Sometimes I’m the ‘clicker’. Somebody has to be the clicker so it might as well be me. The clicker has an important job. It requires some skill. When you’re the clicker timing is everything. You have to be attentive; completely hyper-vigilant. It can be rather exhausting paying that close of attention. It helps to suffer a bit with obsessive compulsive disorder. If you miss a click everything gets messed up. People look around and wonder what happened. If they notice you’re the clicker, they stare at you. Sometimes they frown or even glare. It’s embarrassing to be the clicker and miss a click. I like to do a good job clicking so I try to pay attention so that there are no clicking gaffes on my watch. But I’m also rather ADD and sometimes I mess up. Then I feel bad. If you miss a click it’s hard to know to whom to apologize. The poor leader reciting the Apostles Creed looking askance? The band suddenly singing by themselves?People who have no idea what the next sermon point is supposed to be? You end up just shrugging your shoulders and apologizing to everyone for your ineptitude.
Having been the clicker, I greatly appreciate clickers. I like how they willingly volunteer to do the job. Well, sometimes they don’t really ‘willingly’ volunteer, but get coerced into doing it by Pastor Eric. Eric can be pretty persuasive. That’s how I got my start as a clicker. He looked all flustered and helpless two minutes before the service and told me I needed to step up and click. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. I made lots of rookie errors early on. I’d get lost in the worship experience and forget to click. The clicker has multiple buttons and sometimes I’d fat-finger and hit the wrong one. It’s hard work to click so I like to thank the clickers for their service to the community. A good clicker is worth their weight in gold. You should probably invite clickers over for dinner or send them a thank you note or at least pray for them occasionally.
The best clickers are so good that they can go through an entire worship service and make zero mistakes. Most times you don’t even know who they are. They sit out among the congregation and surreptitiously push buttons without even looking down at the clicker in their lap. Things unroll in perfect order. I aspire to clicker excellence, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never be among the best. At my age, declining eyesight and slowing reflexes conspire to make it difficult to click. The age of decay we live in means the immediate future isn’t likely to make my clicking better. Experience helps, of course. I know that you have to click while there are still a few words left on the slide otherwise it creates havoc for the readers and singers as they wait for words to appear. If you click too soon people can’t remember the last words on the previous slide. If you wait too long to click you get awkward moments like, “Our Father who art in heaven (pause… pause… long pause (everyone looks around impatiently)… pause…)) hallowed be thy name…” That’s kind of awkward. I know about how long to wait during silent prayer before clicking to the Prayer of Confession slide. If you wait too long people get nervous about the quantity of your sins, but if you click too soon they wonder if you’re taking sin seriously enough. Experience helps, but with a little observation and a bit of practice a clicker can gain proficiency pretty quickly.
Sometimes the ‘slide preparers’ mess up. I love and appreciate slide preparers but they are human and sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes people get upset with the clicker when it’s really the slide preparers who are at fault. Sometimes when people stare at me when I’m clicking because the words on the screen are all wrong, I just want to jump up and yell, “It’s not me! It’s the slide preparer’s fault!” You can easily forgive slide preparers because they lead such troubled lives. They have to depend on musicians to provide proper lyrics in proper sequence and musicians are notoriously bad at getting that all perfect. Besides musicians love to just jam and rock out and sometimes musicians will randomly cut back to the bridge or repeat verse three or sing the chorus one more time and mess everything up. We love musicians but lets face it, they can make things difficult for clickers. Even then the professional, and attentive slide clicker can change direction in a heartbeat and somehow find the right slide and make it all work.
Musicians and slide preparers and clickers working in concert are a foretaste of heaven, I think. God bless them all.