What Church Green Rooms Communicate

If a worship ministry detaches from the people it is called to lead, it is difficult to guide them anywhere. The most effective leadership is the kind that is connected to the congregation.

When a worship team isolates itself from the rest of the congregation, detachment can kill it. Not only will it kill the team’s dynamic, but it will also kill the team’s effectiveness regarding its impact on the congregation.  

You will have minimal impact where you have minimal presence.

I learned this reality firsthand when I transitioned into the role of Worship Pastor while our church was in the middle of a worship center construction. I suddenly became invited to numerous meetings with architects, designers, and engineers. Coming into the discussions late into the process, I often had questions or suggestions regarding the local church’s future and how it related to the current building project.

One building concept was a strange addition to the plan. The unique plan included a church green room. I had always thought of a green room as a place where the entertainers were protected from the audience to provide the best performance possible. So, why would a church even need a green room?

  • The worship team is not a group of entertainers.
  • Those in attendance are not the audience.
  • The goal of worship should not be performance.

I was honestly unsure what benefits a green room would create for our congregation. I was told by architectural experts that many churches our size had a green room where the pastor and the band could prepare and unplug while it wasn’t their specific time to be leading on stage. While I didn’t buy into all the intricacies of the concept, I did understand the need for having a set place to gather, discuss, and pray before the service. Since the space was available and had a somewhat logical intended purpose, I didn’t make a big deal about it.  

Once we opened the worship center, my reactions taught me something. Whenever anyone would speak on stage or off stage regarding a meeting in the green room, I would cringe. The phrase made me sick to my stomach. A green room implied some type of separation between the leaders and the congregants. It implied that an elite group needed to be protected from distractions like real people with real needs. It made me feel like we were there just to perform a task on a stage devoid of relationships with people. If it appears I made too big a deal about this, you must realize that I am fiercely opposed to inheriting the behaviors of the world within the church.  

It is always a tragedy when the people of God learn how to worship God from those who do not know God.

The Bible warns about learning worship practices from the world.

  • God would not allow Nadab and Abihu to offer “strange fire” upon the altar because this practice was discouraged in Scripture (Lev 10:1).
  • God was angry enough to kill Uzzah (2 Sam 6:7) when he cared for the things of God in the same manner that he learned from the pagan Philistines (1 Sam 6:8).
  • Jesus quoted Isaiah (Isa 29:13) by warning against worshipping according to what we learn from men rather than what is commanded by God (Mark 7:7).

While the concept of a green room is not as severe as those examples mentioned, it is a symptom of a larger problem – the Church is often too prone to adopt the principles of this world than we are to obey the commands of Scripture. We tend to take our cues from the world and try to apply them directly within our churches. Any attempt to baptize worldly practices can never truly convert sinful motivations.  It doesn’t matter how musicians operate in the world. The world’s standard should never dictate the church’s mission.  

There is no room for celebrities in our churches.

Unfortunately, worship teams are becoming increasingly detached from the congregations they are called to serve. While I prefer not having a green room, I don’t fault churches that do. There are practical benefits to the inclusion, but the subtle consequences should be considered. If you do see the need for a green room, I encourage you to make time to be around the people in your church during gathering times.  

If you are called to lead people, you need to be around them – not just in front of them.

MORE WORSHIP POSTS

5 Dangers for Every Worship Ministry

Those who lead in worship have a pivotal role in the health of all those gathered. Your team could fall prey to one of these common traps if you aren’t careful.

No Place for Entitled Worship Leaders

Stages can lend way to entitled attitudes, and worship leaders aren’t immune from it. If we keep our focus on Jesus, we will maintain a proper perspective.