Reminder: You are currently impersonating {{userSessionData.email}}.

Faith, Film & Family

Take a tour behind the scenes and learn about the Kendrick brothers, their ministry and their film "War Room."

Alex and Shannon Kendrick. The Kendrick Brothers

On August 28, 2015, the Kendrick brothers' new movie, War Room, debuted in theaters across America.

On that day, Stephen, Alex and Shannon were filled with anticipation; but not in the way one might expect.

For them, the matters of business and monetary success are simply the necessary, worldly mechanics that enable them to continue making history in the Christian film and publishing industries.

What They Were Doing on Release Day

So, what were the brothers doing the day War Room released?

"Anticipating what God will do."

Their response gives candid insight into these brothers and their unprecedented success.

A seeming paradox exists in the upbringing of these filmmakers: they were raised in a home without a television for a good part of their childhood. Their only exposure to filmed entertainment was in the form of infrequent trips to the nearest movie theater to be awed by the newest Disney® film. While watching these animated offerings, a love for the artistry of filmmaking was born.

Three Brothers and an 8mm Camera

As adolescents, the three brothers borrowed a neighbor's 8mm camera and set off to create their own brand of entertainment. Bit by bit, their individual roles and giftings began to emerge.

The tech-savvy Shannon would discover technology and learn its applications; Alex, the storyteller at heart, would develop the movie plots and plan the shots; and Stephen, the most daring of the brothers, would jump off the cliffs or blow up the firecrackers—whatever it took to produce the scene.

Alex Kendrick directing War Room

The love of filmmaking that was birthed in these three men as preteens has led them down a path that none of them could have foreseen. Shannon the administrator, Alex the director and Stephen the producer have proven to the world that movies with a strong Christian message aren't only possible, they're desperately needed and whole-heartedly embraced by millions.

War Room is their fifth movie project since 2003; each one has greatly surpassed its predecessor in monetary success; but, more importantly to the brothers, each has resulted in ever-growing numbers of lives impacted by the truth of the gospel.

The Sturdy Familial Foundation of the Kendrick Brothers

One may wonder what lies at the heart of a story of such accomplishment.

"We have a praying mom at home who, at 72 years of age, gets up every morning and prays for us and our kids by name," Stephen said. "We have a dad who walks in integrity, loves the Lord and models what a humble Christian life could look like. So, we have some incredible roots. The older we get, the more grateful we are for those roots and to see what God has done with them."

Contrary to society's view of siblings, rivalry seems nonexistent within the Kendrick ranks.

They consider working so closely with family members to be "a little taste of heaven on earth, in a lot of ways; [when] you love one another and you all love the Lord and you believe the best in one another . . . there's this ‘iron sharpens iron' accountability that goes on between us where we're sometimes gently, lovingly rebuking one another; or appealing [to one another], ‘Please pray for me.' There's an honesty in our relationship that I think the Lord has blessed." Stephen's words seem to speak the hearts of all three brothers; as Alex says, "What makes it work is the fact that we're all believers and want to honor the Lord."

How Film Changes Lives for Eternity

Obviously, something is working well in this band of brothers.

Five feature length films, film festival awards, screenplay awards, millions in box office revenue and DVD sales, the number-one selling DVD in the country—all this spells success in anyone's estimation. But beyond these amazing movie industry stats lies a much more powerful kingdom influence.

There are, to date, more than 17,000 churches that have rented the Kendrick brothers' movies, affording them the opportunity to present biblical truth to an audience that may not otherwise enter the doors of a church. From this venue, incredible stories of life-changing impact emerge.

Priscilla Shirer in the Kendrick Brothers

"A church rented one of our films (I think it was Fireproof or Courageous) and [a couple from the church] begged their son to come," Alex said. "To pacify his parents, he said, ‘Fine.' So, he drove his motorcycle over, sat there and watched the movie. He went forward and turned his life over to Christ. Then he got on his motorcycle and was hit by a car and killed.

"His parents wrote us saying, ‘Thank you for your films. It was the last thing he saw and the catalyst to bring him to Christ before he died.' Now, tell me a price you can put on that. You can't; it's invaluable. We don't plan on that. We can tell a story, but the Lord changes the heart. We know the Lord is behind these stories."

A Film About the Power of Prayer

The story of War Room revolves around the need for prayer in the Christian life.

Books and Bible studies abound on the subject; yet, the message seems to be largely unheard. By portraying true-to-life situations to which most of us can relate, the Kendrick brothers hope to capture the attention of the church in this crucial area of faith.

"We are hoping churches will become praying churches; . . . men and women will become praying individuals; families will become praying families; Christian businesses will become praying businesses as a result of this movie."

Set of War Room by the Kendrick Brothers

The Inspiration of War Room

On their website, Kendrick Brothers Productions shares about the impetus behind the movie.

"We made this film to inspire, challenge and motivate viewers to fight the right kind of battles and to fight them in the best way possible," Alex said.

"I'm hoping people will watch this movie and say, ‘Man! That's what I've got to do! I've got to fight in prayer. I've got to fight the right enemy. I've got to aim at the right target with the right weapons.' And the right weapon is not bitterness. It's not selfishness. It's not all about me. The right weapon is, ‘God, for Your glory and using Your weapons, I'm resisting the enemy—the true enemy—and I'm fighting for my husband, or my daughter, or my son, or for my boss, or for my president.'

Photo from the film War Room

"Scripture says you must pray for these people. It's a mindset; it's a battle of the mind; it's a battle of the heart; it's warfare. If we do it the right way with the right weapons, we gain ground," Stephen said. "Ephesians 6 says to put on the armor. And then it says [we should be] praying at all times with all perseverance for all the saints for all things. Basically, [this means to] put on the armor of God and then get busy praying, because that's where the battle is taking place."

When Is the Right Time to Pray?

And what is the right time for prayer, according to Stephen?

"One of the messages of this movie is ‘pray first.' Pray first before you go into a meeting; pray first as you go into the day; pray first before you make a major decision; pray first before you give up and quit; pray first instead of worrying. When you pull the Lord into the context of what you're working on, everything changes. Your attitude changes . . . your pride changes to humility in the presence of the Lord; believers start working together in unity."

Image of Priscilla Shirer on the set of War Room

We won't have cultural change unless we're dependent upon the Lord—unless we're crying out and seeking Him and His face. If churches would get that and pastors would get that, it would completely transform them because they would become houses of prayer."

Article courtesy of HomeLife magazine.

 

From the award-winning creators of Fireproof and Courageous comes War Room, a compelling drama with humor and heart that explores the power that prayer can have on marriages, parenting, careers, friendships and every other area of our lives. Click below to see War Room Bible studies, church campaign kits, prayer journals and the War Room novel.


More Articles Related to War Room

Man praying in black and white image

Author, actor and speaker Priscilla Shirer opens up about her personal prayer life, obstacles to healthy communication with God and ways to overcome them.

 

 

Consider these three phases when developing a devotion to prayer among the people in your church.

 

 

Spiritual warfare is real. But don't worry, God has provided everything you need in order to live victoriously.

 

 

Brenda Noel is co-owner and operator of ECHO Creative Media, a publishing partnership that offers 20 of experience in writing and editorial services. Brenda has an extensive credit list that includes scores of Christian print and audio projects. 
Loading…