Brad Pelo has been a lifelong member of the Church and has served as a bishop twice and most recently as a counselor in the New York City YSA stake presidency. He is currently executive producer and president of The Chosen and was executive producer of the feature films Forever Strong and The Legend of Johnny Lingo. Brad is married to Melody Allen and they are parents to 12 children and 17 grandchildren.
Derral Eves is a family man of great faith. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at Southern Utah University. Professionally, he has been on YouTube since 2005, where he has helped generate nearly 86 billion video views, and his book The YouTube Formula is a Wall Street Journal bestseller. He is currently the CEO and Executive Producer of The Chosen. Derral is also founder of Creatus, a marketing and consulting company, and VidSummit, an annual video conference. He served a mission in Paraguay and has since served in several callings including as elders quorum president, bishopric counselor, bishop, and counselor in a stake presidency. Derral and his wife Carolyn live in La Verkin, Utah, and have five amazing kids.
The Chosen is a television series about the life of Jesus Christ that broke the all-time crowdfunding record in film and television. Their 2021 Christmas special broke box office records and was the #1 movie in the country at its theatrical release.
02:00 Introduction to Derral Eves and Brad Pelo, producers of The Chosen.
03:00 Derral shares his background story and how he came to work on The Chosen.
18:50 Brad shares his story and how he got involved with The Chosen.
29:40 The story behind the Goshen set, where The Chosen was filmed.
31:10 How would you create a ‘Chosen-like’ experience on Sunday?
- Focus on relationships with Christ in every talk, lesson, and discussion.
- The new generation wants authenticity and nothing sugar coated.
41:10 How do you encourage people to focus more on Jesus in Sunday meetings?
- Remember that you set the tone.
- Be very specific with topics for speaking. Let people know what you want to accomplish.
45:50 As members we feel obligated to accept callings. We should let our leader know what is going on in our lives before accepting a calling. While it’s important to serve we need to avoid burnout.
48:00 Derral shares a story about a meeting with Elder Renlund and getting to ask him leadership questions.
52:20 Avoid burnout. It’s ok to say no. This is God’s work and we are just assisting Him.
54:45 Brad shares his own perspective on creating a ‘chosen like’ experience at church. He believes that it’s important to not only create content but also context.
56:30 The gathering of saints is a community experience not a social experience. The body of Christ requires us to experience Him together.
1:00:00 As leadership we need to look for opportunities for people to experience Christ as a body. Gathering should be more than reviewing the doctrine. Everyone should be speaking of Jesus and participating.
1:00:50 Brad shares about a documentary they filmed having nine Gen-Zs watch The Chosen together. How they reacted and their experience. He shares what can be learned from this experience.
1:05:00 If you want people to open up and be vulnerable then you need to model it for them.
1:08:10 Derral shares a story of what it looks like to be real and authentic.
1:17:30 We often make the mistake of showing people who appear to be as perfect as Jesus when we need to model people that are broken and have a relationship with Jesus.
1:18:30 In our church culture we create this false facade. We think that because people are called that they are perfect.
1:20:20 Brad talks about what he has learned from the interfaith effort working on The Chosen.
1:24:30 Because of our religious persecution we have sheltered ourselves away from others of the Christian faith. Bringing people to Jesus doesn’t mean handing out the Book of Mormon and converting people to our faith. We need to come together as Christians and bring more Jesus to the world.
1:27:00 Get out of the mode of fear and persecution and get into the mode of love and inclusion. Strengthening interfaith efforts should be our goal.
1:37:30 Derral shares how working on The Chosen has changed him and his relationship with the Savior.
1:39:00 Brad shares how leadership and working on The Chosen has drawn him closer to Jesus Christ.
The Leading Saints Podcast gets over 300,000 listens each month and has nearly 10 million total downloads as part of nonprofit Leading Saints’ mission to help latter-day saints be better prepared to lead. Learn more and listen to any of the past episodes for free at LeadingSaints.org.
Past guests include Emily Belle Freeman, David Butler, Hank Smith, John Bytheway, Liz Wiseman, Stephen M. R. Covey, Julie Beck, Brad Wilcox, Jody Moore, Tony Overbay, John H. Groberg, Elaine Dalton, Tad R. Callister, J. Devn Cornish, Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Anthony Sweat, John Hilton III, Barbara Morgan Gardner, Blair Hodges, Whitney Johnson, Ryan Gottfredson, Greg McKeown, DeAnna Murphy, Michael Goodman, Richard Ostler, Ganel-Lyn Condie, and many more in over 500 episodes.
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