The Chosen - its Potential for Mission Outreach

Tom Kuster (New Ulm, Minnesota USA)

About the presenter

Dr. Tom Kuster is a retired Professor of Communication, Executive Director of the Christ in Media Institute at Bethany Lutheran College, and co-host of this Gospel Outreach With Media online conference.



But how can we use it to spread the Gospel?

That's the question at the center of the Christ in Media Institute. Yes, we do spend a lot of time encouraging people to develop their tech skills, since we need to be able to achieve exceptional quality in our productions. We even encourage people to complete productions that express the gospel message in many media. But once these productions are completed, the question looms:

How can we use them to spread the Gospel?

The question recognizes the gap between the Christ-bearing media production on the one hand, and on the other the ears and hearts of those whom we want to hear the life-bearing message.

Here in The Chosen we have a media production (not made by us) that, so far at least in its first three seasons, seems to be carrying a message faithful to Scripture. What are the ways in which we can use this production in outreach to the unchurched?

I'm hoping, in the comments section below, that you can offer suggestions. And if you have tried some of these or other ideas that worked (or that didn't), write about those there too.

Here are some that pop quickly into my mind.

Those are some ideas. What else comes to your mind? If you have already tried any of these, what happened?

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Mark Parsons (Truth in Love Ministry) 2023-10-17 2:25:10pm
Dr. Kuster and other The Chosen contributors,

Thank you for this great discussion. I appreciate being able to discuss the content and how to use it in outreach. Before I joined the Truth in Love Ministry team to partner in their mission of 1) Proclaiming Christ to Mormons and 2) Empowering Christians to witness, I was a massive fan of the Chosen. Although the concept and the content are still something that I am a fan of, both personally and professionally, I have some concerns about The Chosen, specifically regarding outreach to Mormons.

I am sharing below what I wrote in response to concerns raised initially during the filming and distribution of season two that are still applicable today.


Over the past few weeks, our team has received many questions and comments about the popular Life of Christ television series The Chosen. These questions and concerns arose from the fact that although the showrunner/creator, Dallas Jenkins, and others involved with the series are Christian, there are ever-increasing Mormon connections and collaborations, including:

The Chosen’s complicated partnership with BYUtv to air The Chosen Christmas Special included Christian and LDS singers and musicians.

The Chosen’s season two filming location is Goshen Studios, which the LDS church owns.

The Chosen’s production arm, Angel Studios, which a group of active Mormons owns and staffs.

The Chosen’s distribution arm, VidAngel, which a group of active Mormons owns and staffs.

Many who are/were fans of The Chosen, as well as those who are just interested/invested observers, are asking,

“What does all this Mormon involvement with The Chosen mean, and should we be alarmed by possible LDS influence?

Do the pros of this tricky The Chosen/LDS relationship outweigh the cons?

What sort of message is being sent or at the very least received by Mormons and Christians?

Is the LDS church going to use The Chosen to further market themselves as Christian?”

Those questions and concerns over The Chosen and its LDS connections and collaborations have much merit. But there is another more crucial question at the center of all of those questions:

“Are the Mormon Jesus and the Christian Jesus the SAME Jesus?”

In an interview with the All In LDS Living podcast, The Chosen showrunner/creator, Dallas Jenkins, created a social media stir when he said, speaking defensively of his Mormon friends and colleagues, “Yeah, we disagree on some things, but I’m going to die on the hill of, we love the same Jesus, and we want the same Jesus known to the world.”

Dallas Jenkins is not the first well-meaning Christian to make such a statement that seeks to narrow the divide between Mormonism and Christianity. But is it a wise witnessing approach to say that Mormons and Christians love the SAME Jesus? What might some of the unintended ramifications of this statement be? For Christians? For Mormons?

I tackle those questions in an article prompted by The Chosen concerns: Are the Mormon Jesus and the Christian Jesus the SAME Jesus?


Dr. Kuster,

Thank you again for starting the conversation. I want to hear what others say about using The Chosen for outreach.

Pastor Mark Parsons
Truth in Love Ministry
Paul Grubbs (MLC) 2023-10-27 5:43:08am
Pastor Parsons,

In our MLC Film course yesterday, we spent considerable time talking about this particular issue related to "The Chosen." No one in the room your the background knowledge regarding the specific connections between the program's production team and the Mormon church. Your post offered a clear, useful itemized list of potential causes of influence and thus concern. Thanks for sharing your expertise on this aspect of 'The Chosen' phenomenon.

God's blessings for your continued work with Truth in Love!"
Mark Parsons (Truth in Love Ministry) 2023-10-30 9:33:20am
Prof. Grubbs,

Thanks for the message. I'm excited to hear about the conversation and that there is an MLC Film course. I would love to hear more about that. I would have made that course a priority in my education no matter what.

At Truth in Love, we are currently in the editing stages of producing a docuseries on folks who have left Mormonism for biblical Christianity. The Jesus Is Enough docuseries and website will launch in January 2024. Your students might find it interesting to check out.

Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2023-10-30 9:07:52pm
We would love to include news about this in GOWM 2024.