By Wayne Weatheread
Some of the most beautiful and scenic bridges that I have ever seen have been one-lane bridges. In Robertson County, and not far from where I live, there are still two or three of these that remain out in the country. I like traveling down the dusty, tree-lined, country roads that these bridges service. However, the thing one must bear in mind when crossing is to be sure that no one is coming from the other direction. You see, while one-lane bridges are beautiful, they just don’t handle traffic well. When it comes to bridges in general it should not be so much a question of how beautiful they are but how well do they work? Their purpose for existence is not beauty, but to get as many people as possible from one side to the other.
As you may have noticed, there do not seem to be many one-lane bridges anymore. There is a reason for that: it’s called the population explosion. In most cases the traffic demands have surpassed the ability of a one-lane bridge or a one-lane road to handle. Even though one-lane bridges may be cheaper to build or maybe even cheaper to maintain, population growth has forced us to expand beyond them. While the simplicity and beauty of a one-lane bridge is undeniable, the times require that bridges and highways reach out to and handle the greatest amount of people possible. When it comes right down to it, the simple truth is that there are only so many vehicles that can travel on a single lane at any given time. A one-lane bridge, while reminding us of a simpler, bygone time, just won’t get the job done anymore.
Single-lane roads, connecting city to city, have now become multilane expressways in an effort to get people from where they ARE to where they need to BE! We have been forced to innovate with HOV lanes and even designated lanes that change direction during peak traffic times. Why? Simply because the needs and growth of our population demand it.
I am sure all of us have experienced what happens when a major expressway bottlenecks down to a single lane. It quickly becomes a scene of frustration and aggravation. The potential for sudden death goes up exponentially. It doesn’t matter how badly people want to get from one place to another—it’s not going to happen. The laws of physics have kicked in. Only so many people can travel down a single-lane road at any given time. Traffic literally comes screeching to a standstill. It doesn’t happen because of people’s ignorance. It doesn’t happen because people don’t care or aren’t trying. It simply happens because there is only one lane of opportunity to get from where they are to where they need to go. All progress is stopped because the opportunity for advancement is limited to only one lane.
In building our new church, I have recently negotiated our plans and engineering with the State Highway Department. I had a firsthand opportunity to look behind the scenes and peer into the inner workings of the engineered system of our state highways. I was challenged by the overwhelming amount of planning that was required to move or construct a single road or bridge. It was obvious to me that, due to the population boom our state has experienced over the last decade, even the Highway Department officials have established that one lane bridges are no longer effective in our economy. They have come to the understanding that increased population requires that we have more highways and more lanes on the existing highways. It is time for us as apostolics to engineer a new plan, a better concept of building greater thoroughfares toward bringing the masses closer to God.
I hope you have figured out by now that this article actually isn’t about one-lane bridges or one-lane highways. What it is about is the desperate need for more churches. Having one church in every single town and city was a worthwhile objective—in 1947. The time that we are living in and the increased population of it demand that we have more doors of opportunity. People desperately need to get from where they ARE to where they need to go. A more beautiful one-lane bridge won’t move more people. The same could be said about a more beautiful church. People who are stuck in traffic don’t care about the beauty of the bridge nearly as much as how many lanes are open.
I have heard many pastors tell the saints,”If you would just multiply yourself by winning one soul this year, this church would double!” I have said it myself. We would do well to take our own advice. If each of us would multiply our church through a daughter work, the number of churches in our district would double. More churches will equal more doors. More doors will equal more opportunities. More opportunities will equal more souls. While it is important that we build bigger and better individual churches, it is VITALLY IMPORTANT that we build MORE churches. A single entryway of truth in each city is not enough. We have got to have more doors. The NEED of our times demands it.