Our Ministry Principles
The biblical term “covenant” describes a Christian’s sacred relationships with the Triune God, His Church and one another. At Briarwood, these loving relationships characterize how we learn, live and serve.
The Bible is clear about the primacy of the teaching and preaching of God’s Word in the exaltation of our Lord, the building up of the Church, the maturing of Christians, and the extending of His Kingdom. At Briarwood, a commitment to equipping the saints, in accordance with Holy Scripture, serves as a foundational ministry principle to fulfill our purpose and desire to be salt and light in our community and throughout the world, “that in all things Christ might have the preeminence” (Col 1:18).
Each Sunday morning and evening afford an opportunity to benefit from the hearing and faithful preaching of Scripture as our Pastor/Teacher Harry Reeder presents in-depth and relevant studies in the books of the Bible, together with practical application for the daily Christian walk.
As an extension of our pulpit ministry, Pastor Reeder presents expositions from God’s Word each Monday through Friday on the “InPerspective” radio program carried on a number of local and national stations. Sermon tapes are available to our members and guests weekly, and are frequently broadcast nationally and internationally.
Our form of doctrine is also Scriptural. The term “Reformed” denotes our doctrinal beliefs. We stand in the Reformation heritage of true-to-the-Bible theology. That means we believe in the Trinity, the inerrancy of the Word of God, and that salvation comes solely through the sovereign grace of God—apart from any works or merit of our own.
Briarwood seeks to be Scriptural in both its government and its doctrine. The form of church government we hold to is called “Presbyterian.” This means the local church is governed by “presbyters,” or elders, who are elected by the congregation. There are two kinds of elders: teaching elders who minister the Word, and ruling elders who shepherd the flock. A second church office is that filled by deacons, who also stand election for the purpose of fulfilling their call to serve alongside elders and lay leaders in the administration of the church and its ministry areas.
Together, we seek to “bless the Lord” in His house through corporate worship.
In addition to the preaching of God’s Word, worship services at Briarwood include a blend of music styles from the time-honored hymns of the faith to contemporary choruses. The objective of worship at Briarwood is to exalt God as Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. Therefore, we eagerly seek to offer music and worship with an excellence that would bring honor to His holy name. The Sunday Evening Fellowship Hour at Briarwood is a relaxed time together as God’s Word is again preached and we as a church family use hymns and spiritual songs of praise along with contemporary music to glorify God, encourage one another and magnify the message of salvation by grace in God the Father through His Son our Savior Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit.
Briarwood is committed to taking the gospel to our community, our nation and our world. In addition to financial partnership with some 225 missionaries under some 60 mission agencies, our World Missions effort keeps our congregation informed about the movement of the Spirit of God around the world and equips those so called to personal participation in missions. Our U.S. Missions has us ministering and supporting over 130 missionaries and 50 Christian organizations in the United States. A fully staffed ministry to our urban neighbors attests to Briarwood’s efforts to impact that community.
At Briarwood, we believe our thankful response to God’s invitation to know Him, through His Son, is to seek to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, to abide in Him and to share this life with others.
Our Sunday worship is just one of many opportunities at Briarwood to learn about God’s Word, to disciple, or to be discipled. Relationships built in Sunday School and small groups are open doors to learning and sharing with others that each may “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In addition to the elementary, Jr. and Sr. High Ministries, College, Singles, Young Business Leaders, Christian Medical Ministry and other discipleship opportunities which focus on the needs of those specific groups, there are many Bible studies, discipleship, sharing and prayer group opportunities for the men and women of the church available year-round.
Relationships Through Communities
In the Bible, God presents His model for the church, offering examples of believers who gathered for worship in both large and small group settings. Meeting together in homes, the early Church recognized the need to develop significant relationships that would provide instruction, encouragement and accountability for the Christian. That’s why, since its inception, Briarwood has promoted the involvement of its membership in Sunday School Communities, in small groups and in corporate worship.
Congregational community is entered into primarily through the home-based Sunday School classes and our extensive small group ministry. These communities provide a regular fellowship home where meaningful friendships, spiritual growth, and ministry opportunities are created. There are also special events throughout the year, such as the church picnic, Wednesday-night family fellowship, men’s and women’s retreats, etc., that are designed to create an environment where community can flourish.
The Pastor’s Inquirers Class offers an introduction to the ministries of Briarwood. Our guests are encouraged to seek the Lord’s direction through this class to learn how He might use them in the church.
Ministry and Service
Because the church is a people and not a building, the involvement of its members in the life and work of this body is vital. The Bible states that the Lord has given each of us particular gifts and talents to be used in the service of His people. There are many opportunities for service here. Each of the more than 120 ministries at Briarwood has specific needs for leaders and volunteers so that there is both a place and a role for each member and his or her gifts.