Christian Filmmaker Stephen Kendrick Says ‘One Person Coming to Christ is Better Than 10 Academy Awards’

The Kendricks’ upcoming movie “Overcomer” (PG), which will release in theaters Aug. 23, asks moviegoers to consider the question: What do you allow to define you? Stephen Kendrick told Baptist Press, “People often say, ‘You guys have an agenda when you’re making this movie.’ Yes, absolutely — the Great Commission is our agenda.” BP file photo

Alex and Stephen Kendrick have enjoyed box-office success that few filmmakers ever will experience.

Their movies “Fireproof” (2008) and “Courageous” (2011) both opened in the Top 4. Their 2015 movie “War Room” climbed to No. 1 in America on its second weekend. They’ve been interviewed by big-city newspapers and broadcast networks.

But they don’t judge the success of their movies solely on box-office numbers or public relations victories. They judge success, Stephen Kendrick said, by a movie’s spiritual impact.

“One person coming to Christ is better than 10 Academy Awards,” he told Baptist Press.

The Kendricks are applying the same standard to their upcoming movie “Overcomer” (PG), which will release in theaters Aug. 23 and asks moviegoers to consider the question: What do you allow to define you? Yes, they want “Overcomer” to do well at the box office. But that’s because it will increase the number of moviegoers impacted.

“People often say, ‘You guys have an agenda when you’re making this movie.’ Yes, absolutely — the Great Commission is our agenda,” Stephen Kendrick added. “We’re unapologetic about it. I’m not going to stand before God and Him say, ‘Did you get an Academy Award?'”

“Overcomer” tells the story of a workaholic boys’ basketball coach, John Harrison, whose team is depleted when a large company closes and families move out of town. John grows depressed, knowing a state championship is no longer within reach and his identity as a successful coach is gone. Things get worse when he is told to coach the cross-country team, which has only one runner, Hannah, a quiet girl who is searching for her identity in life, too.

LifeWay is publishing multiple resources for adults and children to accompany the movie, led by a Bible study kit. Resources also include books geared toward adults (“Defined,” written by the Kendricks), teen boys and young men (“Revealed,” by the Kendricks and Troy Schmidt), teen girls and young women (“Radiant,” by Priscilla Shirer) and middle schoolers (“Wonderful,” by the Kendricks and Amy Parker). All resources explore the movie’s theme: finding your identity in Christ.

Christians, the Kendricks said, too often follow the world’s lead in finding their identity. Many men and women find identity in their job. For others, it’s found in — for example — family, friends, finances, sports and beauty.

“It is our tendency to find our identity in what our positions are, what our accomplishments are, what other people are saying about us,” Stephen Kendrick said. “People become workaholics to try to prove themselves, because they’re trying to find their identity in something besides Christ.”

Placing one’s identity in worldly things is not only unbiblical, the Kendricks said, but it also will lead to disaster in life.

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Source: Baptist Press