Frank, thank you for making this wonderful website for YWAM Scotland – tell us about it.
A website is a voice that should speak for you, when you are not there in person. There are many elements to it and they all tell the story of Us. We wanted to portray all of YWAM Scotland for this season – we felt it should be warm, welcoming and friendly, yet unique, determined, bold and without “frillyiness”. And though we live in a most beautiful country, we didn’t want to end up with a postcard for tourists. So we worked hard to get the colors, the fonts, the textures, the visuals and the text to all express that and I think we succeeded.
Often people perceive design as making something look pretty; to me it means making something work. “Are we answering the questions that brought people to our site? Do we connect those that have a call to this nation or a certain ministry with the right people? Are we clear about who we are as a mission in this nation and who we are not?
And it has to work on a practical level and be future-forward – adapting to how we take in information and serve the many digital devices with different screen sizes and ways of interacting. The best navigation is the one people don’t have to think about – if they intuitively, with the least amount of clicks, find their answer.
One of the best compliments I had, was: “ It doesn’t feel static, it feels alive.” We hope that it will “live” well out there and promote the heck out of all of that YWAM Scotland has to offer.
Tell us a little about yourself – what do you do? What does being in missions look like for you?
One of the milestones during my DTS (Seamill ‘95) was a huge portion of grace God heaped on me. He called me out as a “man of excellence”. At the time this did not seem such a big deal or unsual – growing up in Germany the expectation to aim for perfection is very high. Only later did I understand that excellence is the near opposite of perfection – one can never be reached and leads to constant failure. The other allows you to do the best you can with the tools and understanding you have right now – and then do it better next time.
That is what I want to do – learn more, get better and serve God. If that is through discipleship, hospitality, leadership, coordinating events or communication – my almost 20 years in mission so far has stretched me, thrown me in uncomfortable situations and been ever so rewarding.
What has the process of getting this website up and running been like?
This project has been going on for just about a year – including finally conquering WordPress; what started out as a software hate relationship is turning into a friendship.
I think our biggest job was to get a grip on what YWAM Scotland is at the moment. We have a new National Leadership Team and they spent a great many hours and cups of coffee to get to know all the different teams and bases. That helped tremendously – one of my biggest fears was that we would forget someone and what kind of message it would send to that person.
And boy is there a lot going on. Our next task was to organise all that into a format that made sense, especially to those not within the YWAM family. Once we had identified some groupings it became a bit easier – it just makes sense that those with an affinity for arts quite like meeting like-minded people, the same for those with a prayer ministry or a heart for families.
It also shows that we are not all things to all people and that is OK. But we are also not limited by it and leave room for pioneers and individuals and teams that carry a particular calling. Scotland has a built in heart for hospitality and we want to welcome them in and look after them and help them do well.
So the site will continue to grow and evolve and I am quite chuffed by what we have accomplished already.