Salem Church, located in Chambersburg, PA, is currently looking for a part-time Student Ministries Director to lead the rebuilding of our ministry to middle and high school students and work with the lead pastor to coordinate our children’s ministry. Though not definitive, the ideal candidate will likely be someone currently pursuing a degree or training in vocational Student Ministry who will benefit from a part-time opportunity which coincides with their calling to church leadership and enhances their current educational pursuits. It is our prayer is to find someone who would desire to see this mature into a full-time position following their matriculation.

Personal Responsibilities:

  • Be diligent and disciplined to maintain a life of devotion to the study of God’s Word, fellowship, worship, outreach and prayer.
  • Maintain relationships both inside and outside of Salem which display integrity, grace and proper, Biblical conflict management.
  • Be as intentional as possible to avoid situations which could appear to be lacking in sexual or relational fidelity.
  • Be fully in agreement with our congregational/denominational beliefs as expressed on our website,

Ministry Responsibilities:

  • Be responsible for leading a discipling ministry among Salem’s High School and Junior High students which focuses on helping students to mature into faithful followers of Jesus, striving to grow in character and devotion to God as image-bearers of Christ.
  • Work with lead pastor to help create a holistic, Biblically-based discipling curriculum designed to help guide children and students through a lifelong commitment to God.
  • Work with current volunteer staff and develop new volunteers to participate in children’s and student ministries.

For more information about this role, contact Chris Moore, lead pastor at Salem Church.

We run into people who think effective change is about methodologies, about us giving you a program to use. Our message has been, “It’s not about a prepackaged method, but about finding the most effective way to accomplish your mission in your locality.” How that happens in southern Ohio is different than southern Michigan. The key is what you’re trying to accomplish, not how. Bishop Ramsey and I have been consistent on that.

Most of our churches think in terms of program, not process. The mission is to make maturing disciples who reach other people, but most churches haven’t thought through a clear process for taking a totally heathen person who doesn’t know Jesus and leading them to a relationship with Jesus Christ, then to becoming dependent on Christ and sharing the gospel with others. There aren’t clear processes.

Instead, churches too often are just doing church. They know what programs they want, what music they like. But they aren’t thinking missionally about their role in the body of Christ and how to walk people through the maturing process. People don’t think in those terms, only in doing church and being cared for.


I had a great day this past Sunday visiting with our churches in Holly Hill and Port Orange, Florida. Both are wonderful churches with excellent pastors and kind-hearted people. I’d transfer my membership to either one if it weren’t for the long commute.

If folks are looking for a winter haven in the south, I’d encourage them to check out the Daytona Beach area. We have wonderful UB churches that would be happy to have them join the family.

In Port Orange, Faith UB has been demonstrating God’s kindness by creating garden plots so neighbors can grow produce for their family’s needs. Church member Pat Gill laid out the thirty or so raised gardens that come complete with drip line irrigation and are marked off in one-foot by one-foot squares. This system allows families to harvest crops four times per year. Wish I could do that in Indiana!

I am reading through the Scriptures once again following a chronological plan. Several things struck me as I am reading through Exodus and the accounts of the plagues. For example, the interplay between God saying he sovereignly hardened Pharaoh’s heart and Pharaoh hardening his own heart.

But the key thought that struck me most this time had to do with the Lord saying several times, “I make a distinction between my people and your people.” At least three times when he brings a plague on the Egyptians, he protects the Israelites and the land of Goshen from that plague. The people of Egypt see the distinction, and because of that, they are favorably disposed to Moses and the Israelites.

A distinction. To mark someone or something out as different. To make a comparison between. To use as an illustration that is apart from the norm. To separate out as something admirable.

What a great description of God’s people. We are illustrations. We are protected from the consequential disasters that fall on others because of our relationship with the Lord. We are shown by the Lord as different, holy. When the Lord uses our lives to reflect the difference, people will see and hear and give him glory.

Do you see the distinction? Do you acknowledge how the Lord protects? Do you find that people are drawn by what they see happening in your life?

We have a loving Father who keeps watch over us. His purpose is to show everyone himself through us. He distinguishes us from those around us. And the ultimate end is that people will be apt to revere him because of what they see in our lives.

I’m grateful for such a wondrous God.

When I became pastor of Devonshire UB church (Harrisburg, Pa.) in 1988, I laid out my six-month plan for preaching. A couple ladies approached me.

“We don’t think you’re being led by the Spirit.”

“Oh?” I said. “Help me understand why you think that.”

“How can you be led by the Holy Spirit if you’re planning things out six months in advance?”

I asked them, “When did God lay out the plan of salvation? It was before the foundation of the world. He created this plan, then Jesus came 2000 years later and implemented it.

“If God can plan 2000 years in advance, are you saying he can’t lead me to know what to preach about six months from now?”

To them, being led by the Spirit was flying by the seat of your pants.

Pat Jones, Director of Healthy Church Ministries

  • None of them live in that community–they all drive in.
  • None of them speak the dialect spoken in that community (Mandarin, I believe it is).

Many of the adults do not speak fluent English, but all of their children do. They’re trying to figure out the most effective way to train their young people when they don’t by nature speak Chinese–they go to American schools and speak English. They want to reach their community and the next generation, but they don’t speak the language of either.

Right now, they’re looking for some English-speaking people to work with their youth. I appreciated the spirit I saw when I visited them last year.

On Sundays, the Chinese people make a day of it. They come for worship in the morning, usually do lunch together, and have worship later in the day. They have rooms in their building where kids can watch TV, study together, and do activities. A lot of fellowship happens on Sunday. It’s a cultural thing for them. It reminds me of the old days when you had service, stayed for lunch, then had an afternoon or later service.

Huntington University works on a governance system. If we have an issue with the university, we don’t go to a staff person, but to Dr. Dowden. He’s responsible to the board of trustees. The trustees establish the guiding principles and boundary principles for the University, but they let Dr. Dowden and his staff handle day-to-day things. 

In a church, the governance board operates the same way. The pastor is given authority to lead, but the board sets certain boundaries (such as, he can’t spend more than one percent of the budget at a time without getting permission). The staff work under the direction of the pastor and are accountable to him, not to the board. The board then holds the pastor accountable. 

A governance board doesn’t need more than 3-5 people. Some churches have made their elders group their board. Some call it the Executive Leadership Team or Church Leadership Council. Whatever the name, this group focuses on two things:

  • Make sure the big boundaries are being followed.
  • Monitor how goals are accomplished. 

Iglesia Reformada Emanuel is located in Jamaica Plain, Mass., a very urban suburb of greater Boston. It’s not a good neighborhood. They told me you don’t want to be out at night. When they hold late-night services, they ask the police to come stand guard during the service.

The congregation has a tradition of holding their Easter service at 3 a.m. This past Easter, while police officers stood around the periphery of where they were meeting, a young man in the house next door to the church was shot in the neck and killed. The officers saw the assailant toss the gun away after the shooting and while running through the back yard to escape. They caught him.

Lester Smith (right), senior pastor of Hillsdale UB (Hillsdale, Mich.), sent this report about their January 6 service. “January 6, 2008, the Day of Epiphany, fell on a Sunday. Epiphany recalls the wise men following a great light to come to Christ. So the Hillsdale UB Church celebrated the 12th day of Christmas by lighting a candle for each of the 12 people who came to Christ in December through our church’s outreach ministries. The congregation at the HUB gave the Lord an ovation for all those born-again in 2007, which was double the number of the previous year.”

I have been asked as we travel around why anyone should come to National Conference on May 31. What can we expect? What business will happen? Is it worth it?

Let me give you my answer. First, let me address what this isn’t. This isn’t a vacation with a purpose like Knoxville in 1988, where over 900 UBs came together. That’s not what we are expecting. While all who are interested in the future of the church may come, our expectation is that key leaders who are eligible as delegates from each church will come. That would mean a group of around 400 people, or around six times our previous number of delegates at National Conference.

Second, this isn’t going to be a meeting with a lot of Discipline revision business. Our goal is to do what is necessary for us to process the referendums voted on by the churches, choose Executive Leadership Team members, and handle any other business associated with those items. The normal reports will also be given. But that is about all the “normal” business we will do.

So why come? Come, because we need to reconnect in community around our common commitment to the Gospel. We will hear stories of how the Lord is doing something fresh in new churches, old churches, small churches, large churches, city churches, and country churches. We will celebrate new Christians and older saints with a renewed vision of ministry.

Come, because we will spend time hearing from Brad Powell about transitioning a very traditional church to one that is significantly impacting its world today. We will hear why speaking to the culture is a common need for healthy churches, new churches, and missionaries. We will be challenged as leaders as to our responsibility in sharing God’s heart to reach lost people. We will also renew our belief that the God who worked in the church in Acts is the same today, and the church of Acts 2 reflects how the church should function today.