Innovation is one of the defining marks of this age.
Everything from cars to toothbrushes has become faster, better, and more efficient over time. People are constantly thinking up new ideas, new ways of doing old things, resulting in an ever-changing landscape and culture.
TV production has entered that same arena.
As many know, the large studios in Hollywood have long controlled the majority of content we see in movie theatres and television. Seldom have we witnessed a great cinematic work produced outside this sphere of influence.
Now, through fundraising innovation, that has changed.
A new show depicting the life and ministry of Jesus called The Chosen was released last year, and the funds were brought in through an unconventional method. Through an avenue called “crowdfunding,” Director Dallas Jenkins and his team were able to raise more than $10 million in order to produce Season One - which has now reached more than 8.9 million people and is available in 180 counties worldwide.
Crowdfunding is a method of raising a substantial amount of money by asking a large number of people to contribute however much they can towards a common goal. Through the internet, over 19,000 people gave towards this project.
Because of this, the show is available for free. You can download it on the App Store or Google Play to access the entire first season. While on the app, viewers have the opportunity to “pay it forward” by donating so that more can be reached with the message of Jesus Christ.
Centered on the life of Jesus Christ and His followers, this show explores the experience people had of walking and talking with Jesus. Jenkins and his team do an amazing job of making the character of Jesus relatable, warm, and inspiring for the viewer. Season One, released in 2019, covers the recruitment of several disciples of Jesus while progressing through different Bible stories, such as the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11) and the miraculous catch (Luke 5:1-10).
Without losing any element of truth or divinity, The Chosen portrays Jesus in a relatable way. We can often easily forget that Jesus was the type of person whom people wanted to follow. Not only did 12 men leave their lives and families to follow Him wherever He went, but massive crowds would often congregate around Him when He visited a city or town. He was captivating, controversial, and inspiring, and that’s the type of person The Chosen portrays.
Currently, Jenkins and his team are raising money for Season Two. They’ve already raised over $1.5 million, but still require more funds in order to produce more episodes. In addition to paying it forward on the app, supporters can purchase other products, like DVD sets or devotionals, on the show’s website.
The Chosen has spread the loving and inspiring message of Jesus to millions around the world, and the impact continues every day.
Dallas Jenkins is confident in the message of the show: “I think [people] have been coming away from it saying, ‘That’s a Jesus I would actually be interested in getting to know. That’s a Jesus who’s actually funny and charismatic – the kind of Jesus that people wanted to follow 2,000 years ago.”