Collegiate/Wesley had its first website all the way back in 2001. At the time, it was among the first three church websites in Ames. Thanks to the Wayback Machine, you can see its development over time.
One of our congregational values – adopted about the same time as we launched our first website – reads:
A Commitment to Effective Communication: We seek to communicate our faith in ways that connect with all those we welcome and serve. We commit ourselves to using methods and media which best help us to seek, grow, and share.
Web technologies have come so, so far from where they were twelve years ago, and users have come to expect far more from a website. Today, people want changing content, interactivity, the ability to create content, easy search capability, great graphics, and more. It can be quite a a bit for any congregation to keep up with. More about that in a moment…
The new church website you’re looking at now is, and will continuously be, a work in progress. We’ve launched with the basics, but much more is yet to come in the next few months, including:
- The ability to sign up for–and even add your own–current volunteer opportunities.
- Ways to find and connect with other congregation members.
- Tools for starting your own small group (anything from a play group for other stay-at-home parents to a Spring Break mission trip).
- Regular blog posts from staff, congregational leaders, and other guests.
- Continued development of the “responsive design.” In non-geek speak, that means this website adapts to whatever device you’re using it on. We’ll continue to build this capability over time.
- Attendance at events (e.g. Sunday school classes) will be able to be entered directly into the website during class. That information will feed directly into our church database and enable us to create a number of creative ways for class or group members to connect to one another.
The website was collaboratively developed by a small team of congregation members and staff, working closely with former staff member Wil Ranney. Going forward, I’ll be responsible for overseeing its continued development…and I’d really love your help! Some of the things you can do…
- Report any bugs you find or problems you have accessing pages.
- Share blog posts you really enjoy on Facebook or Twitter.
- Submit photos of church activities.
- Contribute short articles about your group or ministry, which we can use as blog posts.
- Be part of the Digital Communications Team, which will continue to take the website forward, enhance our social networking efforts, and improve our congregational communications.
Contact me at tim [at] cwames [dot] org or 515.292.6935 x35 if you’d like to give your feedback or be involved in some way.
Our website is our primary tool (well, besides our members of course!) for reaching out to the community of Ames and beyond. What an opportunity we have to share our message and our ministry with others! I’m really excited about the possibilities, and I hope you’ll be sure to visit the website regularly.