Guidelines for Guest Bloggers

Please Read These Guidelines BEFORE You Submit to Us. Thanks! 

The Josh McDowell Ministry is a Christian apologetics ministry. Basically, we point readers to God, reminding them of His love and desire to be in relationship with them. We invite readers to accept His invitation and to daily deepen their walk with Him.

We appreciate your desire to help our readers grow in their faith, knowledge, and walk with the Lord. Whether you’re a pastor, seminary student, professional writer, high school student, or busy stay-at-home mom, if you feel you have wisdom to share with our readers, we look forward to reviewing your submission. As Josh often says, “Until the whole world hears about Jesus!”


Helpful Tips

>> The focus for your article should center on one of these three aspects of apologetics:
  • Classical Apologetics, which help people understand the deity of Christ, the reliability of the Bible, and the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.
  • Relational Apologetics, which refer to the way believers live out the teachings of Jesus in their relationships (friendship, marriage, parenting, self-image, etc.).
  • Moral Apologetics, which help believers align their behavior and actions with the nature and character of God (truth, purity, love, forgiveness, justice etc.).

>> Your article should be able to answer these questions: Does my post help people to see God’s love and trust Him further? Does it help them with their daily walk with Him? Does it point out the truth of the Scriptures? Can I back up my text with research? Is my tone bold, yet gracious; enthusiastic, yet discerning?

>> Remember your audience. The posts we publish on Josh.org and various social media outlets are read by a wide audience of believers and seekers. The content must be accessible, actionable, and appropriate.

  • Accessible means that you don’t dumb things down, but you are careful to explain any technical or otherwise obscure or theological language that you include. You don’t use “church speak” or insider terms without explanation. Some of our readers are brand new Christians.
  • Appropriate does not mean that you shy away from difficult topics. But it does mean that you approach our readers respectfully and kindly. Please make sure your content fits within our ministry purpose, or we won’t publish it.
  • Actionable means that you’re giving our audience something they can apply in their own life. The Josh McDowell Ministry is focused on the grace and forgiveness of God, not condemnation. Don’t just tell our readers something is wrong, offer them suggestions for what they can do about it. Give them hope. Give them truth.

>> Your tone must reflect ours. The Josh McDowell Ministry is grace-focused. We are all sinners in need of a Savior, right? We want our content to offer healing and hope to our readers in their daily struggles. If your tone is preachy, or lacks kindness and grace, we won’t publish your article.

>> Link responsibly. If you are making a persuasive argument that requires evidence, back up your text with credible sources. Do not use Wikipedia. Don’t use really dated statistics sources. We will not publish articles with disreputable or misapplied sources. We will not publish articles populated with links that serve to drive traffic to other websites for monetary purposes. For further guidelines for evaluating sources, click HERE.

>> Do your own writing. If you quote someone, use quotation marks and give credit to your source. If you are using ideas or information that are not common knowledge, credit your source. Do NOT plagiarize. If you find that most or all of your article is in quotation, it’s not really your article and we won’t publish it. We want content with your point of view, wisdom, and experience.


Format

>> Structure. All submissions will be edited to our satisfaction, but we prefer to make as few edits as possible. Please triple-check your text for spelling, punctuation, and word errors. Do not write in ALL CAPS. Make sure your article flows logically, from point to point. Make sure your article includes a “nut graph” by the second paragraph. A “nut graph” is an overview of what you want the reader to learn from your piece, and why reading it is worth their time. Don’t give away your conclusion, but introduce the question or problem that you are dealing with and invite the interest of readers.

>> Paragraphs. Please break up your text in shorter paragraphs, so there is sufficient white space on the page. Long paragraphs don’t work well with online content, as readers like to consume it in bite-size chunks. Online articles without ample white space look visually dense and unappealing to our readers. Remember that most people typically have a short attention span.


>> SUPER IMPORTANT: Keyword. Build your entire article around your keyword that you will use in your title and 3-6 times in your article (depending on length). A keyword is a word (or phrase) that online users to search for content. If your keyword is popular, meaning it has been used by many writers, it will be hard for your article to get noticed in searches. So “walk by faith,” may be a better keyword phrase than “walk” or “faith.” But you must be able to use your keyword/phrase conversationally in your text. “Stuffing” an article with a keyword/keyword phrase that is not conversational makes Google cranky. More information on keywords HERE. We reserve the right to change your keyword and rewrite as necessary.


>> Title. Please provide an interesting title. But first, pick your keyword, as it should be included in your headline. We will change your headline if we think it needs improvement.

>> Length. Your article must be a minimum of 400 words. Aim for a total of 800 words, although we will accept longer articles if we see the value in the extra length. We reserve the right to shorten your word count through our edits, if we feel the article is too detailed, rambles, or simply needs to be shortened for clarity or power. On the other hand, we might ask you to add more words, if we want to hear more! If you are not open to edits, your article will not be published.

>> Your author Bio. Include a short (2-3 sentences) author biography at the bottom of your article, with a link to your blog or website (if appropriate). We will research your link before we decide to publish your article.

>> Photo. Every post must have at least one main horizontal visual. We have image libraries that we use, but we invite you to submit your own photo, if we can legally use it without copyright infringement. All photos need to be high-quality .jpg images. The main photo needs to be 1000 pixels wide. We reserve the right to select our own photo.


Reasons We May Be Unable to Publish Your Submission

      • If your article contradicts our statement of faith, we won’t publish it.
      • We accept articles on the basis of our current needs and the gaps we need to fill in our content.
      • We will not place duplicate (previously published) content on our website, except for special purposes. We are diligent about copyright. Do not submit content you have published elsewhere, even on your personal blog.
      • Do not send us content with the purpose of promoting your website, book, or other product. You may, however, mention these in your 2-3 sentence bio that will appear at the end of the article, if appropriate and tied to your article topic.

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