I knew Wale and Emma when I attended Maadi Community Church in Cairo. Wale was, at that time, an amazing worship leader for the unbelieveable (wild, passionate, fervent and crazy worship!) African church community at MCC and Emma was serving as a passionate teacher at Maadi Community School and a leader within the Cell Group ministry at MCC.
So it was a real privilege and honour when they asked me to help them setup a website for their new church plant in Leeds, UK – Liberty City Church. Guiding them through hosting and purchasing their domain name, setting up emails and then actually getting their website live is what Small Beginnings is all about. I hope to be doing some remote training for them in the weeks ahead and also visit them in the UK to do some hands-on training later this year. What is equally exciting is that Wale and Emma are planting a small groups church – where small groups (or life groups) are at the heart of their church family and vision – just like it was in biblical times!
I am really encouraged (and a bit tearful) by what Wale and Emma say in their page on the website, about catching Dave Petrescue‘s vision of “fired up foxes” being sent out from Egypt with their tails alight for the Lord – and there are many examples of this actually – Papiti in Sudan, Fredrick in Cairo still, Helen in Southern Sudan, Larry in Canada, Bill & Beryl in Australia, Gary & Aline in the UK, Saturnino working in Egypt and Sudan, Elijah in Nigeria (he came for training in Cairo). And the influence of some of these individuals continues to spread even further – in the UK, in Australia, across Poland, to Lithuania and Liberia.
Wale and Emma‘s church plant in the UK is just one more testimony to Dave‘s vision and leadership and a real living witness to what God actually wants us to do with the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).
I’m certainly not a great one for writing promotional advertorials! But I get the sense that one of my gifts from God is to be an encourager – and that includes constructive criticism too but that’s not the point of this post. The pointin this particular case is to showcase someone who in a very technical and artistic way is doing something truly fantastic for the Kingdom of God that not only serves the Christian community but also is impacting the secular world.
Tim Hyde is a part-time Baptist minister in the UK, founder of the WordPress Driven Church and Living OS – he is an excellent WordPress designer creating really very good themes (see them at the Themeloom) and – more importantly – offering outstanding support too, which for a large majority of people who install WordPress is a critical requirement. Tim also specifically focuses on and showcases churches who are using WordPress to run their websites, a great idea and I’m sure a big encouragement to the churches, but also inspiration to churches (and others) who are looking to build or redevelop their church sites.
I have been using the Xi and Pure themes from the Themeloom on several projects and have to say that not only are they good looking, but they are robust, very cleanly coded, easy to maintain and they absolutely make the most of WordPress.
And look out for his latest project that is set to take off – churchuna - WordPress for churches made REALLY easy!
St Andrew’s Church in Abu Dhabi in the UAE has had a website for several years and this year (2012) they decided that
- they wanted to redesign the website from top to bottom
- they wanted to move the hosting account and domains from a personal account held by a volunteer into a ‘church owned’ account
- they needed to move their email accounts from something controlled by a volunteer into something controlled by the church, and
- they wanted church staff to be trained how to edit, update and administer the website.
These are very common issues faced by a lot of churches all over the world. And (and I am ready to be attacked LOL) overcoming some of these can generate some strong emotions and cause surprising amounts of conflict that can take up a lot of time for pastors and lay members of the church.
The site has been built using the Xi theme from the Themeloom and utilises some great pictures taken in 2011 by a visitor to St Andrew’s, Andrea Cho.
Now the site has been launched, like many churches St Andrew’s is still working out how to use the website. They have made a switch from using email based lists for congregation emails to an e-newsletter (we are using MailChimp) but – they still have to remember to post information to the website, and to remind their congregation that the website is there, and that information is now available on the website.
These are teething problems, and I will be working with the ministry team leaders and administrators in the months ahead to (hopefully) help them see an additional (or alternative) way to communicate with the congregation with and through the website.
So, if you are ever in Abu Dhabi, come and visit St Andrew’s.
I’m well chuffed to report that the new website for RiverLife Community Church in Bli Bli has gone live!
As I mentioned in a previous post, this has been very much a text book project with the ‘clients’ (Rob Rodgers the Senior Pastor and his wife Shelley) driving the design, being clear about their purpose and providing the content and visual themes clearly and on-time. We also worked together on new logo designs for the church to reflect the merger of the two churches in Bli Bli and North Shore and after going through the discovery process and us trying out some ideas, they developed the final logo (which I think is GR8!!) with the help of Frank & Dixon, a Christian communications outfit based in Sippy Downs (great place name!) on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. read on
St Martin’s is one of the longest established Anglican churches in the UAE – the first St Martin’s was built in 1926 as part of the British military garrison. Today St Martin’s is one of five churches that make up the Chaplaincy of Dubai and Sharjah with the Northern Emirates, and it is located in an ecumenical church compound on land donated by the Ruler of Sharjah. St Martin’s has a strong congregation and provides worship facilities for over 80 other congregations from different denominations, worshiping in many different languages.
St Martin’s has never had a website before but all of the churches in the Chaplaincy have been encouraged to develop at least a basic website with some information about themselves, to help newcomers find the churches, and to celebrate what is going on in the various emirates of the UAE.
So with the help of the Chaplain, Revd Dr Ernest Victor, and his team we have put up this very simple site (using the Boldy theme). Later in the year we will be doing training with the church staff and be encouraging them to develop more content.
Visit the St Martin’s website.
New Senior Chaplain has arrived and has a clear vision for the ‘public face’ of the Chaplaincy on the internet – which is great. So, hopefully that will kick off a couple of new websites for churches here in the UAE.
He also wanted to have a very strong presence for the Chaplaincy and so, building on the development site that I worked on with Steve Wright (Chaplain of Christ Church Jebel Ali) we have revamped the chaplaincy website using the Rockwell Theme (which by the way is just great – really great!) making it very visual but also very clean. This involved reworking the graphics but not really a very big job.
And now we wait for the churches in the Chaplaincy to do theire part and provide the text content and some fresh images!!!