One of the my self-appointed jobs is maintaining our church website and blog. Since I created it, it makes sense that I'd be the one to keep it up. And I enjoy doing it as long as the internet is working and my laptop cooperates. When I started the website, I chose Bravenet as the host based on it's ease of use. That's if you know HTML coding. I sort of did because 3 yrs ago, I took an on-line course at a community college on the western side of the province. It taught me the basics and gave me enough confidence to start up a church website. After 2 years, however, I got tired of counting divs. One too many, not enough, or misplaced, would throw the whole page out of whack and sometimes it took hours to figure out where I went wrong.
Here's the header for the best layout I could find for our church...
Still, it took a lot of prayer because I needed to know what God envisioned as a banner for His church. After several passes at the Weebly layouts, I found this one...
I displayed the layout at the church annual business meeting and after some discussion on the 'grunge' aspect, got the go ahead to do what I thought best. What my heart told me was that this layout - with the peeling wallpaper and broken sheetrock - was like that because the greenery was pushing through.
In John 15:1, Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so
that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you." And the verses continue talking about the vine, the fruit, and love of your fellow man.
I assumed God laid those verses on my heart because I thought of them everytime I looked at this layout. The other thing that appealed to me was that unlike the perfectly cut stonework of the original layout, this one felt warm and imperfect - just like me. The actual building we meet for services in is well-kept and clean with not a single peeling wall. The people who attend our church are clean and take care of themselves. But every single one of us is a sinner inside, and I think that's what I feel with this layout. Jesus is in our hearts and we need to feel Him bursting through to show us He still cares for us, blemishes and all.
With the help of Deb Harkness, my go-to gal for artistic endeavours, I ended up with this banner to use as the layout header:
I managed to complete the home page and a few other pertinent pages by the time our Bravenet contract expired. One day we were live with one host, the next day we were live with another, domain name and all. With so many possibilities, I'm still working on the new site, though.
Of course the drawback to changing over the site was the backlog it put on my writing activities which have their own deadlines. But I'm catching up. And although I dislike taking time away from my writing for other things, I know that if I make time for God's work, He'll bless me with more time for mine.
You can check out the new Church on the Hill website if you want. Just remember...like all things created by God and for God, it's a work in progress.
Do you have a website? What kind, and do you do the maintenance yourself?