Would you like to Operate the Projector?

Oh dear. I’ve been wondering when this question would come, and unfortunately it has come much sooner than I would have liked.

First Some Background

Like many churches in the UK, our current church and our last church have joined the revolution and now project the words to songs on a screen using a computer and digital projector. This has a distinct advantage over using acetate in that presentations, images and videos can also be projected using the same equipment.

In our last church I was one of the regular projector operators and being computer literate I had an advantage over the other people on the OHP rota in that the technology didn’t intimidate me and I knew exactly what I was doing and couldn’t (or wouldn’t) mess things up by guessing or doing random stuff for the sake of it. It also helped that my wife leads worship occasionally and so I have an understanding of the needs of the worship leader and what the projector operator should or shouldn’t do to make the worship leader’s life easier.

So with these two advantages, it is safe to say that I was pretty much the favoured projector operator in our last church. It wasn’t unusual for the pastor to beam widely when he saw that it was me on duty.

Back to the Present

I dropped off the rota several months before we moved because I didn’t want to do it anymore. With our move I am very happy not having the responsibility and still don’t want it. With our new church duly informed (by our last church as part of membership transfer) that my wife and I make a good worship leading and projector operating combo; I knew that the inevitable question would be asked. I just hoped it would not be this soon.

The reasons for me being asked are legitimate, two people have dropped off the rota in the last week. One because he turned 80 and had always said he would stop at that age, another due to a much more conservative stance and simply not liking some of the worship changes. Apparently a hymn should be sung as it is written and thou shalt not change it about. Who said that a hymn had the same importance as the biblical word? Anyway, that’s not the point of this post, so best not get distracted.

How can I say No?

I don’t think I can really. The church has a need and I am very much one of the best qualified people to do it. Its my gift if you like. The pastor knows my faith position (https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/the-coming-out-begins/) and so he obviously has no issue with me doing the job, so he asked me if I would consider it.

I did tell him that in all honesty I was hoping not to have to get involved, but that I would think about it.

In discussing it with my wife later she suggested that I might like doing it because it would mean I could legitimately hide away from the rest of the congregation (the operator sits alone up in the balcony at the back of the church) and not have to worry about pretending anything or being uncomfortable. That was a genuinely thoughtful suggestion and I hadn’t considered it, however I didn’t really like that as a motive for doing it. It feels false an insincere to use that as a motive for operating the projector.

However, given my state of faith, how could any motive be pure and Christian? That’s probably a question best left alone I think.

So I think I’m going to have to do it.

I don’t see any way round it, the church has a need, and I am a very good fit. My doing it will have a positive impact on the worship in the church and since my wife is now getting involved in worship leading I will be directly helping her. Atheist objections aside, I just don’t see how I can refuse and saying “I really don’t want to” seems to be somehow weak and petty, even though I know I won’t be viewed negatively for not doing it.

4 thoughts on “Would you like to Operate the Projector?

  1. “I just don’t see how I can refuse and saying “I really don’t want to” seems to be somehow weak and petty”

    I have a really hard time saying “no” to people. On the one hand I get exactly what you are saying. On the other, do you really want to be obligated to do something you really don’t want to do? Do you enjoy doing this? Will it seem a chore?

    • Hi D’Ma,

      – No
      – not enjoy, but not hate either, my wife is right in the sense it will be a distraction, which could be a good thing
      – don’t know, it depends

      In the grand scheme of things its not a big issue and I could back out if I really feel I don’t want to do it after a period.

    • Hi Wayne,

      That could be true. However, the issue for me with that idea is that first I would have to get back into a mindset where I acknowledge the existence of God.

      Since I am in a position where I reject that idea completely and its highly unlikely that I am going to hear a sermon that convinces me otherwise, how exactly is He going to get through?

      There is a back story here that leads up to my being asked to step up to help. It’s not right for me to divulge all the details, but I will say this, it involves the pastor (who I consider a friend) being personally upset and another individual very likely leaving the church.

      So, with that new information, I’d like to ask a very direct question. If it is God trying to speak to me, why has the situation that has led up to me being asked this question included this unpleasantness?

      Why would God create that scenario to put me in a situation where I am operating the projector when in reality it is not going to significantly change the volume of my attendance and even allow me to be doing something where I can legitimately pay less attention to the goings on at the front? How can me saying yes to this request be worth the personal hurt that has gone on behind the scenes?

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