In the last few years, ChatGPT has emerged as one of the top Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, garnering significant attention worldwide. Powered by AI technology, this language-processing tool provides a nearly human-like conversational experience. Its chatbot feature, which can answer questions and assist with writing projects, draws upon an extensive base of training data from social media, websites, and other online sources.

Katie Allred, a Church Communications and AI expert, recently sat down with Cassandra Robinson, one of the hosts of the AI for Churches podcast, to discuss how AI tools can aid churches in organizing information and generating usable content. Their conversation highlighted the benefits of ChatGPT and unpacked:

  • AI Tools for Church Transcription and Sermon Preparation
  • Leveraging ChatGPT on Social Media
  • Future of AI Tools in the Next 10 Years
  • Embracing AI as a Tool for Good
  • Maintaining Human and Spiritual Elements in Church While Leveraging ChatGPT

Read on for more from their discussion “Amen for AI: Leveraging ChatGPT for Church Communications & Outreach.”

AI Tools for Church Transcription and Sermon Preparation

“AI is like having a personal assistant to help you organize your information. It can come up with some great information, but the more you feed it, the better it will be.”

Using AI to transcribe sermons is one of the most effective methods for churches to leverage technology. Katie discussed the evolution of her role at a church, detailing the transition from manual transcription to the use of AI for sermon summarization. Initially, a medical transcriptionist crafted these sermon transcriptions. However, the church soon started employing Otter AI for swift transcriptions, transforming those into highlights, summaries, and ready-for-social-media quotes instantly.

As tools like ChatGPT and similar AI systems emerged, the processing time was remarkably reduced, leading to greater efficiency. Katie highlighted recent advancements in AI tools, such as:

The novelty of these tools lies in their ability to streamline the preparation of social media content by selecting the most impactful parts of the sermon and adorning them with captions or music. Despite requiring some checks, the introduction of AI technology significantly cut down the time invested in content preparation from hours to just seconds.

Leveraging ChatGPT on Social Media

“Sermons really require a personal element because God works through you and because that’s just how people are changed. Life changes happen in the context of relationships. It doesn’t happen any other way.”

While discussing generative AI, Katie highlighted the potential of tools like ChatGPT in the spheres of marketing, communication planning, and writing. To illustrate ChatGPT’s capabilities, Katie uses the example of crafting a marketing plan for Easter. She explains how ChatGPT can generate targeted questions to shape a comprehensive strategy, responding to user input about the target audience, specific dates, and other variables.

However, both Katie and Cassandra point out that AI remains a tool, not a creator. It requires user’s input and guidance to produce meaningful results and cannot completely replace the human touch necessary for tasks, such as sermon-writing. While AI can assist in tasks, it still requires a human presence to infuse a personal touch and ensure quality in the output.

Future of AI Tools in the Next 10 Years

“We’re in the wild, wild west. It’s like the beginning of social media, which was quite a fun time.”

Katie anticipates a significant evolution in AI tools like ChatGPT in the coming years, drawing a parallel between the current stage of AI development and the early stages of social media. She predicts many tools will be created based on existing AI models, given their proficiency in handling complex tasks, such as Claude‘s ability to read a PDF and answer questions about it.

They were optimistic regarding AI’s critical role in sectors such as healthcare and church administration for tasks like diagnostics, predictive analysis of attendance and giving patterns, small group management, and discipleship. They emphasize the importance of education surrounding AI, recognizing its growth as a resource that simplifies jobs and boosts the efficiency of information dissemination.

Embracing AI as a Tool for Good

“God has given us the intelligence to create this tool to create AI, so why not harness it and leverage it to expand God’s kingdom and use it for good.”

AI, when used correctly, has the potential to enhance our skills and amplify our work. Katie and Cassandra perceive AI as a gift bestowed on humanity by God, envisioning it a tool for good, akin to the inventions of print media, TV, radio, or the internet. They acknowledge that while such technological advancements can have both positive and negative effects, it is vital to embrace the benefits they provide. AI is here for the long haul and users should focus on how best to leverage it. Echoing something said by Jason Hamrock in his podcast episode, Katie and Cassandra agreed that these technological advancements are neither unexpected nor surprising to God, reaffirming their potential divine significance.

Maintaining Human and Spiritual Elements in Church While Leveraging ChatGPT

“At the end of the day, we still have to have that personal touch to what this is producing and what it’s creating.”

In the context of harnessing AI while maintaining the human touch within your church, Katie and Cassandra emphasize the importance of personal anecdotes and stories, which AI cannot create. They explore AI’s potential in aiding biblical research, such as identifying themes or collating relevant verses on specific aspects like God’s compassion. Both agree that AI’s capability to streamline and expedite such tasks can save time, making Bible studies and curriculum creation significantly more manageable.

Go deeper into this topic by catching the full discussion!

Amen for AI: Leveraging ChatGPT for Church Communications & Outreach

About the AI for Churches Podcast

Airing monthly, AI for Churches is a podcast focused on helping church leaders harness the power of artificial intelligence and unlock AI’s potential for ministry. Our hosts investigate the tools, topics, and opinions that live at the intersection of artificial intelligence and Christianity. Catch us on your favorite podcast platform!