Last month we had our second annual Influence Conference and man, it was so fun. The Lord showed up, our girls were amazing, relationships were built, and in general - it was just one of my favorite weekends of the whole year. But I noticed something interesting, for the second year in a row. Our green room? It stunk.
If you're not aware, at conferences, the green room is the plush suite somewhere off to the side where speakers and VIPs and sponsors and hosts can eat and relax and be set apart and have a safe spot. This was the second year where we genuinely put it on our to-do lists "get some good stuff for the green room" and it was the second year that we just didn't get to it. There were boxes scattered around from when we packed up the gift bags for our attendees and there were shoes that one of us had thrown off in haste the first night when they got too uncomfortable. Occasionally you'd find a core team husband in there shushing a baby or one of our amazing team members type type typing away at a last minute spreadsheet. But our speakers? For the most part, they weren't there. Most of them were sitting in sessions and taking notes. They were hugging and praying with women. They were busy not being famous and they were busy being caring. They were killing our green room.
As I've mulled on this wild and free thought, it's taken lots of different forms in my head. For a few days, I sort of inwardly (and occasionally outwardly) ranted about Christian Culture celebrities and why do we put them on a pedestal and why do they want one? Why is there a magic curtain and why are there these strange hierarchies of famous bloggers or famous pastors or famous Christians even? Why do we pay speakers and teachers of the gospel thousands and thousands of dollars to speak the gospel truth they should be THRILLED to share? Do the famed want to be there or do we put them there because we want someone to revere? Is it both? Do they need protection or do they need humility? Do we need them to be separate so we can respect them more or do we need to see them in the flesh so we can realize they're just like us, humans who need the gospel?
And I thought about Paul.
Who was the chief of all sinners turned the man who contributed over half of the New Testament. What would he say about the green room?
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
It seems like Paul didn't come for the money.
It seems like Paul didn't come to be known as something good.
It seems like Paul didn't want to be famous.
It seems like He wanted to tell people about THE famous One.
And the more I let this scripture rattle around in my heart, the more I felt the Lord convicting me and asking me what I thought about the green room. Do I want to be known as anything but someone proclaiming Christ and Him crucified? Do I want to be set apart as special or is Him calling me chosen and holy and His special enough? Am I working for money or profit or gain that will only rot? Or am I working for eternal reward alone, motivated by grace and the strength I find in Him when I let my weakness show? On the flip side, do I put people in the greenroom? Do I read their tweets or their books or their blogs and assume they most be somehow less human and more revered? Do I give people authority and opinion and voice over my Heavenly Father?
My ranting is over and my eyes are on the Lord.
I am starting with me and asking Him to change my heart.
To return my identity to the wild and to set free me from wrong desires and allegiances.
I am applying grace to the famous and fame-makers and praying for the return of the fame of Jesus alone in our hearts, mine particularly.
I am killing the green room.
I'm at the tail end of writing for 31 days about being Wild and Free.
You can read the rest of the posts here, but in all honesty -
none of them scared me as much as this one.