While on our cruise, we got to stop at Ajaccio, Corsica. It's an island in the Med and its claim to fame (or infamy) is its role in history as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. The man who wanted to rule the world was born on an island in a good-sized house on a street that, quite frankly, was a little hard to identify and find. I don't desire to hyperspiritualize everything from the trip. I actually find that quite loathsome. However, I couldn't help but think about another Emperor-to-be who was born in a backwater place that was a little hard to find.
Napoleon wanted to conquer the world. He made a pretty good run at it. Yet, you keep empires like you build empires. Forceful conquering requires even more force applied to rule. It becomes unsustainable over time. That's proven true throughout history.
It's the same way in church life and ministry. One of my mentors in ministry says, "You keep 'em how you catch 'em." If it's lights and coffee and coolness, you have to find more lights and better coffee and hipper coolness. If the ministry model is simpler (for which I obviously advocate and lead), you can sustainably do the simple things of ministry: sing, proclaim, care.
You keep 'em how you catch 'em. It's true in a lot of life.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...