For the Music, Not the Fame

Recently watched the documentary Pearl Jam 20 by Cameron Crowe (I love you Cameron Crowe!), and I thought it had a ton of lessons for church planters. Here’s one…
One of the interesting things you learn about Pearl Jam is that they didn’t get into music for the fame it might bring. Vedder says of becoming popular, “I’m just not into it,” and you believe him. Years later when they became huge and won a grammy, Eddie walked up to the podium, looked blankly at the gold statue, and gave his acceptance speech, “I don’t know what this means. I think this doesn’t mean anything.” In fact, in 2006, Rolling Stone magazine described the band as having “spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame.” Pearl Jam got into music for the music, not for the fame it might bring. Maybe that’s why they’ve lasted while almost every other band from their era has fallen by the wayside.
One of the biggest concerns I have for church planters today is what seems like a quest for fame. We’d all say we want Jesus to be the one who gets famous (which I’m actually not so sure is what Jesus is actually after), but it seems like we don’t complain if we get famous along with Him. In fact, we’ll let you know just how famous we are by telling you how many people read our blog and follow us on Twitter, and we accept meaningless awards on how big or fast growing our churches are. And maybe that’s why a lot of us won’t last and will fall by the wayside.


  1. YoRichie on December 1, 2011 at 3:08 am

    This is an interesting post Vince. Vedder has actually become more popular for his political stances along with some of his music. Kinda like some church folk have allowed themselves to do too? Interesting analogy.