Dallas Jenkins Surprised by Impact of "The Chosen" on Children
The creator/director of this multi-season show about the life of Christ calls the development "so meaningful."
That The Chosen is having a major impact around the globe is beyond dispute. With just two seasons and 16 episodes under its belt, the faith-based streaming series - the all-time crowding funding champion among media projects - has garnered 240 million views and, according to Dallas Jenkins, been seen in every country in the world.
In a recent social media post, the man at the helm of the show shared positive reactions from a group of teens sent to him by a youth pastor. The children say things like the series is "really amazing" and that it "changed the way" they see Jesus. Jenkins writes in that post that he did not "expect this show to resonate with young people, so it's been so meaningful to see the reaction we're getting."
The 46-year-old father of four also addressed this issue in a recent podcast interview on Hey! It's the Luskos. In his discussion with Montana pastor Levi Lusko and his wife Jennie Lusko, Jenkins acknowledged that he is particularly pleased about the show's positive influence on young people because his own childhood lacked any faith-based equivalent.
"I had nothing that related to my faith, certainly not a Jesus project where I could watch it and go, A.) This is just as enjoyable for me as any other shows that I watch, and, B.) It shows a Jesus that I would really want to follow, not a boring, emotionally distant, formal Jesus who speaks King James English."
Jenkins added that he and his fellow writers deliberately strive to emphasize the humanity of the Jesus character, played by American actor Jonathan Roumie, which is something that the children in the aforementioned social media post gravitated to. That approach has prompted negative responses from some viewers, as we reported here, but been well received by the overwhelming majority. The director emphasized in his interview that The Chosen "is not the Bible," but is something he believes God is using.
"The show for many people has drawn them closer to Scripture and drawn them closer to Jesus, and that is the evidence that - at the very least - God is working through the show. And I am thrilled and humbled to be part of that."
Jenkins and his team are still writing episodes for season three, which they plan to shoot early next year outside of Dallas, TX. They have thus far raised funding for five of the eight episodes via a Pay-It-Forward program and merchandise sales. If you'd like to contribute, you can do so via this link to the show's website, where you can also watch seasons one and two free of charge.