Rethinking “Making Him Famous”

fameI don’t know where it started. My guess is within the “Restless and Reformed” community. I’m pretty sure that’s where I first heard it and continue to.

It sounds sexy doesn’t it?!

The phrase came about in a time when America and possibly much of the world became obsessed with fame.

Yeah we had always liked and admired our movie stars, but something happened in 2000’s that made us go crazy about fame. Maybe it was reality TV and the fact that regular people could be famous while possessing no talents that a reasonable person would consider entertaining, or maybe it was the advent of Youtube and viral videos enabling someone to become famous without even being on TV at all. A culmination of these things made people willing to get married on TV to a perfect stranger, or have the first year of marriage filmed for the world to see, it made Paris Hilton one of the most famous people in the world all because she… well I honestly don’t know what she does exactly.

I have no doubt that many people repeating this slogan are well-meaning and even hold in their hearts something good and right when they say it.

But I think it’s a mantra that begs for further examination.

Someone who follows a famous person is called a fan. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m a fan of more than a few people. But Jesus doesn’t need fans.


Maybe “making him famous,” isn’t something Jesus wants.

I’m sure that many are saying, ‘But Shane, doesn’t Jesus want to be known in people’s hearts?’ and to that I would say, of course he does, but who is first famous person that comes to your mind? Do you know them… in your heart? Do you know their deepest wants and needs, their dreams and fears? Of course not. You know of them, but you don’t know them.

Why on earth would we use the most superficial of words to describe the way in which Jesus wants to be known to the world?!

You might be thinking that this is splitting hairs, that it’s just semantics, but the truth is, words matter. Words matter greatly. They shape the way we think and behave. We can use them to convey God’s proper place in our hearts, or relegate him to the cover of an issue of Entertainment Weekly.



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

3 thoughts on “Rethinking “Making Him Famous”

  1. Dead on in my opinion.
    Rock and Roll died with MTV.  Then it became about the music VIDEO, and not the music.  Consquently, when it became about the video, musicianship became secondary, and rock and roll became a visual event, and decreasingly an audio event.  Now, all one has to do is stand behind their instruments and not even play a note and they get voted into the R and R Hall of Fame!
    The same thing is happening in the church.  At the heart of Christianity is to know Christ, and the “power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering” as Paul puts it.  It was about loving Christ and loving people.  Christianity was an experiential reality through the indwelling Spirit.   But then it became about something else, whatever that “something else” might be.  Now, as you point out, we have the “star system” firmly in place, like the old “MGM Star System” of the golden age of Hollywood.  
    Read the article by Ross Douthat (New York Times) entitled “Suicide Rate For Age 33 to 54 Increased by Nearly 30 Percent.”  It is the most gripping, honest, and, at the same time, tragic commentary on this culture I have ever read.  But it spoke to my heart in a very profound way.  I have no idea if he is a believer, but he is very close to the kingdom.

    • @DonFawcett The MTV illustration is perfect!
      It’s dangerous when we present Jesus as just another option out there in the vending machine of “stuff you need’

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