***I did this interview for my job at the Christian Post. Read original here***
The Christian Post had the opportunity to speak with one half of the creative team of brothers behind Christian blockbusters "Fireproof," "Facing the Giants," and "Courageous" – Stephen Kendrick.
The Kendrick brothers, Alex and Stephen, released their newest book, "The Love Dare for Parents," on July 1 as the follow up to their critically acclaimed first book, "The Love Dare," and now they are looking to further spread the truth of Jesus from the silver screen to the bestsellers list.
Stephen Kendrick: We are very excited about this book. Our prayer has been that this new 40-day journey will help moms and dads to win their kids hearts, and help them to train them to live blessed lives of wisdom, faith, and love. We tried to write it whether someone's kids are in preschool or even graduating from high school they will be able to pour out Christ like love onto their kids for 40 days and develop that habit and instill into their children a more dynamic legacy of faith. So often parents have a great desire and hopes, and aspirations for their kids but they don't have any practical plans of action. ... We broke it down into 40 days and each day teaches a principle about parenting and love together.
CP: Of the "Dares," what would you say is the most "daring"?
Kendrick: Challenging [parents] to memorize scripture with their kids. It's something I did growing up. My parents would quote Psalm 91 over our lives, that whole chapter. ... We put some really great passages in the back for parents to memorize with their kids.
Some of the last dares tie in to writing a letter to your kids, and it's really a legacy letter based on Psalm 71 that they can pass on to their children one day. I know that will not be easy for parents to do, but we kind of walk them through communicating with their kids ... I know so many men that will say to me that "my dad and my mom never told me that they loved me." That's first base communicating love to your kids.
One of the days we unpack finding out how your kids are wired, what kind of intelligence has God given them, how do they give and receive love, what the passions of their life, how does their birth order and their gender affect them because all of those things are part of the tapestry that God is weaving together to use each of our children for His glory. Too often, parents force their kids into becoming something they want them to become rather than trying unpack the treasure chest God wants them to become.
|Stephen Kendrick on the left, Alex Kendrick on the right.|
CP: When writing this book with your brother, how did you guys divide what to write? What was the process like?
Kendrick: With the movies, we will both work on concepts and bring them to the table together. ... I imagine this scene about 75 percent of the way into the movie ... It's like a pearl that you are adding to the mix and that will be strung together with the other pearls, and so that's how we do it with movies where we come up with scenes, ideas and when we have a lot of them after we've been praying for months over it we'll dive in and work together on kind of crafting this storyline.
We'll then usually write separately. Then we'll come back together and say "I wrote this scene, I took a first draft on it, here what do you think?" We'll go back and forth, he'll critique my writing and I'll critique his. He's a better storyteller than I am. When it comes to script writing he is better at writing dialogue. I tend to focus on pure and Biblical principles. He's good at interweaving those into the story telling. When it comes to the books, I will usually write the first draft chapters of the book and send them to him and he will add his touch on them. He edits me really well. He helps me to clarify what I'm writing. It's been a really good partnership that God has made happen with my brother.
CP: Of the two aspects to your ministry-- the film and books-- which would you say is more rewarding and impactful?
Kendrick: Movies are definitely more fun because there are so many different seasons in a movie. It is exciting to be drafting together. Writing a book is very hard, it's like writing 15 college term papers in a row, and you are just like, "when is going to end?" You can communicate so much more when you are writing a book, and you can go so much deeper.
Usually we'll have a book connected to a movie so the movie will inspire people, but afterwards when they walk out of the theater they can think, "what do I do now?" "How can I take the message of Fireproof and work on my marriage?" The books are important because they can dive in and start applying it to their day in and day out lives and dive into what God says about those specific topics.
CP: Which do you feel is an easier tool to convey Christianity to a secular audience: a movie or book?
Kendrick: Definitely the movies. Jesus communicated parables to the secular people around him and he used stories that were very relevant to their lives, and He was taking heaven's truth and packaging it in an earthly context. ... We've seen that we've reached a ton of people through movies who have never walked into the door of a church. Then as a result they'll start reading the books, and the books will get a lot deeper into truth and what scripture said about those issues. And they are much more ready for that after they've watched the movies.
CP: Anything else to add?
Kendrick: We've launched KendrickBrothers.com. We can collaborate, we can help them, they can help us. We want to pour into the next generation of Christian filmmakers. We feel like God has intrusted a lot into us and we don't want to sit on it and be selfish. We want to think long term on how we can help this next generation of Christian filmmakers to make a big impact for God.
We launched a website called LoveDareTest.com, where people can take a free marriage or parenting evaluation. It will then show them how they are doing and here's some verses where you can begin to focus in to make you stronger.