Talent Isn’t Enough

Recently watched the documentary Pearl Jam 20by Cameron Crowe (I love you Cameron Crowe!), and I thought it had a ton of lessons for church planters. Here’s one…


Andrew Wood (singer for Mother Love Bone, which later kind of morphed into Pearl Jam) and Chris Cornel (singer for Soundgarden, and later Audioslave, and who has a voice straight from God) lived together when they were first starting out, and each wrote and recorded a song every single day, which they would then play for each other. Like workaholic singer/songwriter accountability.

The idea exists that some singers just have this innate talent and jump on a stage and get discovered. The reality is that even talented people have to work their butts off if they want to succeed.

Why do some guys start churches that thrive, while others start churches that don’t even survive? There are all kinds of factors, but one of them is hard work. Some people might say I’m smart or gifted, but I don’t know about that. I think what God has used in me is hard work. You can get a lot of ministry done when you put in 65 to 80 hours a week, every week.

And you know what? If you write enough songs you keep getting better at it, and some of the songs end up working. And if you do enough ministry you keep getting better at it, and some of the ministries in your church end up working.

Talent isn’t enough. It takes hard work. Lots of hard work.

So … if you’re a church planter, or thinking about starting a church, how hard are you really willing to work?

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