Monk Development, Inc.
14488 Old Stage Road
Lenoir City, TN 37772
(877) 452-0015 Toll-Free
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In an effort to hear from our current clients and share their story, we will be posting a series of client spotlight interviews. We have so many wonderful clients at MonkDev that use our products in ways to further their mission online, it's time their story is told! This is the first post in this series.
I recently had the pleasure of asking Pastor Jesse McMillian a few questions about his experience using the Ekklesia 360 CMS and working with Monk Development.
Jesse is the Head Pastor at Terra Verde Community Church in Tomball, TX and has been a Ekklesia 360 user for a little over four years.
Let's hear what Jesse had to say.
Jesse, how did you first hear about MonkDev or Ekklesia 360?
I first came in contact with Ekklesia 360 four years ago while working at my previous church. At the time, we were in the process of researching solutions for website development and management for our church.
Tell me about how you researched a website and CMS for your new church website.
When I began my initial research, I spent a great deal of time looking through the solutions that various CMS’s had to offer. Since the needs of the church are significantly different from those of other organizations, I looked for a company that understood both the church and the standard of innovation that exists in the general market.
For example, we needed functionality that allowed us to set controls for multiple users, and we needed to control the access that each user had to the overall website.
I’m fairly certain that I looked at every one of the major church CMS products in an effort to feel confident about the company that I ultimately recommended to our church. This research gave me a wide exposure to the various solutions being offered, and unquestionably led me to the right solution with Monk and Ekklesia 360.
What led you to choose Ekklesia 360 as your CMS solution?
What sold me on Ekklesia 360 was the open platform approach. This approach was, and is, extremely attractive compared to other solutions.
Most of the other companies that I previewed would not allow their customers the necessary access to develop new innovations on their own website. In that environment, the only way to innovate was to pay the company to develop it. While this may be a reasonable solution for those who have no past development experience, it presented a clear bottleneck to the innovation of our website.
We have men and women in our church who have been gifted and are skilled in the areas of development, and we need to be able to utilize their gifts. With Ekklesia 360 we are able to do just that!
What was appealing to you about working with MonkDev as a company?
Working with Monk has had a much more collaborative feel than any other web company that I have worked with. Monk has a great team of highly qualified designers, developers, and customer service representatives who really make you believe that their primary interest is the needs of your church. I know it sounds too good to be true, but I have had a great overall experience working with the company.
I’ve worked closely with the support team because I am admittedly a perfectionist. And not only has the support team helped me solve particular problems, they have also informed me of new ways to use new functionality that makes the site better. And more often than not, they provide this service without an additional cost.
The team is not only willing to help, they are also willing to teach. For example, the other day I wanted to do something new with the “Monklets,” and I figured I could do on my own, but I just didn’t have all the right information. So, I called Chris on the support team, and within a few minutes he gave me the information that I needed and answered my questions. So, now I don’t have to ask for help in that area in the future. In my mind, this is what great customer service is all about.
How do you use the Ekklesia 360 CMS?
I love the way that technology can be used in the mission of the church to spread the Gospel. Ekklesia 360 provides our church with a great platform on which to build these technologies and further this mission.
We use Ekklesia to provide quality communications, event management, sermon content, and a general front-end connection point to the life of our church. We use the CMS on a daily basis, and have found it both easy to understand and train on, and at the same time, robust enough to meet our technological needs.
What is your favorite feature about the Ekklesia 360 CMS?
The Easy Edit is probably the biggest win for our church. When we’re onboarding new team members who aren’t incredibly comfortable with web technologies, the Easy Edit features helps us to ease some of their hesitation and lessens training time.
With this cool feature, I’ve been able to go to ministry group leaders who have little to no CMS experience and get them to the point of editing their own content in a very short time frame.
I see you went with a responsive design for your new website. What let you to make that decision?
For a long time, I tried to figure out the mobile space. I had a mobile app designed by Monk in the past, and it worked well, but I did not see the same level of usage as the website itself. It also created an environment where there were two different types of interface. So, the responsive design gave us the option to have a seamless and connected user experience.
We are very pleased with our responsive site.
Have you seen firsthand how your church website has attributed to your church's mission?
I love technology, I always have. I love the way technology can be used as a catalyst to communicate the gospel. An effective website gives us an incredible vehicle to minister in people’s lives.
Our website brings a level of clarity for people. When I look at our church, for the most part, people connect with our website before they ever come to a Sunday morning service. This being the case, our website serves as an important “front door” and must communicate well to those who visit.
Our website has helped our communication to get better both internally and externally. As a church, if you can’t communicate, you can’t accomplish your mission, vision, or really anything else.
I’m very pleased with where we are, and I’m incredibly excited about where we will be in the days ahead.
Would you recommend us to other churches? If so, why?
I would, and have done so. The open platform, the collaborative feel, the over the top customer service make me a big fan of Monk.
It truly seems that we are more than just another client. Our work with Ekklesia feels more like a partnership than anything else. And because of that, our monthly payments to MonkDev not only give us a great website, but also a team of quality staff members who are ready and willing to serve the mission of our church.
(NOTE: Jesse was not compensated in any way for this interview.)
If you are interested in learning how MonkDev or Ekklesia 360 can help your organization, feel free to contact us or call (877) 452-0015.