Since our beginning, we have believed that the church is not just for us, but for the community and world. We also believe that we are here for the generations that follow us. In Psalm 78 the Israelites were challenged to teach the commandments and “praise worthy deeds of God” to their children “so the next generation would know them… (so that) they would put their trust in God… (and) would keep his commands.” (vv. 4-7) In the same way, we want our efforts now to outlive us and reverberate into the next generation and beyond.
The area of our church that needs replacing most is our Youth Building. If we are going to impact the next generation for Christ, we must communicate that they are a priority. We desperately need to replace the portable building behind the church—in use for over ten years now. Our youth need more space and better space.
The Fellowship Hall and kitchen are next on our list. This space is used for many activities for our church and community. All age groups use this area—often on the same night! This is probably the most-often-used space in the church and it has taken its toll. We need to provide better facilities for all of these groups that use our Fellowship Hall. Buildings don’t reach people for Christ, but having great facilities certainly helps make ministries more effective.
Therefore, our plan is to position ourselves for the future by planning a building that meets both of these needs. The vision is to have an entire floor of youth space and another floor of fellowship/worship/training space. One floor would be used to impact the lives of students from sixth to twelfth grade. The second floor would be a “special events center.” We envision an expanded Fellowship Hall with a commercial kitchen. It could be used for teaching/training sessions like a women’s conference, youth event or a men’s rally. It could also be a contemporary worship center where our Bridge service could be held. This would allow one service to follow the other without so much “take down” and “set up” that has to happen now.
We are a healthy church. We are blessed with great church leaders. Worship attendance has been growing. We have no debt. We have a sizeable Contingency Fund for emergencies. And, we are grateful for God’s blessings, but we believe His greatest plans are still ahead of us.
The people of Briarwood have generously supported our church’s ministries through the years. Our giving continues to exceed our budget each year, creating a solid financial base. Yet, looking to the future, responding to these God-given opportunities will require Christ-like sacrifice. Great dreams always come at great cost.
This new building will be “The Lodge.” As we envision it, the cost will be between $2.5 and $3.5 million. As detailed plans are developed, we are determined to address these two major needs. We intend to break ground when we have raised (not just committed to give) $1.5 million. This will take our best efforts and it will take all of us. We are asking you to do what we as leaders are doing—pray earnestly about what God would have you give (in addition to your present giving) over the next three years. I believe the time is right and Briarwood is ready for the challenge. With your help and God’s we can do this!