Survivor, The Voice, and Shark Tank Producer Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. Photo by Casey Crafford

Sharing Your Faith with Roma Downey

Sharing your faith can be a challenge for anyone, but Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett have made it part of their everyday lives. Downey is an Emmy-nominated actress and producer. In addition to producing the mini-series, The Bible, she also played the angel Monica, on the series Touched by an Angel for nine seasons. Downey and Burnett have teamed up to produce movies including Ben Hur, Woodlawn, Little Boy and Son of God. We interviewed Downey in 2013 and talked about how she feels faith has been represented on screen and how they wanted to bring the right people together for The Bible series they created.


Downey shares how she feels faith has been represented on screen including her time on Touched by an Angel.


“It was such a privilege to have been a part of Touched by an Angel for all those years. We really were the ‘little train that could’ at that time. I remember when we first aired there was criticism in various publications that thought by the time you read the interview; the show would be off the air. We really got the last laugh though. We were on CBS for almost ten years with such a huge, core audience. The audience was so loyal. They tuned in every week for the central message, there is God, he wants to be part of your life, and that God loves you. There was just such an enormous privilege for me as a person of faith the be the messenger and get to deliver that message on a weekly basis. I don’t know if anything really has taken that space in that same way on network. That’s not to say that there aren’t very good quality programs out there, but I don’t know if anything has come out that speaks directly to faith. Certainly for us in the past few years, it is a privilege for Mark and me to be able to come together in our marriage, in our faith, with our live and our particular skill sets. We bring different skill sets to this, but we have been able to share those and step forward and produce this ten-hour series together. Ultimately, it will glorify God. A part of our daily prayer is that we could be used, that we would get out of the way, and that the project would come through us. That there is something much bigger at work here and we have many instances while in Morocco that we felt the [Holy] Spirit move through us in the most extraordinary ways. From being able to cast the right actors, including who would play Jesus…it was a challenge initially to find the perfect actor for that. Another time was on a still evening shooting a scene around a campfire, a wind inexplicably blew through just at the moment Jesus was talking about being born again for the Spirit and how the Spirit blows like the wind. Everyone stopped. It was almost supernatural. We all could see that God showed up that evening. It has been a marvelous journey.”


He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. — Acts 1:7-9


Downey opens up on how they wanted to bring the right people together for their project.


“It’s very easy to criticize and it’s very hard to create. We have come together here with a wonderful team. Nothing comes together without a village and we have had a great village. We drew the right people into the project. That was our prayer all along. If we didn’t know how to an aspect of the project, ‘we wanted’ the right person to show up. Continually, throughout the entire process, we have drawn the right people for the project and a beautiful series was created. It has the potential to touch people’s lives in the most extraordinary way and hopefully encourage people back to the book [Bible]. If we’ve done anything, it is to try and tell these stories in a very human and authentic way. What was critical was that we would make the emotional connection so that the audience wouldn’t think of them as characters from thousands of years ago that are disconnected from them or aren’t relevant to our life. We are those people. This is our story. People of the faith have the same struggles. They have the same hope, same dreams, and same fears…”


Risen Reflections

Share your faith. Take time this week to share your faith with someone else this week. It can be a friend, neighbor, classmate or co-worker. Pray and ask God who he wants you to share with and that he would give you the words. He might even want you to share your faith at a larger group setting like an outreach or church event. If you are feeling anxious or nervous, ask a friend or your small group to pray for you.


Bring others together. Great things can happen when we work together with others. If you have an idea or project you are working on, brainstorm other people that you can ask to be a part of it. It might even be a friend of a friend or acquaintance. Be willing to lend your wisdom, craft and expertise to help others accomplish their projects as well.


Host a movie night. Have your friends from small group over for dinner and a movie. Pick a faith-based movie and watch it together. After the movie, discuss what you enjoyed and learned from the movie. Many movies have discussion guides on line that you can use as well. These evenings can also be a great opportunity to invite a friend that is interested in the faith.


To read our entire interview with Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, click here.

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