The seed of a vision is planted
It was a simple start, really.
In September of 1994, God rescued me. A month later, I was introduced to the World Wide Web.
I was in drafting school at the time, and had answered an ad for a part time admin job with an internet start-up in Rockville, Maryland. During that interview, I caught my first glimpse of the internet through the Mosaic browser.
Shortly after being hired, the seed of potential reach and influence for the Church using this new, innovative communications tool was planted in my heart.
I ran right out and attempted to encourage the church I was attending at the time to “get on board,” without really understanding what this internet thing was all about. As you can probably imagine, I tripped over my own feet.
As a new believer in Christ, and as silly as this sounds, I didn’t yet understand that God’s plans for us always begin with a time of preparation. It would take lots of learning and growing—spiritually AND professionally—before I would be ready to be entrusted with this work.
The Church + website ideas = my passion
In July 2013, shortly before completing a redesign of my church’s website, I awoke one morning brainstorming options to fast-track building and growing a website that would enable me to earn a living online by engaging in my passion: supporting the Church in building great Web ministries.
I decided to visit Flippa.com, a marketplace for buying and selling websites. After several hours searching listings, I was nearly ready to close out of the site when I saw Jesse’s listing. I couldn’t believe it!
Jesse Orndorff over at Bearded Design wanted to sell Church Website Ideas, and turn his attention to other projects. It happened to be the last day of the 14-day auction for his listing, so I had to work fast!
With a prayer to the God of heaven, I used Flippa’s Buyer’s Guide to get a crash course on buying a website, and after making contact with Jesse to get some questions answered, I won the auction and purchased the site.
The mission of Church Website Ideas
Church Website Ideas is devoted to helping the Church fulfill the Great Commission online by making wise and effective use of the internet tools of our time.
Church plants and small churches often lack the financial resources necessary to hire a full-time, dedicated Web professional and staff to build, grow, and manage their congregation’s Web presence. But today, you need not think that a limited budget means that you have to settle for a crudely assembled, ineffective website.
The tips, resources, and guidance offered on Church Website Ideas, and through my newsletter, is meant to specifically support busy church communicators: volunteers, staff, and pastors and leaders of smaller churches involved in the decision-making and hands-on tasks necessary for building and maintaining their church’s Web presence.
The continuous, consistent “tinkering” we do with our Web ministries—the constant praying, learning, planning, and implementing—is what God uses over time to build effective online ministries that He uses to accomplish His unique assignments for our local churches. He’s able to accomplish far more with your limited resources and than you can imagine.
The mission of Church Website Ideas is to show you how as I support you in that work.
I walk the talk
I’m in the trenches with you. I understand the challenges and frustrations and joys of small-church Web work, and “get” what makes the Church’s work online unique. Like you, I’m a member of a small church that lacks the financial resources to hire a full-time Web professional.
As for the work, in addition to completely overhauling my church’s website, I actively serve as Lead Website Administrator (responsible for technical oversight, hands-on maintenance, content creation, and training).
Our little team consists of our Senior Pastor (updates the church blog), Office Manager (keeper of the Home Page, Announcements, and Events Calendar), and Music Ministry Leader (edits Sermon Audio and manages our Sermon Library).
I also created and, along with our Senior Pastor and Office Manager, help to manage our Facebook Fan Page. We’re taking baby steps, and enjoying the journey.
And, of course, I’m constantly learning. You have to dedicate yourself to being a “life-long learner” when you’re a Web worker. There’s just no getting around that. The internet is tall and wide and deep and long, and every part of it is changing every day.
There never seems to be enough hours in a day to learn what I need to learn and implement it before it becomes “outdated”. But, that’s what makes this work so fascinating!.
I’m over the moon when someone tells me they found our church or were helped in some meaningful way because of our website!
The work feels overwhelming sometimes. But, it helps me to remember that Web work is never “done”. It also helps that I love learning, and I love to share what I learn. Above all, it helps to remember that God chose me for this work, just like He chose you.