Alex Kendrick is living proof that God can use obedient people to accomplish the seemingly impossible. How can he and the pastors of a small Georgia church produce, direct and market one movie-much less four theatrical released films- that keep impacting the lives of millions of people.
In this I am Second film Alex details the incredible story of how God worked to create and distribute the movies. He also reveals how God was convicting him in many of the same areas as the movie topics. His dilemma-if he could be obedient in making movies for God, could he also be obedient in making changes in his life, too?
God said something to me…it’s like he spoke to me so clearly that I heard him word for word. He said, “Alex would you rather have an easier road with less fruit or a harder road with more fruit.” And I was so stunned at that, I turned to my wife and I said, “ God just asked me a question” And she said, “what?” And I said, “God just asked me a question.” And she said, “well what did you say?” I said, “I do not know. I did not answer.”
As a boy, for years we did not even have a television. Our parents were pretty conservative, loved the Lord and wanted to …you know rightly protect us. We were able to see on occasion a movie, a family friendly movie at the theater. I remember being enamored with these huge stories on screen. The Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Star Wars movies, and somewhere around the age of 9 or 10 I started thinking that I must do this. Most of the stories that I made as a kid with our home video camera were “chase them down beat them up” movies. We had to have action. We had to have humor. We would show them to our family and neighborhood friends and they would laugh with us but the older I got I remember seeing how a good story would impact the audience. That was my wakeup call. That God could say, “ Alex, I can use your desire to do this for my purposes and do more with it than you ever thought possible if you trust me with it.”
I prayed about it. And God gave me this idea for a plot called Flywheel. It was about a used car salesman who would live one way in front of his family and church friends and another way behind the scenes. Men began responding to the story of Flywheel saying, “that’s me” on the screen. “that is me.” Then before we knew it, Blockbuster video had picked it up and put it in their stores nationwide. And I was excited and at the same time I was overwhelmed. Our Pastor Michael then said, “this may be an open door that God has given us. We may need to pray about continuing this avenue for ministry.”
That led us to our second movie Facing the Giants. I had no clue what was coming. God was about to teach us something hard, and yet amazing. We felt a very strong sense that God was saying, “Deal with faith.” Everyone has a giant fear, sense of failure, struggling with inferiority, or some ball and chain in their own life.“
We asked the question – Is God only worthy of being worship when he is doing good to you or is he worthy of being worshiped because he is God? I was excited about this message, and then we go knock on several doors of distributors, hoping that somebody will pick it up and release it theatrically.
No one was interested. They said, “ it’s a nice story.” “not really our cup of tea or something we feel like would work well enough to invest for a theatrical release.” So I was frustrated. And I said, “God I feel like you gave us this theme and this message and you took us down this road. And we have poured our heart and soul into this. We did this for you and now it is sitting on a shelf. No one is interested, why?”
God said to me, “Alex you made a movie that says that God is worth worshiping and serving whether you win or whether you lose. Will you do that with this film?” so we surrendered it to God and I died to a theatrical release.
Soon after that a music company we had asked permission to use a song in the film calls us. And they say to us, “not only can you use the song, but our parent company is interested in releasing your movie theatrically. “ We said, “Who is your parent company?” They said, “Sony.” The one door we had not knocked on. God opened a door we could not have opened. We did not even knock on their door.
Facing the Giants was released in several hundred movie theatres in fall of 2006. It did better than any of us expected. The marketing budget was small and the number of theaters was so far less than any other Hollywood movie, but the response was incredible. People were saying, “this is my giant , that’s my giant.” God had done the same thing in my life and watching him do it in so many other lives was so fulfilling.
As the platform expanded for us to tell these stories, as more theatres jumped on board, more ministries caught hold of what these movies could do for people. For some reason, the path got harder for us.
My time with my wife and my children began to lessen and began to pull on my own identity. Who am I? What am I supposed to be doing here? And it would only get harder from there.
As we continued praying, God impressed on us to make a film about a marriage totally surrendered to him. God gave us this concept for what we called the Love Dare. About a husband who’s marriage was failing and so he wanted out and his wife wanted out and the husband’s dad who had trusted God late in his life came to him and said, “don’t get divorced, yet, I want you to hold off for 40 days, before proceeding and I want you to apply these principles to your life and how you treat your wife for 40 days.”
So we make this movie Fireproof. And my brother, Stephen, and I start praying through, should we write this book The Love Dare for real. As we are working on this book, we find a publisher for it, but before it comes out, issues in my own marriage started to bubble up to the surface.
Some insecurity in my wife and some of her frustration that– because I was pouring so much of myself into something that was good- she felt in many ways neglected- put on the back burner.
I knew she loved me and I knew I loved her, but I was thinking “what is going on here?” I was writing a book and making a movie about how to have a Godly marriage and my own marriage was being stretched and pulled more than it ever had.
And initially that frustrated me. And I remember thinking, “ why can you not be on my team?” so we agreed to go to marital counseling. While we are in counseling this book the Love Dare on how to have a good marriage is being released. It is not that the Love Dare wasn’t true and didn’t work ‘cause they are biblical principles and I ended up doing it in my own marriage. But God stripped me down to the core and reminded me that just because I know truth in my head doesn’t mean that I have it all figured out in my own heart. That I needed him as much as anybody. I had to cling to his grace and his truth as much as I ever had.
After Fireproof we asked “God do you want us to make another film and if so what should it be about.” And after praying God directed us to fatherhood. I do not have to tell you what is going on with men in our culture. They are not stepping up the way they need to step up and I was not stepping up the way I needed to step up. It kind of freaked me out because I was thinking, “God why are you making me live out the movies that we are presenting. You did it in Giants and you did it in Fireproof.” It kind of unnerved me because in some ways I was not so sure I wanted to do another movie.
God kind of has a way of knocking the pride out of you. But he also has a way of using you, so as long he gives me the strength and the grace to tell another story. If He is there with me, I’ll do it.
My prayer is that Courageous grabs men by their throats and reaches into their hearts and sparks them to chase after God. We want to see God rock our culture with men stepping up, so I’ll carry that torch. My brother, Stephen, will carry that torch. If He helps me. And I am counting on it.
My name is Alex Kendrick and I am Second.
Has this message touched you in any way? Make the decision and follow Christ and be ready to be use in a magnificent way to glorify the name of the Lord.