Beyond basic doctrinal beliefs, every church must make decisions about the way it accomplishes ministry. At UBC, we have several core philosophies that shape our practical ministry decisions and are important for members to understand and embrace.
Individual Accountability
The health and growth of a church will never go beyond the health and growth of its individual members. Though the below paragraphs explain important philosophies that we have as a collective church family, our first philosophy is that every member must feel a personal drive to walk before Christ as an authentic disciple. Though we believe that a well-rounded church ministry will be a major means of growth for its individual members, we believe even more strongly that a well-rounded church member will be a major means of growth for the church. It is absolutely a top priority for every believer to trust in the gospel, to hunger for God, to feed on his Word, to pray, and to commit to God’s kingdom no matter how well-rounded his or her particular church happens to be. UBC is nothing if its individual members are not individually living lives accountable to Christ. (John 21:21-22)
Family Corporate Worship
We believe that gathering for worship as an entire church family is the foundational weekly event of the church body to which every member must be committed. Corporate worship serves the huge purposes of rejoicing in our great God, encouraging one another, and being nourished personally. Because it is for the whole church, we encourage families to have their children present in the Sunday gatherings. However, we also recognize that not every family is on the same schedule with regard to when to include their children in corporate worship. Therefore, we provide for flexibility and freedom for each family by offering a nursery for preschool children during the entire worship service and a frequent “kids worship” option during the sermon (1st through 4th grade).  (Heb 10:23-25)
Mutually Edifying Praise Music
Our music ministry exists to help the church worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). We want to do this through mutually edifying praise music. Instead of getting wrapped up in favorite music styles, we want the focus to be on the cross of Jesus and the rich promises that are ours in Christ. If we do this with excellence, the entire church family should be able to appreciate our musical direction and participate with whole-hearts. With regard to style, we believe that God is constantly growing a unique UBC worship style that flows from the special mixture of musical giftings he has given to our church. If everyone involved will focus on using their gifts in a humble, God-centered, team-oriented way and if we strive for dynamic excellence appropriate to worship of the living God, then the whole church should be engaged in vibrant worship, and the music style will be an awesome, unique fingerprint of UBC. (Eph 5:18-21)
Expository, Doctrinal, Christ-Centered Preaching
In short, we desire for our preaching to focus on God’s word (expository), his truth (doctrinal), and his gospel (Christ-centered). If we do this well, our sermons will honor God and dynamically impact the human heart, the real place where lives are changed. Much of the preaching in our culture sacrifices transforming power for attempts at popular appeal. Though we earnestly strive for our sermons to engage, we mainly care about being reliable stewards of God’s message. (Col 1:28; 2 Tim 3:16-4:4)
Community Groups
Community groups are vital for being truly plugged in at UBC because they provide for close-knit fellowship that is based on God’s Word. Our groups target various life-stages, but such designations are relatively loose so that everyone in the church is readily included. These groups have four major purposes: Bible study, fellowship, prayer, and outreach. If a person merely comes to worship service every week, it will be difficult for him or her to experience a strong connection with the UBC family. Your commitment to a community group will foster the kind of close relationships we all need. (Acts 2:46-47)
Generational Interaction
We believe that a healthy church will foster many opportunities for interaction among people of different generations. Though certainly there is a place for connecting with others in your same life-stage, there is also tremendous value in reaching across generational boundaries. We want our students to be in relationship with other families. We want older church members to share testimonies with younger groups and visa versa. We want Sunday school groups reaching out to other groups. We want our children involved in outreach ministry as much as they can. We want single adults interacting with married couples, older men mentoring younger men, older women encouraging younger moms, etc. etc. etc. Get the point? (1 Tim 5:1-2)
Word Based Outreach
In the Bible, the church has one main strategy for reaching the world: Talk about Jesus to others. Jesus simply said, “You shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). There are many ways that they accomplished this directive, such as: preaching in various settings, house evangelism, testifying from one person to another, and engaging new people in their worship gatherings. But there was no strategy in which the church simply did nice things for people or the community without sharing Jesus. Therefore, at UBC we desire for all of our organized outreach attempts and all of our member relationships with the lost to have as its main goal that we talk about the good news of Jesus Christ and invite others into the family of God. (Rom 1:16-17)
Course Training
In the Great Commission, Jesus instructs his disciples to teach the church everything he had commanded them. This responsibility is huge because God’s Word contains a great deal of instruction and this responsibility is challenging because everyone has different areas of needed growth. So to facilitate more intentional growth for our church family, we regularly offer discipleship courses that pertain to specific topics. Our Sunday night Bible study is one such opportunity, and we also offer various Wednesday evening topical studies for set lengths of time. We encourage our members to prayerfully consider which courses can help them grow in their understanding of everything Jesus has taught us.
Sacrificial Serving and Giving
We believe that a member’s growth will be limited as long as he or she is only an absorber of the ministry of others. Dynamic growth in Christ really happens when we following him in sacrificial service and giving. We encourage each member to find at least one regular role of service within our church. Plus, we believe that God deserves our trust with regard to money, so we encourage each member to give faithfully to our ministry. The fact is that our church would not exist without the voluntary serving and giving of our members, but the greater fact is that God is trustworthy with our time and resources. (2 Cor 9:6-8)
Our basic structure for growing disciples is called “4 Growth.” There are four key ways to be involved at UBC that provide a well-rounded plan for individuals to grow: corporate worship, community groups, course training, and committed service. We encourage our members to prayerful seek to be committed to all four. There are many ways that the four elements can find expression for every individual, so this structure is easily individualized according to how the Lord leads each person. 4 Growth is specific enough to point you in a well-rounded direction that requires a healthy degree of commitment but flexible enough to allow every person to seek out their own mix of involvement.