I had a company contact me last week and wanted me to build a website for them. I actually think they wanted me to work for them and they have been looking for webmasters/developers.
They seen the website that I did for my church. I explained to them that I don’t build website for other people. I did my churches St.George Community Church, New Covenants, and a few for friends. He asked me how much I charged for my churches website and I told him I don’t charge my church for anything I do and I refuse to make money on the site since I would feel like I was charging God. It is my way to give back to God.
He let me know that with the quality of the website and the graphics I create, I could have easily charged my church a minimum $15,000. Just for a simple update and that could be 1 word or a paragraph, I could make a minimum of $50.00. Which is true. I use to build other websites and I would charge $45.00 for a simple update. Sometimes that was just a telephone number or an address.
He continued on and on about how much I’m losing money wise since I do everything and anything that has to do with our website. He was actually ticking me off a bit by now. He was asking me about if I use templates for websites, which is basically a layout or do I do my own HTML. I told him I use a little of both. But, I always do my own coding when it comes to applications and such. I was wondering if I should just hang up on him or should I serve him some humble pie. So, humble pie it was.
I went on to explain to him that even if the website and the hundreds or thousands of hours I spend on creating a website for my church helps one person, than it is all worth it. There is no amount of money that is worth losing a soul for. I then let him know that by putting contact forms on our churches website, it allows people to contact us in case they need prayers. The person who is visiting our site might need a word or two of encouragement. You never know what someone is going through, but God does and there is no amount of money that could take the place of a person in need.
I told him that I know I could make a lot of money, but to me it isn’t worth it. He then asked me if I charge the church for the hosting and the domain and I told him no. He was shocked that anyone would do that. I got the idea that this man didn’t really do anything to help someone out and I don’t think he goes to church lol. I could be wrong, but I’m guessing I’m not wrong.
I have made it a point to not tell many what I donate to my church or what I do. I personally feel that when a person does that, they are tooting their own horns and it isn’t to glorify God. They are only doing that to get a pat on the back. There are only a handful of people at my church that knows what I do. I have been doing my churches website for many years and I’m fine with that. There have been some companies websites that I have built and I made a whole lot of money on them. Without a doubt I could have by now made over $40,000 when I take everything into consideration. But to me, I would never take a penny for anything I do for my church.
Most don’t know that I have never gone to school for anything that I do. The first time I sat down at the computer, I didn’t even know how to turn it on. I didn’t want a computer in my house. Then one day, my Dr’s told me I could never work again because of me having the CIPD variant of Guillian Barre Syndrome and I had Myasthenia Gravis. I knew I had Guillian Barre Syndrome but nothing else. I thought once I got better from Guillian Barre Syndrome, it would never come back. I was wrong big time. I have the chronic form with is the CIPD. I felt like I was never going to do anything positive in my life.
As I sat at the computer when my daughters were at school, I prayed for God to use me in some small way. I always did something. I felt worthless since I couldn’t work or anything. I was an usher at church which meant I passed the offering plate and I did a bunch of other things. When I asked God for a way to help others even though my body isn’t able to do the things I did before, it was like God was revealing an answer. Sitting in front of me was a computer. I was terrified of it since I had no idea how to turn it on or what a red x on the screen was.
Thankfully my daughter Jessica showed me a little bit. I found my way to a website called Angelhaven. I actually think it was my husband who told me about this website. I didn’t even know what a website was then. But, I found my way there and some of the people who I met in a chat-room taught me some of the things I needed to know about the computer. As I was praying and feeling sorry for myself and all of the things I couldn’t do, God put it on my heart to do something more with the computer. I honestly think that it was God who gave me the ability to build websites. He put the right people in my life at the time I needed them the most.
At that time, they didn’t have templates for websites. So, God basically showed me what I needed to do. I don’t know how many realize that in order for you to see what you see on a website, you have to use HTML. For example. If you want to have your text show up as black, it isn’t as simple as typing and it is there… This is just one way to have it where your text is black, <p style=”color:black;“>These fonts are black!</p>. Or sometimes instead of writing the color as black, you have a code which is #000000. So, instead of writing black, you will substitute the word black for #000000. The picture above is the code that I have on the front page of my churches website. Part of this code is also for the font which is “lucida sans“/
I had a local dentist that I bartered his website for dentistry. He thought I went to school to learn computer programming and building websites. When I told him that I’m self-taught he was surprised.
When I sat at the computer and prayed for God to use me in ways that I couldn’t think of, He took me literally. A I was praying and my hands on my keyboard, the answer was literally right there in front of me. I was able to share this with the guy who wanted me to build his website or to work for his company and he was shocked. Because of God’s gift, not only have I been able to help my church and to share with people all over the world, but I was able to witness to this man about why it is that I couldn’t take him up on his offer.
He still wanted me to do his site and told me that with my gift I could easily make thousands and thousands by building other people’s websites. I let him know that I’m doing fine and thanked him for his kind words, but that my gift is reserved for glorifying God, not myself or the world.
There are many things I have learned when it comes to building my churches website. It isn’t the actual time, money or anything else that is important. What’s important is that when I thought I couldn’t do anything that I use to do, God showed me that there are many ways I can give back. It wasn’t and isn’t about money for me. For me, it is about feeling useful and giving back. I love it when someone says that they found our church because of the website or the Facebook page that I did. The most important thing for me is that God found a way for me to do something. If God can teach me HTML codes and how to do websites, then anyone can find a way to reach out to those around us.
This man who contacted me didn’t understand that there are people out there who aren’t all about money. I should have asked him how he found my churches website, but that isn’t important. I’m just really honored and blessed that my church allows me to do what I do. There are many who worry that I do too much, but in my opinion, I don’t do enough. I could always do more. I want to thank everyone at my church for letting me give back. There are some who thinks I should do nothing, but that isn’t what God has in mind and I know I don’t.