Stephen and Alex Kendrick Say “Overcomer” Doesn’t ‘Water Down the Gospel’ Because Their ‘First Audience’ is the Church But Non-believers Can Still Enjoy the Film

Alex and Stephen Kendrick attend the red carpet premiere of “Overcomer” in Atlanta on August 15, 2019. | The Christian Post/Leah Klett

While the newly released Kendrick brothers film “Overcomer” is overtly faith-based, both Christians and non-Christians alike will enjoy the drama, humor, and production quality the movie presents, the film’s creators and stars say. 

Stephen and Alex Kendrick, the filmmakers behind the movie, told The Christian Post at the red carpet premiere of “Overcomer” in Atlanta that while their “first audience” is the Church, they, like Jesus, are using storytelling to show nonbelievers the truth of the Gospel.

“There’s a temptation to water down the truth, and the whole time we’ve been very overt and open about what we believe,” Stephen Kendrick said. “This story doesn’t water down the Gospel, and it’s embedded with the truth. We believe, now more than ever, that the Church needs to hear overt truth.”

“But we also understand the need to go to nonbelievers and communicate biblical truth in like a parable format as Jesus did. We try to package truth in an inspirational story that anybody can relate to. Everybody’s going to be touched by marriage difficulties at one point or another, or the trials that come with losing your identity. So regardless of what you believe, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll enjoy the movie, even if you don’t know the Lord. We try to include the Gospel in all of our movies so that a nonbeliever will hear it and hopefully come to Christ as a result of it.”

Alex Kendrick noted, “We want to be found faithful to redeem the time while we can.”

Now in theaters, “Overcomer” follows high school basketball coach John Harrison and his team as they face an uncertain future when their town’s largest manufacturing plant shuts down unexpectedly.

As his team dwindles away, John reluctantly agrees to coach cross-country, a sport he doesn’t even like. However, after meeting Hannah Scott, an unlikely runner who pushes herself to the limit, his attitude begins to change. Thanks to the words and prayers of a new friend, John starts to train Hannah for the biggest race of her life.

Priscilla Shirer, who stars in the film as Principal Olivia Brooks, told CP that the film’s compelling storytelling and cinematic excellence will attract secular viewers as well as a Christian audience.

“This is a totally different time than it was 10 or 15 years ago when all of us were embarrassed to even go to a faith-based film,” she told CP. “We saw the shift with ‘War Room’ — that film was such a success because the story was so solid and full of emotion. So even if someone isn’t a Christian, they will enjoy the quality of this movie and the heart that comes with it.”

Shirer added that after starring in “War Room,” she received numerous letters from both believers and nonbelievers who shared how the film improved their marriage.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett