The AI for Churches Podcast
The AI for Churches Podcast
Ep. 1: Harnessing the Power of AI for Sermon Prep & Delivery with David Thorne, Church Growth Consultant

Episode Description:

In the premiere episode of the AI for Churches podcast, your host Cassandra Robinson chats with David Thorne, a church growth expert from Missional Marketing, about leveraging AI to save pastors valuable time in sermon preparation. This episode explores how AI can accelerate the brainstorming and research phase by generating ideas, stories, quotes, and Bible verses. They delve into the responsible use of AI in the church, discussing the difference between AI and automation and highlighting the potential benefits and limitations of AI in ministry. David introduces two generative AI tools, Bard and ChatGPT, ideal for pastors. He also shares insights on how AI can serve as personal assistants, assisting in sermon writing, creating social media content, and translating materials into multiple languages. They wrap up with a discussion on the future developments of AI within religious institutions and debunk the misconception that AI is inherently anti-Christian.

Episode Highlights:

  • (01:12) Introduction to David Thorne
  • (03:03) Understanding the difference between AI and automation
  • (05:17) AI’s role in saving time in sermon preparation
  • (08:40) Introduction to AI tools Bard and ChatGPT
  • (10:35) Exploring AI beneficial features for sermon writing
  • (13:22) Practical example of using ChatGPT for sermon preparation
  • (18:00) Overcoming challenges of using AI for sermon preparation
  • (24:03) The human element in sermon preparation and the role of the Holy Spirit
  • (35:25) Forecasting the future of AI in the church
  • (38:14) Previewing image generation technology for sermon preparation
  • (40:38) Dispelling the myth that AI is anti-Christian

Guest Bio:

David Thorne is a former pastor, church planter and Church Growth Consultant at Missional Marketing who is passionate about leveraging AI to save pastors time on sermon preparation, allowing them to dedicate more focus to ministry and fostering meaningful connections within their congregations.

Notable Quotes:

  1. “What if you could use AI for brainstorming sermon ideas? With AI, you’d have stories, quotes, and bible verses in just five minutes, ready to move right into the writing portion of sermon preparation.” – David (05:20)
  2. “AI can help you with sermon outlines, potential sermon titles, and even a list of sermon titles for a sermon series.” – David (10:57)
  3. “In the near future, AI, like ChatGPT, will be able to write a full 30-minute sermon with a few purposeful prompts.” – David (21:36)
  4. “AI will undoubtedly become the main way we do things. It’s a matter of you jumping on board.” – David (33:17)
  5. “The fear that AI is anti-Christian is unfounded. AI doesn’t hate Christians or have a bias against Christianity.” – David (40:39)


Cassandra Robinson

David Thorne