The Story So Far
Occasionally people ask how ZionWorx started and what brought it all into being. This is Christian's story...
Over the next few weeks I talked to Christian friends and tried to seek some wisdom about what I should do. Some friends were encouraging and others thought it was a crazy idea. Others said that I should still sell it but for a very low cost, say £5 per copy just to cover costs. In the end, strongly encouraged by Mhairi, I decided that if I was going to really surrender it to God then I had to do exactly what He had said, "give it away for free". So on 16th April 2002 I launched a simple one-page website with a brief description of the software, a screenshot and a download link. I renamed the software 'ZionWorx' and offered it to God and to the world, and I felt strangely peaceful! At this time ZionWorx was only being used in 4 UK churches but I decided not to advertise it, except for adding a free link to a list of similar programs that I came across on another website. Then I waited expectantly to see what would happen. Within 2 weeks I received a registration from another UK church and after 8 weeks had passed the total churches using it had reached double figures! I was really encouraged that these UK churches had (a) found the website and (b) chosen to use ZionWorx over other free/commercial options. But then on 9th July 2002 I was totally unprepared for what happened - I received an email from the pastor of a church in Markham, Ontario, Canada. He said he was delighted with ZionWorx and wanted to register it. So within 3 months the project had gone international! At this point I started to believe that God had bigger plans than I could have imagined. How far would this go? Would it reach the U.S soon? Would it reach Africa, Asia... Alaska?! I realised that I was just going to need to trust God that it would go wherever He wanted it to go. That it would be found by people who needed it. That I had surrendered it to Him and it was His agenda that mattered. Over the next 2 months another handful of UK churches registered and then by September 2002 it reached a small church in New York, USA! The 'Big Apple' - this felt like a real triumph. Steadily churches from other U.S. states registered and by the end of the year it had reached Singapore, Australia, Belgium, Sweden, New Zealand, Czech Republic and Malaysia. Just 8 months after launch, ZionWorx was being used by 88 churches across 4 continents. This was exciting stuff!
ZionWorx is being used by 1000's of churches in 148 countries, and we receive registrations from around 3000 new churches every year
There is much more that I could say about the growth of the project in terms of statistics, but the numbers inevitably become wearing! At the time of writing this (May 2012) ZionWorx is being used by 1000's of churches in 148 countries, and we receive registrations from around 3000 new churches every year, on average that's about 8 registrations every day from around the world. This growth never ceases to amaze me even after 10 years - God has clearly blessed the global spread of the project and continues to work out His agenda with it. I have received countless emails from people who have been blessed with finding free software that meets their needs, and it's even more fulfilling to hear of small churches that simply have no resources to buy commercial software but who are so very grateful of the blessing. I take no credit for this personally. If I had my way back at the start I would have likely made a few thousand pounds selling ZionWorx to people who could afford it, fuelled by my own ambition. But so much of the blessing God wanted to pour out on others all around the world would not have happened. I find that thought very sobering.