How to Write a Local Church History – A Writer’s Guide
As editor of ChristianWritingToday.com, I frequently get questions from people asking if it is possible to make a living as a Christian writer. Many people think in terms of writing a blockbuster, but those kinds of successes are few and far between.
In my book, Capturing Faith: How to Research & Write a Local Church History, I explain how writers can develop a local church history writing ministry by writing books under contract to churches. Writing a local history is ideal for new or established writers. My book provides the details writers need to create an engaging local church history.
It takes time and money to write a local church history. However, congregation members and the community will want to own a copy of the completed book, so it is a financially feasible project. I explain how to finance the writing of the book. I also go into detail about how to promote sales to the members and friends of the church, and to the wider community.
My main purpose in writing the book is to inspire people to start thinking about the history of their church and its contribution to their community and to the world. Lots of wonderful things are happening in local churches, and it’s being lost because few people are documenting it. Now is time to celebrate your church history!
Your local church history does not need to be dry and uninteresting. Television programs like Antique Roadshow, History Detectives, Pawn Stars and American Pickers, have a historical component and they are very popular with viewers.
Everyone is interested in history if it is presented in a lively and interesting way. There are a lot of fascinating stories surrounding the birth and life of a local church, and powerful stories of faith of those who attended them. Christians writers need to capture and preserve that. The story of the founding and progress of every local church has the potential to be almost as thrilling as the Book of Acts.
How does a person or group go about writing your church history? A section of the book deals with the proper procedure for doing oral histories, which is a valuable form of research. Most of the good stories about a church are in the minds of the members, not in the minutes of board meetings. It is important to capture the stories from older members while they are still able to tell them. Doing oral histories is the ideal method.
I provide a step-by-step plan for volunteer or professional writers to research and write a local church history. I cover everything from enlisting church leadership support to researching, writing, publishing and selling the completed book.
Click here to purchase Capturing Faith: How to Research & Write a Local Church History
It is available in paperback or Kindle editions