we utilized over 650 volunteers.
  • CONNECT Events continues to grow. Our August event brought in over 50 people.
  • Our Sunday morning adult class continues to see a variety of new friends. To accommodate the growing numbers, we moved the class to the 11 am worship gathering to utilize a larger room.
  • With generous donations through the Celebrate the Child initiative, our classroom was updated with two murals including a 3D mural in our sensory room.
  • Through the same year-end initiative, we were able to see the dream of an inclusive playground become a reality. We are excited to bless the families in our ministry and the community.
  • Moms Group, now led by Kelly Denham, is open to the community. Through her strong leadership and biblical teaching, they continue to see new moms each time. Starting in October they will meet twice a month.
  • Inclusive Ministry Conference - This was the second year the Special Needs Ministry Network of Des Moines has put on this conference for parents of special needs and ministry leaders/volunteers. We hope to continue to be a resource for families and other churches who want to start a special needs ministry.
  • Wonderfully Made Family Camp had its third successful family camp for special needs at Hidden Acres. We welcomed 40 families and recruited over 100 volunteers to serve.
  • Respite Events-  we offered respite to our families nine times this year. We were blessed to have two church youth groups, DMC volleyball team, a Life Group, and a community group partner with the ministry to provide the volunteers for a respite event.
  • New families - our ministry continues to bring new families to Valley Church. This includes families with special needs but also families that love what this ministry represents in Valley Church.

Life Groups - as told by Jon Fontenot

  • 140+ leaders (mainly LG Leaders & Sunday Morning Teachers) attended our Vision Launch Meeting for Good News for All in December and were motivated to let their light shine to reach the lost.
  • All of our Life Groups participated in the Spiritual Influence 3D1 Training in February and discussed how to develop friendships with spiritual outsiders, get to know others' stories, and discern spiritual next steps.
  • 35 of our Life Groups volunteered as groups to love our city! Activities included doing yard work for neighbors, hosting outdoor movie nights and block parties, delivering snacks to first responders, working alongside Global Greens farmers, organizing a supplies drive for a local school, raising funds for victims affected by trafficking, volunteering at Agape Pregnancy Center, Meals for the Heartland, serving lunch to kids at Chapel Ridge, volunteering at Garage NO Sale and Des Moines' World Refugee Day celebration, handing out freeze pops, volunteering at the Love You Des Moines Celebration, and more!
  • 70+ people attended Turbo NEXT in July and learned about our history, mission, values, three strategy circles, and how to become new members. Several of them are now new members.
  • We witnessed God move in a mighty way in August with 48 baptisms (children, youth, and adults).
  • We advertised six new Life Groups (August) and sought new ways to help people connect in a group. We had 187 new sign ups for Life Groups, support groups, and special interest groups.
  • Our Life Groups continue to live out the 4 S's--Share, Study, Support, Serv--and focus on helping people at Valley make friendships and continue growing in their faith.
  • Lastly, we added a new role called Life Group Coach. This position provides support, care, encouragement, and accountability to our Life Group leaders. We currently have four coaches, and God willing, we plan to add more.

Operations Team - as told by Tony Stec

  • Outstanding administrative support by our office staff and volunteers.
  • Volunteer-led landscaping projects to beautify the property.
  • Successful migration to Office 365. This represents a giant leap forward for our staff through better tools and training for individual and group productivity.
  • Execution of Celebrate the Child initiatives (nursery remodel and inclusive playground).
  • Remodeled farmhouse at 4300 Fuller as a ministry resource for small groups.
  • Excellent behind-the-scenes ministry support provided by our Servant Team volunteers.

Strategic Initiatives - as told by Dan Anderson

  • Last September, 27 people participated in our Reformation 500 Tour to Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, and France. This intense two-week journey brought the history of the Reformation to life by visiting the actual locations and learning of the key players including Jan Hus, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin just to name a few!
  • In October, our Guest Experience (GX) team launched their new S.M.I.L.E.* vision and training program to help create a more welcoming weekend experience.
    (*Surprise & Delight; Make a Difference; be Inquisitive; Love our Neighbor; Everything and Everyone Matters)
  • Last fall, Valley Church launched its first Spiritual Discovery Group resulting in several tough questions and conversations, spiritual growth, and even a baptism with one of our Seeker Panel members. There are currently four other active SDG-type groups.
  • In January our Spiritual Influence initiative kicked off with our Seeker Panel weekend. Lee Strobel visited the following weekend, and over 4000 people attended worship gatherings. The subsequent weeks had over 500 Valley Church members/attenders trained in the 3D1 process (Develop Friendships, Discover Stories, and Discern Next Steps).
  • #LoveYouDSM focus kicked off this summer with the Love You Des Moines Days (see Community Bridges highlights). Valley Community Center atrium graphics update coming soon!

Student Ministries

High school Ministry - As told by Dan Rozga and Mackenzie Brown

  • This summer, we took 50+ leaders and students to Kansas City for Challenge. After returning, we have seen visible differences our students' urgency to follow Christ faithfully and boldly.
  • 10 high school students decided to take their next step in their faith journey by professing their faith through public baptism at Valley Church.
  • In December we flooded the aisles of Target to shop for single moms and their families. Our students gathered close to $1,000 and were able to abundantly bless a handful of mothers who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to provide presents for their kids.

Middle School Ministry - As told by Joe Budish

  • More than 800 middle school students and leaders from 20 area churches heard a gospel presentation and had lots of fun at the Blitz All-Nighter overnight event in November.
  • In January we added 6th grade students and changed our name to the Valley Middle School Ministry, a transition that gives us an additional year to invest in disciple-making relationships with students during a critical time in their lives.
  • In June we participated in the Love You Des Moines Days by personally delivering gifts and note cards to businesses that are within walking distance of the Valley Community Center.
  • During a weekend in July, we loved our distant neighbors in Omaha, Nebraska, by participating in the Urban Plunge mission experience, which gave us a glimpse at how God is at work in that city.

Valley Community Center - As told by AJ Doyle

  • First-ever Love You Des Moines Days: Nine days of connecting with our community through fun, meaningful, and exciting activities for all. Over 1200 Valley attenders joined in to love their neighbors, share their passions or skills, and serve ministry partners. These nine days were packed with 4000+ participants, 65+ free activities for all-ages, 50+ partner organizations, 12 neighborhood prayer walks, 11 service projects, and more.
  • Partnerships: We continued to partner with countless organizations year-round and at special events like the Garage NO Sale for those in need, Jordan Creek Elementary movie day, Night to Shine prom experience for adults with disabilities, etc. Also, the Community Bridges team has the privilege of partnering with other Valley ministries and Valley volunteer leaders to host events like the Great Pumpkin Party (7000+ guests), Valley Classic Car Show (1000+ guests), neighborhood block parties, and more.
  • Celebrated five years of the Valley Community Center: During that time, we’ve hosted over 10,000 events/activities and over 500,000 guests.
  • Upward Sports and Wellness Activities: 700+ kids and 80+ teams for yet another year of Upward basketball, football and cheer with an intentional Christ-centered message. In addition, thousands more participated in other wellness activities at the Valley Community Center.

Women's Ministry - as told by Debi Lydic

  • Girlfriends in God Conference in September 2017, featured writer/speakers Mary Southerland, Gwen Smith, and Sharon Jaynes.
  • Thrive Bible Study offered Le Tour de Bible Overview, Le Tour de Bible Read Through, Hebrews and more.
  • Christmas Bash event for women featuring our own Kim Welge. 500+ women were blessed with fun shopping, community building, a delicious brunch, and Kim’s encouraging words.
  • India Missions Trip: Six women served as a team to minister to the wives of pastors and church leaders. God opened the door for an amazing time of connection and encouragement.

Worship Ministry - as told by Andy Johnson

  • In January we saw a shift in momentum as all of our worship venues were brought under one umbrella of ministry and leadership.
  • We are continuing to experience a greater unity in our worship teams across our campus, while still celebrating the distinctly different music styles unique to each venue.
  • Brendan LeLaCheur joined the team as the Maplenol Venue Pastor in May. Maplenol continues to grow in numbers and community, and we are excited to see how God will use this venue in the coming year at the Valley Community Center!
  • In August baptisms were incorporated back into the auditorium as a church-wide event celebration and extension of worship.