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The Next Chapter

Like the seasons of life, every project has stages. Today we announce that the Rock project has taken its next step in maturity. As of today, Rock’s two principle architects, Jon Edmiston and David Turner, are stepping out of their current roles as staff members of Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) to fully commit themselves to the continued development of Rock.

This transition will occur in a phased approach. Until the Spark Development Network is able to support full-time employees, David and Jon will act as independent Church Management System consultants through a new venture called Mine Cart Studio. Their first project will be the continued rollout of Rock at CCV through October. After that they will continue consulting with other churches until the Spark Development Network is able to take on employees.

This change will not only help David and Jon better focus on Rock, but it will also help shift the investment costs from a very small number of churches to a broader community.

In anticipation of questions we have put together a short FAQ.

Has any part of the vision for Rock changed?
The vision for Rock as a free open-source church management system has not changed a bit. This next chapter simply means that the project is gaining momentum and becoming what we've all dreamed it would. If you'd like to learn more about the vision we highly recommend our podcasts. There you can listen to the vision in our own words over the last year and a half.

What does this mean for Rock in the short-term?
Realistically, in the short-term there should not be much impact on the next few versions of Rock as these features are needed not only by CCV, but also several other large churches, and are in the middle of implementation. While there could be some shifting of features between releases to help better facilitate the rapid development process, the features on the roadmap today should remain intact.

What does this mean for Rock in the long-term?
Honestly, this depends on you. After October, Jon and David will start working with other churches to help with implementation and custom development. While some of these activities will benefit the core product, many will not. New features will be made available faster once the Spark Development Network receives the donations necessary to sustain active, focused core developers.

Just like they've been doing for the past five years, Jon and David will commit much of their personal time to ensure that issues are fixed and that the needs of the community are met as best as possible. This however is not a sustainable model for the long term.

What can we do?
As always we first ask that you commit yourself to pray for the Rock project, the team, and the community involved in making it a success. Now is also the time to financially commit yourself to supporting Rock. Our goal is for the Spark Development Network to eventually be able to support a small staff that can focus entirely on enhancing the core functionality of Rock. The consulting phase is simply a bridge to the next chapter. The faster we can fund this chapter the shorter the bridge becomes, and the sooner we can rollout new features for your benefit.

The Spark website has details on how to donate. For those unsure on an amount we’ve also provided some suggestions.

What if we need consulting?
The community has several community partners available to help you. Jon and David’s services won’t be generally available until after the October timeframe.