Joel Osteen already pastors the largest church in America and his motivational messages broadcast into more than 10 million homes every week.
Now, the charismatic preacher from Lakewood Church is getting ready to let the masses see how he walks out his faith in a new reality TV series that will inspire people to help people.
Osteen is joining forces with Survivor producer Mark Burnett on the prime-time network show that will begin airing in 2012. Burnett told TMZ the premise of the show is that ordinary people will give up several days or longer to go on a mission with Osteen. The missions aim to “start fixing things.”
“A big part of our ministry is we're blessed to be a blessing to somebody else,” Osteen told FOX 26 in Houston. “The thought is people would give up their time and not necessarily know where they're going that day, but show up, load up in planes and head out and make a difference in the world. We're going to be ambassadors of goodwill, hope and faith, and have fun along the way.”
This isn’t the first time Osteen has been approached about a prime-time show. Lakewood spokesperson Don Illof told the Houston Chronicle that just about every Hollywood studio has pitched show ideas to the Osteens over the years. The difference with Burnett seems to be relationship. The Osteens are friends with Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, who are professing Christians.
“When you talk reality TV, on one end there’s Extreme Home Makeover, and on the other end there’s Jersey Shore. We’re on the Home Makeover end,” Iloff said.
The program doesn’t have a network or a name yet, but the episodes will reportedly focus on service projects like Generation Hope in Washington, D.C. Generation Hope is a movement of the next generation to awaken, unite and mobilize young adults to bring hope to the hurting and lost world by tangibly serving the community.
“We do these projects without the cameras rolling,” said Iloff. “But Jesus said, ‘Let your light shine. Don’t hide it under a bushel.’”