Joel Osteen, senior pastor of the mega church, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He has supported his friends and producers of "The Bible" series, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, since they had the concept and idea for the series.
Osteen became a consultant for the History Channel's series and showed pre-screenings of the series at his church. Osteen is not been surprised by the success of the series but has spoken out in defense of the series and his friends Mark and Roma.
"There are a lot of people of faith still in our country and when somebody takes a step of faith like Mark and [co-executive producer Roma Downey] did, people want to get behind it and see good quality, you know, production of something that's ... dear to all of our hearts, and that is the scripture and the bible," said Osteen in support of the series. He encourages everyone to look at the beauty of the story and how it should unify believers and inspire non-believers.
Osteen spoke on the controversy surrounding the actor cast as Satan bearing a resemblance in some people's minds to President Obama. He completely disagreed. "I felt like it was nonsense," says Osteen. "People can draw funny conclusions."
It was interesting how besides for a few quick blurbs, the national media was trying to ignore the success of "The Bible" series and then all of a sudden when the Obama controversy came up, then it was all over the news. Many in the secular media struggled to give the series the credit it deserved for blowing away everyones expectations and becoming the highest rated show on cable television so far this year. However, ratings stayed strong through all 5 episodes and hopefully countless lives were inspired and encouraged to find out more about Jesus.
Osteen's ministry reaches over seven million broadcast media viewers weekly in over 100 nations around the world and has over 1.5 million followers on twitter. So it is safe to say that he has a lot of people listening to him. So for Osteen to be such a supporter and advocate of people watching "The Bible" series, this was huge for the show.
Along with Osteen, several other popular pastors, across the country have encouraged their congregations and followers on social media to watch "The Bible" series. Just to name a few would be Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California, T.D. Jakes of The Potters House in Dallas,Tx. and Craig Groeschel of Lifechurch.tv in Edmond,Ok.