Self-reflection, input and change are powerful when directed by faith, prayer and purpose. God has certainly been good to Disciples Today in our history. We owe every good thing to him. To continue to grow and be useful, DisciplesToday.org just completed a thorough revisioning and redesign.
We are excited about the eager response to the 4.0 version of DisciplesToday.org recently launched. In a coming series of articles we will give some context to Disciples Today and highlight features on our new site.
The most obvious change to our redesign is the change offocus from a news site to an outward-facing site to connect with people seeking God. Our last version of the site was designed to make each ministry among our churches easily accessible from the homepage. But since we continue to have new ministries, this became overwhelming for new visitors to the site, as well as to our members.
The redesign simplifies our presence with these parts of thehomepage:
- Immediate invitations to Meet Us, Find Us, Serve with Us and Contact Us
- Featured articles highlight key messages andlink to the News section
- “Search Articles” allows the user to easily find what they are looking for
- Clear sections: Ministries, News, Resources and Leadership
- Featured events: key ICOC-sponsored events highlighted here
DisciplesToday.org 4.0 is built for mobile. More than ever, our site is accessed on phones and tablets.
In the last year, 37,935 users viewed various pages of DisciplesToday.org 965,901 times from 215 countries! We believe the 4.0 version will create an even broader reach.
God Continues to Provide
DisciplesToday.org1.0 began from a heart to meet a clear need. In 2004 there was no church website for our incredible family of churches around the world. In fact, there was no list of churches. From much prayer and faith, Disciples Today was launched to “inform, inspire, unify and grow the InternationalChurches of Christ.” We had no support and no promise of funding. God provided a faithful disciple, Sebastian George of the DFW Church, who asked his boss to provide a free web portal and hosting. His boss agreed, even though he was an atheist!
DisciplesToday.org2.0: After a few years, it became obvious we needed to update the site and add a subscription service to keep it going. This 2.0 version was built by Chris Walquist (Chicago) and David Witt (Denver).
DisciplesToday.org 3.0: In 2012 we released a redesigned 3.0 site styled as a news site, built by a company in Belarus. This site showcased the incredible breadth of ministries by our churches. Lai-Yan Faller (Portland, Maine) started as a volunteer and grew to be our talented Assistant Editor. She now manages a team of volunteer editors. In 2013, God brought us Dr. Jonathan Hoggard (Denver) with a PhD in digital media who has broadened our scope of communications tools to serve the churches and HOPE worldwide.
DisciplesToday.org 4.0: And now after another period of self-reflection and seeking input, God has provided us with our newest site. He also arranged for us to offer a new ICOC app to our churches, and we are preparing to launch an offering of web templates for churches around the world.
Please continue to: