Keeping focused on the “why”…encouragement for the Christian designer.

Keeping focused on the “why”…encouragement for the Christian designer.

Are you a Christian web designer? One whose primary role is church web design or faith-focused design? 

I’m not sure about your situation, but for me – I didn’t start learning web design to become the next Jeffrey Zeldman (the first web guy I was in awe of. A geek’s rock star). I started it as a hobby. I always loved messing with my Commodore64 and TI-99, and when I heard of “html”, well, I had to check it out.

Sitting at work one day, I read pages of “learning html” on one of the countless sites that gave free webspace to anyone. I was giddy at my first attempt…an embedded spinning globe animated .gif, stuck on a page of glittering stars. Beautiful. Not the look, but the potential. I was hooked. I knew what I wanted to spend time learning and developing. But I no idea how to implement what I was learning about, in my everyday life.

One minute backstory – when I was 19, I felt a specific calling in my life to enter into “full-time” ministry. It was a clear and powerful call. God would be using my skills and talents for his purpose. I spent the next 10 years praying and seeking where I would be used. Preacher? Teacher? Missionary? I never felt a peace about any of that, though the importance of each was always apparent.

Fast-forward to around early 2000. I was asked by my supervisor at MediaOne (a regional cable/isp that I worked at in Jacksonville),  based on my new found interest in web code, to help him develop an intranet site for the company. As we started work on the needs, functionality, and structure of the project – it hit me. That is to say, it hit my soul. Why can’t I do this for churches? I was ecstatic! I truly felt a passion building up in my heart to pour myself into “web design” for churches.

It started that way…and I’ve been fortunate and blessed to have been a part of ministry and church web design projects from that point on. I still have the same love for doing it, but now, my skillsets are much stronger and my focus is much more clear, in what I do. And when you surround yourself with like-minded co-workers or friends, it only strengthens your motivation. My business partner at MediastryJosh Pappas, and I entered into that venture with the same heart. We wanted to provide a quality video streaming platform for churches and ministries – but profit has never, ever been the motivation. It always went back to the “why”.  “Do not be unequally yoked…” (2 Cor. 6:14), was never just about marriage.

This isn’t just a post for “Christian Web Designer“. It’s for anyone who started designing for a reason. I just wanted to share mine.

Sometimes I’m stressed to my limit. Projects and deadline take their toll on my physically and emotionally…but I have to always remember “why”. This isn’t just to design pretty websites, or pad my resume. Just taking some time and remembering the reason I started this; well, it’s enough to keep me going. Maybe it can help you too.

It’s design. With purpose.

Please feel free to share in why you started! Christian design or not. We all need a bit of encouragement, at times.