I love the green room. Every Pastor does. Your favorite breakfast foods are there. Your favorite energy drinks and bottled waters are fully stocked. There’s a comfy spot for you to sit and study. You’re away from the crowd… and that’s the problem.
The green room used to be a place where the Pastor could collect his thoughts and look over his notes before preaching. Now it’s become a place where the Pastor hides from the congregation.
A couple of years ago, I found myself having very little contact with my congregation because I was “studying” in the green room. I had to get out of the green room because I was completely out of touch with people. So I made a decision to sit in the front row in every service and worship before I taught.
Let me share what I’ve learned…
#1 – I became a Worship Leader
When I got out of the Green Room and sat in the crowd with the rest of the church, they started watching how I worship. I heard frustration from leaders and staff about how the men weren’t engaging in worship. I realized it’s because none of the male leadership in the church were in the auditorium during worship.
Let’s fast forward 3 months. 12 Sundays after I started sitting in the front row and worship with the church the men were lifting their hands and singing loudly. They saw their pastor worship and they saw that as the model for how they should worship. The day we get out of the green room and get in the auditorium we become a worship leaders.
#2 – I Started Preparing my Heart
In the green room I was looking over my notes and preparing my message. When I started worshiping the Lord before I preached, I started preparing my heart. This was a complete game changer for me. I began to see my message as connected to the rest of the service. (I know we all say it’s connected, but few really believe it). Most of us see the message as the main course and the music as the appetizer. I know we will deny that publicly, but a lot of us think it. I did… and I was wrong.
My preaching got better when I stopped looking at the notes and started looking at the Lord before I preached.
#3 – I Experienced the Entire Service
If you’re a green room pastor, you only experience the part of the service you participate in – the message. When you get out of the green room, you see everything people are experiencing. Today when I preach, I will usually open by commenting on what has previously happened in the service. This way, we make the service one collective experience, but 3 or 4 independent modules that are loosely connected.
#4 – I Realized I was Ready to Preach
I used to hide in the green room under the guise of “I need a few minutes to make some final changes to the message”. Here’s what I know now – if I’m not ready to preach my message when I arrive at church, 10 minutes in the green room isn’t going to change it.
Here’s my encouragement to you – leave the green room. Get out amongst the people you teach and lead. Teach then to worship the Lord. Show them that worship isn’t the 15 minute they have to get to church before the message starts. It’s the time when God is preparing the soil of our hear to receive the seed of the Word.
Here’s how strongly I feel about this: our building that’s under construction isn’t going to have a green room. I don’t need one. As long as there’s an empty seat in the auditorium there’s a spot for me.