Big Bother is watching you

Ahoy there blogmates!

It will now be much more difficult to find somewhere to sit in our church…

security camera
our camera is a lot more discrete!

…where you can’t see what is going on. We have installed a video camera and some extra screens so that wherever you sit you should be able to see what is happening. We had a demo yesterday from the installers and it is very good. I am impressed with the quality of the video image and also with the zoom range and flexibility of the camera. The camera is one that is designed primarily as a security camera but the resolution is brilliant.

The operator has incredible flexibility to be able to zoom in, pan around and zoom out on most places downstairs and parts of the balcony too! While the prime purpose is to enable people to see what is happening at the front, it will also enable us to zoom in on members of the congregation.

We can focus on those who have fallen asleep in the sermon.

We can zoom in on someone’s sermon ‘notes’ to see if they are writing or doodling.

We can see who is joining in with activities or sitting on their hands (metaphorically or literally).

We can look at people who are chatting to each other rather than paying attention.

We can see who sneaks in late.

We can watch the behaviour of young people who sit opposite the camera in the balcony.

We can see who is not in church but noting the empty place where they usually sit.

And so on.

Mischievous operators at the training session yesterday were suggesting that they could allocate some of the 100+ preset positions for the camera to where people regularly sit, especially if they are likely to drop off, doodle, etc…

Never mind ‘Big Brother is watching you’, this will be ‘Big Brother or Sister in the Lord is watching you’!

Of course we would not do that. (This is also a message to camera operators!). We would not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. The purpose of the camera is to help us be more inclusive of everyone in the church, not embarrass people.

But it is a reminder that nothing we do is beyond God’s view. That may make us feel uncomfortable or guilty (in which case a quick session of forgiveness-seeking will help us out) but it is actually something that can encourage and bless. Nothing that happens to us goes unnoticed by God. Nothing that upsets us is missed or ignored. Nothing that makes us scream in anguish or frustration leads God to wonder what that was about. So when we come to him in prayer about these things he already knows. It is not a surprise to him. He wants to invite us to pray about them so that we can more consciously involve him in them, we can more overtly acknowledge his presence, we can more readily seek and accept his will.

If or when you come to our church I hope the new technology will enable you to feel more involved, included and better able to participate in the service. God’s participating in that too!

Be blessed, be a blessing.


True story (unverified)
A man successfully broke into a bank after hours and stole the bank’s video camera (never mind all the money there!). 

While it was recording. 

Remotely. 

(That is, the videotape recorder was located elsewhere in the bank, so he didn’t get the videotape of himself stealing the camera.) 

One thought on “Big Bother is watching you”

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