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The Editorial Committee

It is generally wise to appoint a solid, trustworthy Editorial Committee or Board before beginning work on writing a local church history.  This Committee should be carefully chosen.  Included on the Committee should be representatives from the various age groups of the church.  In addition, there should be one or more persons on the Committee who write well, or, at least, recognize good writing when they read it.  If possible, also, the Committee should be an harmonious group who work well together and are not likely to fly apart at the first sign of a problem.

Use should be made of those in the church who have special talents such as a newspaper reporter, a school teacher, an editor, or someone who has previously published a book.  The author of a previous history of the church should not be overlooked for his or her experience may be of considerable value.  Remember that this is a working Committee, not an honorary Committee.  Each member should have some qualification for membership.  The committee should be inclusive of the diversity of the Church.

One of the first acts of the Committee, after selecting its own officers, might be to choose one person to do the major portion of the writing.  Others might be chosen to assist in writing sections of the book, but there should be an overall editor-author who can given the book grace and style and smooth the uneven places.  The Committee might even give some thought to paying an outsider who is a good writer to carry forward this part of the venture.  Such a person, if chosen at the beginning of the project, would be able to sit as a consultant at all the editorial meetings to get a better feel for what is wanted in the history besides giving valuable advice.

The officers of the Committee might well consist of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, and at least two secretaries (one to record the minutes of the meetings and carry out those duties normally assigned to a secretary, and a research secretary to establish and care for a file where all information gathered for the project can be properly arranged for use of the editor-author of the book).

This is a simple but adequate structure.  The Committee need not be a large body, but rather a small, efficient, hard working group seeking to produce the best possible history of a local church.