October 6, 2010
We’ve never really gotten into the whole projector thing at Transmission – largely, I think, because we’re in a different place every single week and that limits our ability to spend a lot of time setting up. (I think the paper-lantern labyrinth was the most involved set up we’ve had recently.)
Some other fresh expressions of church get a lot of use out of projectors, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. In my experience, projections are best when they are a substitute for stained glass – they enhance the mystical ambiance of a room, they provide a visual backdrop for sacred activity, and they convey emotional information to the gathered community.
Projectors are at their worst, however, when they’re used as a substitute for bulletins – we’ve all seen lyrics and liturgy projected on a screen against stock photos of pristine mountain landscapes, and we all know it sucks. I’m not a big fan of bulletins, in general, but they are very good at what they do – much better than PowerPoint, in fact.
I got to thinking about this due to a short little pamphlet by Seth Godin on really bad PowerPoint and how to avoid it. Maybe I’ll set myself a goal of doing a ritual that really makes creative
use of space and ambiance, and which uses projection in non-obvious ways…