After weeks of angry stares and pretend conversations in front of Christ’s Church in Rwanda – Gaculiro it is time to put my cards on the table. Here’s my best guess at the questions and my response:
Who requested to put these speed bumps in front of Christ’s Church in Rwanda (CCR) and Kigali International Community School (KICS)?
Other CCR leaders and I.
KICS has over 200 kids dropped off each day. First Impressions, the Day Care Center at CCR has 30 kids dropped off each day. During Sunday at CCR many families attend with children. Most Sundays we will have nearly 100 young children. On Friday evenings CCR sometimes has 250 youth at our events. Across the street from us is a greenbelt where neighborhood children play.
Since being in the Gaculiro Estate I’ve many times seen people drive by our facility at a speed which I do not believe is safe for our community’s children.
I consider one of my pastoral responsibilities is protection. This practically means I both preach about the value of life and make the community God has called me to as safe as possible for children.
Why do you park so we must drive over the speed bumps?
Because I noticed shortly after the speed bumps were installed that a few vehicles were not reducing their speed. Instead, they dodged the speed bumps by entering into our CCR parking area. Their speed and maneuvering actually seemed to increase my concerns about the safety of children in front of CCR.
Bottom line: If you are driving in front of CCR when children are nearby slow down. If you don’t want to slow down the consequence is to hit a speed bump and suffer the consequence.
Another possible choice is to take a different route through our community.
Do you know what these speed bumps do to our cars?
Yes. I replace shocks and have work done on my vehicle’s suspension also.
Are you concerned that this will affect CCR attendance, giving, and community good will?
No. I do not preach for either money or the praise of man.
I’m mad at you and going somewhere else to church.
I am sorry you feel this way. However, pastoring has some sacred responsibilities. I will not sacrifice safety in cowardly accommodation.
Let me also give you an unrequested editorial. There are good churches and pastors in Kigali. All the good ones will insist that your faith experience leads to good ethics. If you land at a good church you will have the same conflict you are having with me with another good pastor.
If you land at pseudo-church led by a religious charlatan I am confident he will be glad to take your money and hear your praise while he never insists that the Gospel is good news about our lives being thoroughly changed.
“Not in front of my church seems a bit extreme.”
You may be right. Theologically, the Church is possessed by Christ. We pastors are just temporary stewards. If the Lord does not return in our lifetime another human pastor will arise to take our place. In eternity, the Lord is the ultimate pastor of His Church. I should probably say, “Not in front of the Lord’s Church where He has asked me to serve.”
A day of judgment will come. On that day all my faults and sins will be exposed. I’m terrified to stand before the Lord on that day. My only hope will be His grace and forgiveness.
However, there is one area I am willing to risk before the Lord’s judgment. That area is the lives of the vulnerable people He has asked me to shepherd. If the Lord finds that I was too protective and possessive I am willing to be judged as guilty.
He is about life and so am I.
You will not drive in front of my church in a way that is dangerous to children.