Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The Purpose of a Street
I guess I take this "purpose driven" stuff seriously.
Last week our town brought in the heavy equipment to begin resurfacing the street on which our church is located. The last time this street was paved was in 1962. I was 7 years old. It's an aggregate surface with exposed rock. The only one like it left in Nags Head. But a street's pavement isn't intended to last forever, and the years and wear are quite visible. Now it's full of patches and potholes. It's also too narrow for current safety codes. If two vehicles are approaching from opposite directions on of them has to pull onto the shoulder for them to pass.
I attended a meeting last night at the town's board room where residents along this historic street (and it is) could voice their opinion. There's a lot of attachment to this old road, warts and all. And I understand that. But what's the purpose of a street?
I'm no civil engineer, but I would guess that a street/road's primary function is to provide access to the neighborhood. Safe access. Everything else, including asthetics are secondary, aren't they? Is a road that's crumbling and eroding, that's too narrow still accomplishing it's purpose? And if it's not, what's the solution?
Having been a pastor for most of my adult life I know full well the fear and anxiety that comes with change. And like the street outside my window, I've seen churches that at one time were relevant in their methods for reaching and teaching their communities. But with the changing of times and cultures those old methods (I'm not talking about message) have eroded and are no longer allowing the church to accomplish it's purpose.
Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and repave.