Lately I have been having a lot of people ask me to tell them a little about myself. Chaplain Daniel Leininger, who has caught the same website passion as I, looked at my website and asked. “Where is the part about you?” Dan is a retired Air Force Chaplain and was my CPE Supervisor. I told my wife what Dan said and she agreed. Well here is my story and I am sticking to it.
I got into building church websites about 10 years ago. I think it was around the year 2000. The church I was attending in South Carolina needed a website. So I bought one of those websites in a box and asked my sister to help with some program. She designed some rotating pictures that faded in and out. I thought it was the neatest website and got some compliments.
About three years later I retired from active duty in the US Army Chaplaincy. I continued to have an interest in websites. I managed the church website until I got called to do Intentional Interim Ministry in Minnesota. I turned over the controls of the church website to some other members of the congregation. It is still up and running. Check it out if you like, they of course have changed the site since I was working on it: http://www.livingspringscolumbia.org/
I wondered what got me so interested in websites and concluded that it was an extension of my college years. While in college I was a photographer and the editor of the yearbook and then the college newsletter editor. It seems that could explain my passion for church websites, I love to publish. While an Army Chaplain I was an instructor at the Chaplain school and discovered I enjoyed teaching and watching others grow and gain new skill and competencies. It is always a treat to be a part of someone’s excitement as they discover they can do something they never thought possible.
While serving in Minnesota for about 5 years I was serving as a Interim Pastor. Congregations are in transition and I was helping them develop new leadership. One congregation realized I built church websites and wanted me to develop and build theirs. Their hope was to attract a pastor to their congregation so they wanted to put their best foot forward. They ended up having a number of pastors interested in their congregation and found and called the right pastor for them. Some of the members attributed their success in finding a pastor to the new website.
It was right about that time I incorporated the business as Leiturgia Communications in June 2007.
Why Leiturgia? Among its many meanings, it means the ‘work of the people’ and most congregations are interested in managing the content of their own website. I felt congregations had a hard time keeping their websites current and it was important for a church to make a good impression. That is why I chose to use WordPress (you will learn a lot about WordPress as a website builder tool) because it is easy for the lay person to use and quite intuitive to work with. I use workshops (GoToMeeting) to help congregation improve their content management skills. I spend a lot of one on one time with those wanting to improve their website. I also provide videos and training websites for those who love to figure it out themselves and venture forth into sharing their organizations story. We have well over 20 churches, non-profits and small business with Leiturgia and that number continues to grow.
Well at present, I am working at the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls as their Communications Specialist. I have a real chaplain concern for the welfare of our service men and women and feel they deserve to have the best medical treatment available. I am part of that mission. At the VA I manage the content on the Hospitals Websites and the MyHealtheVet Program to name a few of my duties.
Here at the VA I am continually learning and improving my communication skills in the area of social media, web content and helping the organization leverage technology so they can collaborate at a much higher level than in years past.
My wife helps me out a great deal by keeping the books straight. Our children are all grown and we are enjoying the blessings of being grandparents. There are a few others good friends who are planning to work with me in the business. Some of the areas that they are going to help in are recruiting other churches and providing training online for those interested in learning about content management for websites. I hope my friends will become part of the mission to help congregations, no-profits and small business leverage technology. I have so much fun building websites and encouraging others in their endeavors that I take a lot of pride in seeing what others have accomplished.