‘To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven’ (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
Change is inevitable; innovation and creativity demand it. ByFaith 1.0 was at the groundbreaking edge of technological creation when it went online in 2002. With its interactive heart and video game-style 3D worlds to explore, large numbers visited with millions of hits. It became one of the largest Christian interactive sites in the world.
Years passed and the website needed a fresh look. ByFaith 2.0, with its distinct white and red design emerged for 2009 and continued to draw numerous visitors. The Lord continued His blessing.
By 2012, an increasing number visited websites with their smartphone and HTML sites, though viewable, struggled with scalability. The speciality of the ByFaith website, the interactivity drawn from Flash Macromedia, was transforming, as new browsers limited the viewability of said material. Whilst accessible, various browsers updated their stance until end-of-life support became familiar.
“It was a shame to witness such unique content going offline because of discontinuation,” said Paul Backholer. “But seasons change and technology moves at pace; we needed to act.”
Adobe announced 31 December 2020, as the final death knell to the technology, with Flash content support formally ending, following major web browsers disabling the capability. “We had to respond with a new website,” said Paul’s brother Mathew. “It has been on our hearts for several years, as we planned and prepared for the future.”
With the brothers occupied producing books and video production, the Lord opened a door for the new website to be built by a younger generation.
New content for the ByFaith 3.0 was prepared as the WordPress site was built over a few months, going online in July 2020. Now suitable for smartphones, the reach of the website can grow again, finding those in need the Lord.
ByFaith.org, an important secondary domain, became the new default for the website, noting the international reach of the site, with ByFaith.co.uk continuing to link.
Another transformation is the change in presentation and style of writing. “We’ve forgotten what it’s like to be them,” said Paul, “that was the thought in my mind concerning faith. We must remember our youthful struggle and communicate with those seeking God in such a position. What drew you to Christ? How did God speak to you? Not simplicity of the message, but raw honesty.”
The complex in-depth teaching and challenges will continue for those deeper in the faith, alongside a direct message of the kindness of God towards those He is calling. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart’ (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
“Growing means change and innovation,” said Mathew, “and we’re excited to recall what the Lord did before and expect Him to move in wonder again.”
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