Yesterday it occurred to me that I’ve never once been in a green room that was actually green! This really bothered me. Don’t ask me why…but these are the things I ponder when I should be outside mowing my yard that’s a foot tall. But that’s beside the point.
From playing in a multitude of churches, I’ve seen my fair share of “green rooms”. Some were super swag complete with an espresso machine, chilled VOSS waters, and a smorgasbord of snacks for the worship team. Other green rooms were basically large scary closets that reminded me of the Chokey from the movie Matilda. I vividly remember one having a TV with an Xbox hooked up to it. Some of you may be reading this thinking “That’s ridiculous”. Others may say…” that would be nice to have”. I mean seriously….if your pastor preaches 3 times on a Sunday it would be nice to take a break to get a couple rounds of Call of Duty in before you have to play again.
However, I think [MOST] churches shouldn’t have green rooms.
There I said it. Before you bless me out and write passive aggressive facebook posts under the guise of sarcasm…please hear me out!
Green rooms can create complacency-
When your worship team hangs out in the green room away from the rest of the church you run the risk of causing some of your people to think of themselves as the VIP’s. They get to enter through that proverbial velvet rope and leave everybody else behind the green room door. This is when the whole “us and them” mentality starts to take root in their hearts. They start to believe that their musical talent has somehow made them more worthy of worship than the people in the congregation that aren’t on stage. How do I know this? Because I was “that guy”.
Green rooms can create cliques-
It’s one thing to hang out with a team and build community. However, if your team is always placed in a situation to isolate themselves they will develop their own “worship clique”. Rather than reaching out to newcomers they will get comfortable only talking with each other and building up their repertoire of inside jokes. They will find themselves not knowing many people outside of the worship team and risk disconnecting from the rest of the body. I once had a guitarist who told me, “I don’t really know anybody that’s not in the band”. He had been playing with us for 6 months.
Now that’s a scary thought…my own team members not even knowing the people whom they are leading in worship. Yikes!
Green rooms can create contradiction-
It looks bad when the church never sees the worship team listening to the message or the pastor never worshiping during the music. I have personally witnessed a member of the congregation calling out the electric guitarist as to why he never saw him listening to the message. Was it awkward? Absolutely! Should he have done that in front of other members? Probably not. But was he wrong? I’d say no.
If you are on the worship team I’d like to congratulate you. Why? Because you’re a leader. As a leader, you need to lead others by your example. If you choose to be in a green room instead of being amongst the congregation or sitting with them during the message, you have effectively shown them through your actions that neither is important to you. You could be listening and taking notes in the green room. You could even be the kind of person that listens to the church podcast later during the week. It doesn’t matter; perception is everything.
“We need the green room to pray together”. – Really? Last time I checked I don’t need a special room to pray to God.
“We need to have a place to go over everything and communicate”. – That’s what an order of worship and using your worship planning software is for.
“We don’t want to create distractions through movement”. – Text/message your people a min or two before the pastor winds down to give them the signal.
“Our church is too big.” – I’ve been in churches holding over 2,000 people and their leadership/teams managed to be among the congregation.
“Our pastor needs a place to relax and prepare for preaching.” – He can use his office.
Despite my harsh view of green rooms, I think there are exceptions. For example, If you are a large church that hosts well-known artists and speakers…a green room is beneficial for their performance and security. Although, I still think you’d be better off painting your green room dark grey and using it for storing all those little cups for communion.
All this being said, every church is different. If my viewpoint has angered you, please don’t google where I live and key my car. I always welcome the feedback below 🙂 Conversation and the viewpoints of others make us GROW.
Now back to mowing my yard….
Prepare For Worship. A resource provided to you by WorshipTrac.