Tapping into the Christian Market

By Guest Author

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This is a guest post by Barbara Youree. If you want to write for Daily Writing Tips check the guidelines here.

If your goal is to be published somewhere—anywhere—to build up credits that will open the door to larger publications, the religious market is a good place to begin.

Study the market
Determine what publishers are looking for and where you will fit in. Many religious/spiritual magazines are limited to a single denomination, whereas others attract a general audience.

All religious publications operate according to a particular slant—from conservative to liberal. Some are family oriented. Others focus on world events with a peace/justice theme.

Studying Writers’ Market and leafing through magazines in a library or bookstore are good ways to begin. Find a publication that looks like a comfortable fit for you.

My focus here is on magazines, but the same principles apply to books, on-line writing, flyers, and tracts.

Most magazines reserve their articles on theology for recognized religious leaders such as professional ministers, priests, rabbis or others, but almost all have plenty of space for other writers.

Many editors seek first-person stories about faith or personal spiritual experiences. These can be your own, or those of someone you know or have interviewed. Some to consider: Angels on Earth and Alive Now!

Additionally, most religious magazines accept articles on travel, child rearing, finance, health and other topics of general interest. In such articles there is no need to mention God or make any religious reference at all. The writer simply needs to keep the tone clean and family friendly. Some examples are Mature Living and Parents & Teens.

A few, including Christian Century and Sojourners accept poetry.

Avoid “religious” language
You may be surprised to learn that the quickest path to rejection of a piece for the religious market is the use of religious terminology. Even denominational magazines hope “non-churched” people will read their articles.

Instead of “washed in the blood of the lamb,” say something like, “awareness of a higher being.” Rather than she “loved her neighbor as herself,” tell how she always asked people about their concerns and offered to pet-sit for the elderly person during his hospital stay.

Keep the wording as broad and as inclusive as possible. For most publications, use the word spiritual rather than religious, God rather than Jesus, and scriptures rather than Bible.

Like love, religion is difficult to write about without using clichés or maudlin sentimentality. Editors of religious publications appreciate articles on spirituality that are fresh and insightful, written in lively, non-churchy English. If you can offer that, opportunities abound.

Barbara Youree has written extensively for the religious market. In addition to numerous magazine articles, she has authored four historical Christian romances and six children’s books about missionary children and their friendship with their peers in foreign countries. Courageous Journey, Walking the Lost Boys Path from the Sudan to America is her latest nonfiction book. She makes her home in Rogers Arkansas.

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7 Responses to “Tapping into the Christian Market”

  • Brad

    Very interesting. I would have never thought of writing for a religious publication, let alone using a secular piece. What about “donating” a piece for free? How does that compare to writing for religious magazines to wedge your way into the more lucrative publications?

  • Eric C

    I actually just wrote a piece for a christian magazine with someone else, and the third piece of advice was the one I encountered the most. A lot of the lang. in our initial draft was very religious, instead of a comfortable conversational tone.

  • lara

    Wow. mind blowing.

  • Stephen Thorn

    What a damning testament to our times! Even in a Christian-oriented religious-themed publication you aren’t allowed to use the same terms used in the Bible because they may not reach some fools and may offend others. Of course, what better way to dilute the Gospels than by watering them down until they’re so weak that they don’t give anyone icky-poo feelings — thereby neutering those same Gospels of their power and turning them into false doctrine that can mislead the unwary. I feel sorry for the editors who established those guidelines, because (according to the Bible) when they appear at the great throne for judgment they will be in big trouble. The Bible says “If you deny me before men I will deny you before my Heavenly Father,” and these editorial policies are dancing right on the razor’s edge of doing exactly that.

  • c. mac

    Just imagine magazines beiing attracted to Article- writing that avoid “Religious language. “Even language used in the Holy Scriptures!!

    When words like -“washed …Blood…Lamb:” and “loving neighbour as self;”- are tabooed, we have played into the hands of the enemy of souls! And we need to find a way of escape!

    Believe it or not, there is only One way of escape from the satan!

    The Lord Jesus Christ. He is realy the Way,The Truth and the Life!

    Moreover, some people say they believe in God but not in Jesus Christ. This is not possible. People who said they belive in God, crucified His son.

    My hope is that those who occupy responsible positions be also the ones who promote the Truth. Yes, there is something called truth. And we owe it to ourselves to find it.

    When we find it, it will set us free!! Truly free!!

  • Obvious 1

    I agree why have a Christian market or magazine if you can’t be who God says you’re thru Jesus and the empowering HolySpirit.
    We are suppose to be a light unto the world expose darkness not hide from it and Rom. 12:1 says I beseech the brethren by the mercies of God that we present our bodies a living sacrifice,Holy acceptable unto God which is our reasonable service,and be not conformed to this world,but rather transformed by the renewing of the mind,that ye may prove what is good and acceptable and Perfect will of God. Service and will and present are action Gods perfect will is to share and to spread the good news some may ask what’s that I’m glad to help it’s the spreading of the gospel which most definitely includes the name Jesus, God’s son whom loved us enough to leave all his power in the kingdom to come down here and made himself of no reputation and took upon himself the form of a servant and made in the likeness of man phil.2:5-11,every tongue confessing Jesus Christ is lord. . Of course we are to do this out of our new nature of divine love that gives us that peace that passes all understanding, so we on the same token be patient with those who are mistaken but not to the point of silence or refraining from who we are christ-like children of God the creator of these universal laws and by his word cannot be broken actually we should in prayer rebuke such thinking to not speak of the one who set us free,especially on christian ground,And in all honesty we are suppose to go unto the world and reach those that need set free told the good news to be healed to see again to walk, talk and live a life more than a conqueror.I havent read anywhere where a christian is suppose to give the devil or evil doers, what God thru his son Jesus gave and it not fear or to worry or to be passive on our home territory rather we stand unshakin,unmovable just read about the early church in acts or David and goliath in the old testament the only time I have seen Christians in the Bible run or keep quiet is when they where deep in enemy territory which is different,anyway a quick word we are to serve out of love,real love unconditional love so we dont hate the person but it’s the sin the spirit and nature of satin ok he has gotten the world to buy the lie the world has been deceived,all are not to blame they been misled it’s like this if you really have that new nature. . Yah remember what God has given us thru Jesus . I’m talking about something here that a true child if of God couldn’t keep quiet if they wanted to, why? Because of what was given I’m talking the power of the Holy Spirit if you read Roman’s chapters 6,7,8 it pays a man very well to really read them verses and realize their meaning notice chap.6 Paul is saying if we be in christ we should live in the newness of life a life like Jesus,but in chap.7 Paul is talking from one who is under the law and by the law sin is brought to our conscience and Paul says that what know not to do and no longer want to do I do it anyway see the law was given to bring knowledge of sin and man did have the power to walk free of what he knew was wrong and this had Paul in a state of helplessness and uneasy knowing he was in sin he was as one point a christian killer ,and in chapter 7 count all the times Paul says I yah I will do this or I that ,so how does man become victorious good question my friend,read chapter 8,I promise doors will open for you like never before when your in the mindset to what’s going on here And it’s sad most ministers seem to leave the 2nd part of the verse or truth many times Rom.8:1 There is therefore (what) no condemnation to those who are (what) in Christ Jesus yah right here is where a christian should be getting pretty excited and full of life and power( why ) we have salvation and set free with power (how) because we live and walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit,what spirit the spirit and nature of God himself most people dont even realize what they have within them now it’s the Same Spirit Jesus walked in and trusted to raise him from the dead by faith because Jesus humbled himself leaving all his power at the throne and walked and lived as mere man.
    Now do you know that this Spirit you have acquired by grace is the same spirit that is in the very beginning of God’s word ,yah genesis 2:1 and what is he doing hoovering waiting to execute God’s will light there was light the spirit is God in action and this same Spiit that was a big part of all Gods creation ,his work and will is the same Spiirit that’s been given to true Christian’s and that is powerful man go back to Rom.8 guess what paul is a new man in this chapter why because he was now saved thru Jesus and now listen to him and tou will not find the word I not one time in chapter 8 but you see a man in the newness of life a life of power to be free how well what you see now is a new creature that has been born again and walking after the spirit from experience I can tell if you ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit you have waters of rivers overflowing out of you and as long as you stay in the spirit (and I know some disagree here)but I’m sorry you’re mistaken because I’m stating a truth that man needs to truly understand as long as you walking in the spirit and say in it and keep getting refilled with this awesome gift that Jesus gave us from the father you can not sin or not stand up for Jesus and share the good news and hey I would believe if I haven’t been living it not saying I font make a mistake cause I do from time to time and it’s when I get out of the spirit I know this if you have the Holy Spirit flowing out of you you not only talk but I’m a believer in a special tongue in personal prayer because it just happens I have never felt so good in my life and I believe its a Holy language one the devil doesn’t know he can’t make it out and its these prayers that get answers I know and a lot of times by The power of God I have people look they see the energy and I have had people say they see and feel the life that in me yah the Holy spirit living in a new man walking in true love and happiness I’m the happiest being to walk this earth I hope this helps someone that may be unsure or if you have fallen away or fell fur to a particular sin or weakness ask God for the power of the promise and remember love never fails it’s not how many times the old devil tricks you and you fall but it all about how you pick yourself up in the blood of Jesus amen and know you are a child of God so dust yourself off square your shoulders up man walk like a child of God talk like a child of God it’s not what you’re going thru but rather where you’re going to that’s right when you’re down to nothing Gods up to something I promise you that I stand by The Father ,Son ,and The power of the Holy Spirit and if anybody wants to know anything about Gods Word I am always more than happy to try and help you understand I can day that no man taught me Gods Word but God his son and Spirit revealed and taught me his word I’m for real maybe someday I will explain I dont alot most people think I’m lying or crazy but I’m not and it’s not about me anyway I know who I am and I thank God daily for the knowledge of understanding the true but even more I think him for the wisdom to explain it in a unique way and yes I have read his word the whole Bible around 10 times from front to back and have studied and prsyedcand meditated on Gods word I started on a totally opposite mission only to get turned around and shown the truth and I can tell you the journey has not been boring no quite the opposite and if I was not involved or present on many occasions I probably would find some of what I have seen witnessed been thru and allowed God to do his will thru unbelievable but not so it’s real it’s all real not just some of it and I mean there is evil but I’m so thankful that the one the true God my father and creator is all he says and much more I give him praise and glory I worship him and give him thanks 24/7 this is what know I dont care what it may look like,what the world says, family enemies by their choice if any,or friends have to say and I have had plenty say oh you can’t do that oh my this or can’t that trust when I say but yah I’m a child of God and I am all he says I am because of him I am and he answers my prayers he has never let me down in Jesus name I swear by power of the Holy Spirit Amen and Amen I’m the Obvious1,and I I hope all come to the knowledge of truth that lies within the scripture and i am sincere Tony Lord but hey when you know the word and understand truth i enjoy life no matter what the situation and have fun I’m not preaching or teaching like that but when I get inspired or see something not true or causing many to fall or be deceived and led astray I get excited and I would die for God and his word there is no faking I promise I’m real and really love helping people in many different ways but life eternal a person’s soul for Gods will stand 1st thank you for reading this I usually dont say this much but I was given a nudge to speak especially when I read about not being able to speak about the very one that saved me bu death on a cross so that I may have life and have it abundantly anyway peace and may my father keep you in the hallow of his hands.

  • Obvious 1

    I did I just spent almost 2hrs writing a comment book on what I heard about not saying anything about the person who saved me by dying on a cross so that I might live and live abundantly and somehow it just got erased now that sucks but I hope wherever it went some gets blessed by it thru Jesus Christ our lord and savior put on divine love the spirit and nature of God himself know you’re a child of God and we have the same Spirit of power that was given to Jesus to walk pure spotless without blemish and one should realize this is the same spirit in the beginning Gen.1:2,hoovering over the face of the waters the Holy Spirit moved this Spirit is Gods word his will done in action bringing life to those things that be dead all by Gods son dying for all so that by choice of free will may live and be given this spirit to give us power to walk righteous and Holy so let us continue this journey as one accord yes one body in divine love and harmony walking after the fruits of the spirit giving thanks to God the father thru his son Jesus Christ by faith and the power of the Holy Spirit on Jesus name Amen

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