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Dallas Jenkins and Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus, review the script during filming.

National Christian Foundation creates fund for “The Chosen” series

The multi-season television series “The Chosen” is getting help from a national charity organization to help fund the production.

The show has taken the streaming world by storm with its unconventional approach to the gospel narrative and crowdfunded production model. In November 2019, season one was released, fully funded by more than 16,000 people who contributed $11 million in record time, making it the largest crowdfunded media project in history.

With more than 356 million views and counting, the show has been translated into 50 different languages so people all over the world can watch the story of Jesus unfold in their heart language. Like many of the show’s initial viewers, Robert and Karrie Bloomquist began their support by visiting “The Chosen” app to make a donation to “pay it forward,” a system the producers set up to enable viewers to for future episodes. But as time went by, they wanted to make larger, tax-deductible gifts.

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That’s when they learned that The Chosen team had collaborated with the National Christian Foundation and Impact Foundation to facilitate grants from fans who wanted to support the show’s mission with donations ranging into the millions. “Through NCF’s ecosystem of likeminded partners, we were able to easily invest charitable funds in this venture for maximum return,” Robert said.

Through an impact investment fund set up with NCF, givers are helping underwrite the creation of a roughly $20 million production complex on a 1,200-acre camp owned by the Salvation Army in Midlothian, Texas. Complete with a soundstage the size of a football field, flanked by a cafeteria and workshops for sets and costumes, “The Chosen” will pay rent to use these facilities, which also are intended to accommodate other faith-based film and TV productions.

Jenkins says his goal in creating the show was to help people know Jesus better and love Scripture more. To reach that goal, he and the other scriptwriters took the gospel accounts and added plausible details about the lives of the biblical figures found there. They added backstories to well-known characters and fleshed out other characters who might receive only a passing mention in Scripture.

The intended result is that viewers see the people in the Bible as real people who dealt with the same types of issues we all have to deal with. In The Chosen, the disciples have families and friends, they have reputations to uphold, they have a sense of humor, and they struggle with finances and other concerns.

That’s what’s made it one of the most popular Christian programs of all times.

According to Adam Swerdlow, chief operation officer for “The Chosen,” the generosity of NCF givers has been a gamechanger for the project. “NCF has given us a way for people to get a tax-deductible donation and also support the building of our permanent home, which will be huge for us and other faith-based projects down the road,” he said. “We’re creating films about Jesus, and the quality of the production value has increased drastically from season one to season two

“Now we’re heading into season three, and there’s an expectation to raise the bar. So we need these facilities to continue to create even better content.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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