Monday, October 7, 2019

Greenroom vs Greenhouse

I heard a comment on a podcast the other day that has had me thinking.  It was in the middle of a conversation about yet another church leader that made a big public announcement about rejecting Christianity.  The comment was something like this: The greenroom is a lousy place to grow your faith.

Greenroom?  I had to look it up.  Do you know what a greenroom is?  It’s a sitting room or parlor where performers hang out before or after they are on stage, or during a performance when they aren’t involved.  As I read the definition, some of my favorite scenes from movies like That Thing You Do and A Mighty Wind came to mind.  “Ah!  Guy…see what the world looks like through those.”

The sentiment behind the statement was this: if the bulk of your ministry takes place on or around the stage, there are dangers and downsides.  If I let my mind wander there, I could see how a faith grown in a Greenroom might lead to:
  • mask wearing 
  • a performance mentality
  • pride
  • a focus on the external
  • an unhealthy focus on pleasing an audience
  • detachment from reality 

What to do?  What do do?  Here’s an idea: What if colleges and schools and church staff and music producers and concert venue managers encouraged greenrooms to be more like greenhouses?

What is a greenhouse?  I would venture to say a greenhouse would be a terrific place to grow your faith.  It is an environment where conditions are managed to foster real, organic growth, where things are alive, multiplying, where there is fruit and flourishing.

The question behind the Sunken Church is pertinent here.  What does the Church look like, in this culture, for this generation, when it is drawn up out of the waters we’ve submerged it in?

I love the question posed by David Kinnaman in his latest book as he helps us wrestle with raising resilient followers of Jesus in the church today.  Take away the stage and the Sunday morning service, but leave the mission of the church in place.  What does it look like for this generation?

It better look a whole lot more like a greenhouse than a greenroom.  If not, we can expect nothing more than what we are seeing more of: hollow, shallow, performance driven gatherings and buildings that are empty shells or museums.  Instead, let us replace fluorescent bulbs with sunlight.  Let us replace a well stocked bar with honest, intentional conversations.  Let us reorganize and reprogram and rebuild for real, healthy, authentic green house faith.

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