Posted in Personal Thoughts by Mike

I wanted to write a blog article real quick about why I stopped taking church website clients. I don’t really like writing about myself personally so that’s why I never really went into much detail but enough people have asked so I’ll post a summary for those interested.

In summer of 05, I lost all my money in the stock market.I had been doing stock trading for about 10 years, from age 16-26, and supported myself on it. On the side I did web and graphic design for fun, but never really for a living. However I knew inside that stock trading wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing. I knew I was fighting God by staying in it, but I’ll be honest, I loved the rush of the stock market. The way it made you feel when you picked a good stock and could make $10,000-$50,000… in 1 DAY! I thought “well the more money I make, the more I can help people with it, so I’m sure God knows that and will bless that.” WRONG!! SO VERY WRONG!! And thank GOD He showed me how wrong I was. Plus, by being in the stock market, I wasn’t doing anything for God really. I wasn’t contributing to anything that mattered.

Okay so finally I lost all my money (from a stock tip from my old PASTOR nonetheless). I had NO clue what I was going to do. I never had a real job in my life! So I applied for a job at 2 church website providers. Sitewrench and Artistry Marketing. The 2 biggest ones. Both turned me down even though I told them if they didn’t hire me, I would just start my own company. HAHA! They SO did not believe me! Heck, I didn’t believe me! So to make a long story short, I found an awesome CMS and over a period of 7 months I figured out how to integrate my own designs into it and then started offering a package deal. Started at $350.00 for a design and setup, plus monthly prices. Hardly advertised… but about 3 churches found me and took a chance on me those first 2 months. It was SO awesome to see God bring me them when I was such a new company and no portfolio to show. Didn’t even know if I’d survive as a business at that point either. From there, I just kept getting more and more clients. And as a result, I kept having to raise the design fee, which I did not want to because I wanted the smaller churches to be able to afford something nice. But I just couldn’t keep it at that price since demand was rising and supply (me) was falling! Finally, after 2 years of working 9am-midnight almost every single day, I just burned out. The money didn’t matter anymore. I just couldn’t function in my daily life and in my spiritual life. So I just said enough… and stopped. Turned down ALOT of churches who still wanted sites, but I saw it as more of a test from God. Do I care about the money or do I care about my relationship with God. That’s what I had to be tested on. It wasn’t that it wasn’t Gods will for me to take those clients, it was that I did not properly know how to handle that kind of work and balance everything else out too. I have definitely grown a lot from that experience though.

So anyway… I stopped taking new clients. But I still do the christiancollages.com business. I LOVE creating new sets each week and the great thing is, the site pretty much runs itself. And I’m working on that project I wrote about before in my blog. When I’m done with that, I will either take a few new clients, or I will travel the country… doing something. I don’t know what yet :-)  Something that involves interaction with PEOPLE though.

Okay I’m bored with myself already… that’s all I could bare to write! :-) 

This entry was posted on Friday, December 1st, 2006 at 6:57 pm and is filed under Personal Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “Why I took a break from mychurchwebsite.com”

  1. J. Aaron Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing… Talking about yourself may not be fun for you, but your story is one of the most important things that God has given you to share. God desire the one thing from you that no one else can give him–Your heart–and he wants you to share the only unique thing you have to give others–Your story! Neither one of those things can ever be duplicated… Your story has encouraged me, as I’m facing a very scary transition of my own. Thanks! I pray that God would bring you a community that can meet your needs, and that He would guide you every step of the way…

    Meanwhile, check out http://www.philvischer.com and read his story–he talks about how God gave him his dream, only to take it away later, and what he’s learned in the process… Hope it encourages you as well…

  2. Wilf Noordermeer Says:

    I loved your story … it didn’t bore me at all. I want to wish you all the best on your new (mysterious) venture.

    Two questions:
    1. Why didn’t you hire someone and start to build a business … or alternatively, take on a partner?
    2. What CMS do you use?

  3. Mike Says:

    Thanks for reply and the questions :-) I didn’t hire anyone because I didn’t ever intend on turning this into a business that I have to manage. Once you start hiring other people, it turns into a whole new ballgame and I wasn’t prepared to take the time to do all that. It’s easier just to get freelancers to help rather than hire.

    As far as the CMS, the foundation is joomla but my programmer and I have changed alot of the core in it and also have made our own custom components and modules you can’t find anywhere else.

    Hope that helps! mike

  4. David R. Says:

    Wow…I loved your story also. I can imagine you would be burned out from those kind of hours. I run a web design company in Dallas, Tx and we do some Church websites and also use Joomla. Since you are not taking on many new clients would you be interested in selling some of your custom components that you and your programmer created for joomla.

    Thank You and I look forward to finding out more about your new venture.


  5. Mike Says:

    Hey david, thanks for writing :-) I have thought about doing that but the problems with releasing my components are that once they are out there, everyone now has free access to them and I’d have to worry about troubleshooting problems too (which I unfortunately dont have time to do). Plus it decreases the value of churches using my services if they really dont need to. If i can offer them something special that others cannot, then there is much more value in choosing me.

    There are a ton of new people everyday setting up businesses using joomla. While its great, not everyone will succeed. The only way I feel people will is if they can offer a product that no one else can offer them. Thats why I first focus on the design of my site and then once people are happy with that, I then try to offer them functionality that they can’t get by just using off-the-shelf joomla.

    So for now, I need to keep the components with my clients. I’m sure eventually, some company will come along and create some for churches that you can buy.

  6. Jayson Says:

    Mike, thanks for taking the time to post this. I can definately identify with what you’re talking about.

    I got into the web years ago when I started a forum for believers, but through one step then another eventually found my way to a digital marketing agency where I am now responsible for positioning fortune 500 companys’ websites in search engine results through strategic and technical consultation.(babble for I make sites show up in Google :) )

    I fell in love with the fact that I got to work on the websites of some of America’s best known brands, controlling marketing campaigns worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, promoting one brand over another, manipulating searchers into clicking through my clients listings etc… personal pride and greed became my motivation.

    Now I find myself wrestling with God regarding my purpose – I love what you said “I wasn’t doing anything for God really. I wasn’t contributing to anything that mattered.”

    I know exactly how that feels. I reeled when I read that. My colleagues and peers can’t understand why I am so dissatisfied despite growing success in a ‘kooshy job’ – but I know.

    I’m not sure what exactly I’ll do about it, but reading your ‘testimony’ has helped me realize that I’m tired of wrestling, of dissatisfaction, and of living outside of my core purpose.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to share.

    – Jayson

  7. Mike Says:

    Hey jayson, thanks for posting that! It’s weird, even though I’m doing church web design and graphics, I still feel like there is more I have to do. Maybe not to replace that stuff, but in addition to. And not because I feel guilty, but because I feel a burden.

    I would say, don’t worry if you can’t possibly find a way to make a living doing something that makes eternal differences. But make sure that you do spend time outside your work pursuing things that really do matter. I mean, if all christians had a job doing things that made eternal differences in peoples lives, no one would be in the real workforce reaching lost people. So maybe thats why God has you there now.

  8. ChurchWebGuy Says:

    Ah thanks for the insight. I had been wondering why the site was not taking new clients.

    Do you refer clients to other vendors? Is this something you would consider?


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