In these days, it is difficult to escape the world of technology without some concerted effort. I find this especially difficult as, day by day, I make a concerted effort to do just the opposite.
As Electronic Media Coordinator with World Mission Prayer League, I regularly delve deep to the inner workings of our technologically connected world. In order to re-establish a secure foundation upon which future projects might depend and so that all our fellow workers might effectively communicate with one another and with those who follow the story of their service, I have embarked on a massive project of restructuring both the front-end and back-end of wmpl.org.
When first I set out to restructure the site, it was with the intent of tweaking bits and pieces for basic needs. However, as further organizational needs were either proposed by individuals or clarified during our communication’s meetings, I fell down the rabbit hole. During the past few months, I have greatly broadened my scope of knowledge regarding WordPress, the content management system upon which our site is built. Two plugins have been developed from scratch and one has been significantly modified for our specific needs. I think code often.
So, what can you expect when the site is rolled out? I’ll briefly explain the front-end (and the back-end for you geeky types).
- Member Accounts: World Mission Prayer League members will have the opportunity to register a user account. Praying members will also have access to additional content and resources on the website (e.g. live video feed of WMPL events).
- eTapestry Integration: eTapestry houses our membership database and donor records. Via the eTapestry Integrator plugin (my most ambitious plugin project), member accounts will allow users to update their personal information in this organizational database.
- Prayer Requests: Amen, a modification of the Pray With Us plugin, will allow all users to post prayer requests to the website and also to pray for the requests that others have posted.
- Intuitive Navigation: Content is being reorganized, ordered, and neatly packaged in expandable/collapsible boxes with the help of the jQuery Collapse-O-Matic plugin. The final plugin I developed was designed with the intent to automate our use of this plugin.
- Fellow Worker Specific Pages: Fellow Workers will have a page devoted to content regarding them and their work with WMPL.
- Additional features will be available for our missionaries and for internal purposes.
It’s exciting to begin seeing the fruit of so much work. And so I press on to complete this task before us. It can be so easy to get lost in the zeros and ones of this digital age. Remember to stop, disconnect, and breathe. Rest, and reset your mindset with a bit of prayer today. A few months ago, I had opportunity to retreat to a week in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota with some of the men from my family. Such wonderful rest! Oh, that we might know this peace in the midst of every day!