I’ve taken a few years off from writing anything substantial – mainly because I found myself to be saying very little of what I would consider to be anything of value.  I’m not sure that I’ve turned some magical corner and found the fountain of profundity, but there have been a few times when I’ve had the urge to share my thoughts.  I’m not sure if that means anyone reading this would be inspired or drawn to read more and I think I’m ok with that.  Spoiler alert – this is really more for me… 

I’m not sure where Off QUEUE will take me this time, but I’m thinking it’s going to be more broad than in the past.  When I started Off QUEUE, I was knee deep in all things “church”.  Sitting where I now sit, I’m thankful for that time, but also recognize that I am not there any more.  In saying that, I kind of laugh inwardly, as my family is happily, once again helping with a new church plant that is meeting in a school.  Likewise, the thing that I pour a lot of my energy into is a service that helps churches do what they do better.  I may have progressed to waist deep in “church” stuff again, but with a much more healthy view of how that involvement intertwines with my gifts, my beliefs and my willingness to play a role in His plan.  

Over the past six months I’ve made a change in my physical health that has opened a door for me to enjoy God’s presence as I push my physical limits.  This has been extremely refreshing to me as it’s been a new experience – or at least a return to a place I haven’t been in a long time.  I’ve recently logged my 800th mile cycling and am loving everything about spending time on the open road – even those goofy shorts that make a huge difference when spending two hours on a tiny bike seat.  Don’t judge… Oh, go ahead and judge, it’s ok.  But I’m currently shopping for a winter pair of cycling tights that will help me look goofy in a colder climate.

Also, since the last time I was posting anything on Off QUEUE, I’ve taken on a more significant leadership role with Ascension Worship.  With Jamie and the rest of the leadership team, we’ve taken a problem, an idea and a bunch of resources and found that together we can change what a worship experience looks like in a church of any size or flavor.  That is exciting!  I’ve been able to watch small churches grow, old churches become young, young leaders gain seasoning and old leaders loosen their grip on how they’ve always done things.  No, it’s not always easy.  No, it’s not always been successful.  And no, it’s not always going to be…  But it is working more than it’s not and the majority of those involved with us are seeing great benefits as we grow.  

Over the years I’ve not been able to let Off QUEUE go.  Its idea of not becoming so entrenched within a culture that you’re operating out of habit and not a clear direction is just a relevant to the leader that has grown up in an environment as one that is brand new and discovering the intricacies around every obstacle.  I believe this becomes even more relevant as we join together and journey with each other down these paths that God ordains.  I hope that as I start putting my thoughts in print again, that I’ll gain a clearer understanding of what God is teaching me.  And maybe, just maybe, we’ll find some common ground to journey together as well.  

much love,
– mark