Pastor Ron Shank, who for many years has been on the staff of the Maranatha Brethren Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, was recently profiled in the Waynesboro, PA, newspaper.
PROFILE IN FAITH: Pastor Ron Shank
Pastor Ron Shank
Tell us a little bit about what you do.
My overall responsibilities include caring for the spiritual needs of our clients and our staff. I am involved in every program we currently have here at Brook Lane for our patients, doing one-on-one visits, group sessions (currently nine groups a week), Bible studies and personal counseling. I also do the weekly chapel service for our clients and staff on Sundays and have a bi-weekly Bible study with staff.
Where did you work before your current position?
I was the youth pastor and associate pastor at Maranatha Brethren Church in Hagerstown for more than 23 years.
What do you like most and least about your work?
I love to bring hope to people who, for whatever cause, have lost all hope, to help them understand how much God loves them and wants a relationship with them.
I don’t like not being able to give the young children we see who are hurting, lonely and scared a much-needed hug of assurance.
What is something about your work most people may not know?
That I meet one-on-one with pastors in the community who are experiencing problems in their personal lives, their churches, or who just need a safe place to release things that are on their heart. Confidentiality is an integral part of Brook Lane and is carried out in every part of my job.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My regular hours are from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The first thing I do in the morning is prepare myself for ministry by spending time in personal devotions understanding that the only way I can minister to others is through God’s wisdom and strength. I then check my schedule of referrals and do any preparations that need to be completed for the groups I would be leading on that day. The remainder of the day is spent with individual clients, groups, meetings and one-on-one appointments.
What two ministry memories stick with you most?
A Christian lady who came into our inpatient unit was so depressed and despondent that she would not even look me in the eyes when I first met her. She felt that she had no value and that certainly God could not love her. I began the process of helping her to see that God most certainly did love her and had a plan for her life, even if she could not see it at the moment. Over the next few weeks, this lady’s whole demeanor changed. When she was discharged, she was smiling and felt once again God’s love and purpose in her life.
A second memory is of a young lady who was so confused about God and church and just simply said, “I just want to know the truth.” I had the great privilege of showing her from God’s Word what truth her heart longed to find. She went away from us with peace, joy and fulfillment in her heart and life.