We are—God willing—entering the home stretch in the development of my new website. This means it’s time to review all the language I gave to my web development team—many months ago!—to see what I might want to update or change.
This is tough. I’m not naturally the kind of person who likes to talk about who she is and what she does. I prefer to let my actions speak for themselves. I prefer to let clients talk about my work—and I do have a number of excellent testimonials, which I will be using. But there’s that “About” page—the one that explains who I am and what credentials and experience I have for the work I do. That’s a challenge. How do you sum up 50+ years of life and ministry in a few short, meaningful sentences?
I found myself thinking about Jesus in that regard. It didn’t take long for word to spread about him. Halfway through the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark, we read this: “At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.” Of course, his life and times were very different from ours. There was no internet, so he wasn’t competing with the constantly updated news coming in from around the world when it was time to talk about the events of the day over a simple dinner of pita bread and goat cheese. Word about him spread slowly (at least in comparison with the spread of news today), through word of mouth.
This is actually how I prefer for word of my ministry to spread. I’d prefer for other people to talk about what I’ve done, and the good I’ve been able to achieve for them. It’s somehow more authentic that way. I also feel that it lets the Holy Spirit be in charge of how word spreads and what gets said.
So why have a website? It’s sort of a both/and situation. I know that, to operate in this modern world, I need a place where people can come—once they’ve heard of me, or if they’re searching for someone with my gifts and skills—to learn more about what I have to offer and find a way to contact me. Today, the standard for that is a website; in Jesus’ time, it probably was encountering him in the Capernaum synagogue (pictured here) or the meeting cubicles built into the city gates. I also see this website as a place where people can pause for some refreshment and reflection (as it will have a rotating gallery of my photos and thoughts/questions at the top). In this way, I am reverting to type: showing visitors what I have to share, rather than expending a lot of words to talk about it. (Which is ironic, considering that words are my primary professional tool!)
For today, however, it’s the About page that needs my attention. I’ll leave you with this question: If you had to sum up your life and work/ministry in a few short, meaningful sentences, what would you say?