My brother and parents are involved in various ways with internet-based commerce and marketing and some of that website information has rubbed off on me.
I have learned there are two ways to create a website. The first is to find a template that works for your organization. When you’ve posted 100% of the organization’s vital information and more than 2/3rds of the total info, it’s time to go live. Going live with a mostly ready website allows invited folks to make comments and corrections. The website thus evolves over afew weeks until it’s 95% complete; no good website is ever 100% finished. The other way is to work and work and work on a site until you think it’s 100% completed and then go live all at once.
Either way, there will be mistakes and someone will criticize your work. The first method depends upon input from others. It’s flexible and changes quickly to reflect the community it is meant to reach. But some designers prefer to work tirelessly to create a perfect product. I’ve found that the second way, the attempt at perfection from the get go, tends to burn out its designers. And I have also observed that the people who try to create a perfect website without advice tend to treat it like their own child and take criticism personally.
How would Jesus assemble a website? When would Jesus go live?
Jesus sent his newly formed group of 72 disciples out two-by-two. He said, “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Go, and remember that I am sending you out as lamb among wolves.” (Mt 10:16, Luke 10:2-3) Any process analyst or corporate strategist would say that his marketing team was not ready. They didn’t bring a book of corporate by-laws or standard operating procedures; they didn’t even have any canon laws! How in the world would this group man age? Jesus went live when his group was mostly ready but not perfect, by any means. So, I think the Church was founded on that first website development model.
When the groups returned from their field exercises, they reported back to Jesus. In their excitement, they exclaimed, “Even the demons listened to us when we used your name!” He replied, “Look, I’ve given you authority over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will injure you. But don’t be excited because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because you are a part of the Kingdom of God.” (Lk 10:18-20)
I think that building the Kingdom of God is like going live with a new website. It’s a community-oriented event. Jesus sent folks out in pairs before they were entirely ready. He sought feedback from his disciples and even from his detractors. Jesus used the phrase “What do you think” five times in theGospel record. Even though his 11 closest disciples saw him die and then ascend, some still doubted; they were not, in other words, entirely ready. Butdespite their doubts and readiness, Jesus said to “Go, and make disciples.” (Mt28:16-20)
Jesus went live with a partially completed set of disciples. That means that even if we don’t feel 100% ready to be Christ’s ambassadors, each of us is still called to be one. Jesus invites us to go live into the world to build his Kingdom, even when we are not 100% ready. The nice thing is that just like the disciples, each time we follow his directions, and respond to feedback, we become a little bit better at Kingdom building.
May God bless us in our unpreparedness to carry forth his love and grace.
- Fr. Marshall