Thursday, August 13, 2015


Actor/Director/Producer Pastor Alex Kendrick on point
The newest (and most powerful) offering from the Kendrick Brothers – War Room – is the most intense and timely of any of their previous, life-changing films.  Alex and Stephen Kendrick  are associate pastors of the great Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia which is middle class Americana, at its best! When they started doing films as outreach tools, these authentic men and their senior pastor Michael Catt never imagined the amazing response of the American public to their movies. They have since branched out into their own production company, called Kendrick Brothers and War Room represents their first major project independently of Sherwood….and what a movie this is!

War Room will take the Christian world by storm – across the board and across racial lines! Having had three months to ponder the message and methodology of this new movie (released August 28, 2015), the inspiration behind War Room, could not be more obvious.  As an active minister, now in my third decade as an intercessor, I can see the Mighty Hand of God behind this profound screenplay, from the pastoral hearts of the Kendricks.  Because there are at least 2-3 years between each of their previous Sherwood masterpieces, this Georgia-based team spends a lot of time in prayer, discussion, Research and auditioning as to who would be the most perfect cast for this project. It is obvious, that with War Room,  the Kendricks has a potential mega-hit on their hands! 
Priscilla Shirer ("Elizabeth") in her "War Room" 

War Room’s highest profile cast member is Priscilla Shirer, who has the lead role in the movie and is better known as a senior Women’s Bible Study creator of Lifeway – the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention! Priscilla is much less known as the daughter of the great Dr. Tony Evans of Oakcliff Bible Church in Dallas, whom everyone regards as the most popular and solid African-American preacher in America.  As an aside,  it appears that the entire Evans family is destined for greatness. Singer Anthony Evans got his start in worship music at the 2006 Southern Baptist Convention in Greensboro, NC. Former NFL player Jonathan Evans is a huge draw at national Men’s conferences and is set to be Dr. Evans replacement one day and now sister Priscilla puts in the most dynamic, convincing role of a lifetime as the seemingly wronged wife of the lead male cast member TC Stallings (as go-getter medical sales rep Tony Jordan).

Just briefly, the story revolves around an upper middle-class married couple – Tony and Elizabeth (Shirer) Jordan who live in a huge suburban mansion with their young daughter. Like most professing Christians, Tony does what it takes to put on a good show on Sundays with his “Christian” friends while cutting corners and wheeling-dealing the rest of this week, in order to pay for their over-priced house and two expensive automobiles. Elizabeth is in the real estate business, in dire need of some contract sales to keep up her side of their marital/home “arrangement”.  Things are already close to the edge for this couple and their walk of Faith. Compounding the complicated, Tony’s flirting with another woman leads to a romantic dinner with her as a scary adulterous relationship seemed to appear on the horizon. It never happened due to what can only be termed divine intervention. In the meantime, his wife is experiencing one personal crisis after another, including a crisis of Faith.
Here is where the most unforgettable character in the film comes in and where the genius of the Kendrick Brothers shines.  They wrote a gem around a character named Miss Clara (Karen Abercombie) who not only looks and reminds me of my own prayer warrior mother, but can be anyone’s praying grandmother! Her Godly and inspired wisdom in mentoring the troubled stressed-out Shirer character is a thing to behold. It is true discipleship right in front of your eyes.  Karen Abercombie did such a masterful job in her role as the elderly saint and mentor on Prayer and a Right Relationship with God, that you would think she was always this perfect. But no human being ever was perfect, since the Fall in the Garden. Here is where the second major theme of WAR ROOM – Grace – really hits like an F5 tornado. The moments in the lives of the major characters are so outstanding in this film,  it both takes your breath away and become “break out the Kleenex” moments. They are expertly written and produced. Even a casual viewer CAN NOT miss the true meaning of what Grace REALLY is and thus, what Christ did for us on the Cross.

These are the two major accomplishments of War Room.  Because both Kendricks are the writers, producers and obviously the Spiritual directors of this new classic on Prayer and Mentoring,  they succeed in their united mission. “Prayer is so much more than people realize,” said Producer and co-writer Stephen Kendrick. “It (Prayer) can powerfully affect every problem and need in our lives if engaged from within a vibrant relationship with God.”  Stephen is the behind the scenes Kendrick while Alex has acted in all of them, but their pastors heart is evident as well as the months and months of prayer that went into making War Room.

Alex Kendrick said: “We made this film to inspire, challenge, and motivate families to fight the right kind of battles and to fight them the best way possible”. This can only be achieved, in my opinion, when child of God grows to a level of maturity that the need to have a secret place, to fight the battles of life on our knees is necessary. This “prayer closet”  (which can be our quiet living room early in the morning or anywhere) must be a place where we meet regularly with God. Then, once we are able to walk in righteousness through this daily discipline, we are compelled to share with and teach somebody else about the Grace and Goodness of God.  In short, this is the underlying message of War Room, which the screenplay being the engine used to convey this truth. 


The Kendrick Brothers accomplished ALL of their stated goals here in so many ways – by crossing racial and class lines and with the great sense of humor they have come to be well known for, in all their previous films. In so many ways, War Room has all the tools to be the transformative film of the year. Along with their upcoming new War Room Prayer Study guide resources,  (similar to the Love Dare from Fireproof and the Resolution from Courageous), War Room will impact lives for the Kingdom from deep within, for years to come. 

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