(Photograph: BET Networks)
The Sheards' docu-drama is gearing up for its BET network premiere, and J. Drew, a member of the popular Christian family that will be featured on the series, recently opened up about his family's decision to take on the endeavor.
J. Drew Sheard II, the son of Detroit mega church pastor Bishop J. Drew Sheard and 4-time Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Karen Clark Sheard, will document his struggles growing up in the well-known family while establishing his own music career on the show. The 23-year-old Sheard son opened up to The Christian Post about how his family began their reality television show career.
"The opportunity was presented to me by one of my good friends who worked in the TV entertainment business. It's actually a guy that I've known for a long time," Sheard told CP. "He (said) you know it would be dope if we could do a reality show on some Christians but yet they're still normal people and they do normal things ... I got my whole family together, my mom my dad and Kiki. I asked them 'how would y'all feel about us doing a reality show?' They were like 'man it would be great.'"
While Sheard's father and mother have established their careers in the Christian community, his 24-year-old sister Kierra Sheard is also a budding gospel singer. However, Sheard told CP that he may be looking to take a different musical route.
"I come from the whole gospel legacy thing. I just wanted to do something different because believe it or not when I first started working on music gospel was never really my first love," Sheard revealed to CP. "I thought that there's more things to talk about in life besides the main thing that gospel songs talk about. I pretty much work to really be able to relate to people and become the best at it."
Still, Sheard admitted that he encounters some pressure as the son of such a well known Christian family.
"My dad hates when I use this term but the 'church people' that's probably where the most pressure comes from because I'm a pastor's kid and my mom is who she is. I come from this gospel background (so) everybody expects me to pretty much live a perfect life or do things in the lane of my mom and dad," Sheard told CP.
"But I choose to do things outside so it's kind of a lot of pressure because sometimes I have to watch what I say because of who my family is. But it's just all about coming out of that box and coming out of those four walls and just being you," he added.
Although Sheard said he recalls truly developing his relationship with God, reading his Bible and tuning into church sermons more around the age of 18, a preview of "The Sheards" shows that the 23-year-old struggles with trying to balance his life in and out of the church community.
"I'm sick of the church," the Sheard son tells his mother in a preview of the show. "The world is so much bigger than that!"
Karen got in her son's face and didn't accept his position on the matter.
"Now, you're gonna take that back," she told her son while inching closer to his face. "You ain't gonna say that in front of me. That, I won't allow! Take it back!"
J Drew II explained his position on the matter to CP.
"I really believe that when it comes to the whole being a Christian or being a true man of God it's all about the time that you spend with God outside of church. Don't get me wrong, going to church is a great thing. It all ties into being a Christian as well," the Sheard son told CP. "To kind of still be a believer and not really care too much about the stuff that goes on in church I just continue to pray to God outside of church and read my Bible and seek God. I believe that he's with me ... no matter what I do I just feel his presence with me."
J. Drew II will release an album in May 2013, and he will co-star in the premiere of "The Sheards" 10 p.m. ET on April 7.