Your church’s history is a story that tells about where it’s been and what it has overcome. By including your church history in your directory, you provide those who read it a great opportunity to emotionally and spiritually connect with the church. It also opens doors for conversations with other members and gives visitors a chance to learn the role your church has played in your community’s history and development.
Incorporating your church history into your church directory
When including your church’s history into your church photo directory, try to keep it to one or two pages, about the same length of what you might post on your church website. Be sure to also include a picture (or two) of either your church in the past or of its founding members (with captions underneath). These older photos help show what the section is about and encourage members to read more.
You can feature this history front and center at the very beginning of your directory as an introduction to the church. Or you may want to include it in the back after all the family listings, but before the groups or activity pages.
If your directory program does not have a church history section, look for a custom page option where you can insert your own page into the directory. Or you can instruct your printer to insert it during printing.
Don’t already have a church history written?
Writing a church history does not have to be a daunting task, and it doesn’t need to be an 18-page booklet either. You can even start with what you love about your church and its members.
Questions for getting started
Here are some questions to help you start writing your church history for your directory:
- When was your church founded?
- Who founded the church, an individual or a group of members?
- Do you worship in the church’s original building or location?
- Does your church building have any special features (such as a bell tower or stained-glass windows) that make it unique? Talk about these — when and where they were installed, who built them and how the church raised the funds for them.
- Are there any long-standing members who “remember when?” Interview them! You’ll find they have a wealth of memories (and photos) they will be more than happy to share.
Assemble your team
Choose a few people, including the church historian (if your church has one), to help you sort through past articles or information as you put together a great summary of your church. You may also have a member who is an excellent researcher who would be willing to go down to your local library and search archives for information about the church. If time allows, you can even divide your questions into a series, include them in your church bulletin or newsletter and ask members to submit what they remember. You don’t have to do it alone!
Share your church’s story
Whether you’re writing your church’s history from scratch or editing an existing document, adding the story to your directory can help members grow closer to the church by learning how it came to become the church they love today.