Introduction to AI

Sermons deserve to be heard far and wide, but spreading the Word efficiently takes strategy. This comprehensive guide explores how artificial intelligence can help you in the sermon preparation process and highlight ways to repurpose your existing content for different formats and platforms to amplify its impact exponentially.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial Intelligence, commonly abbreviated as AI, is a growing field that combines computer science and data to simulate human intelligence. This allows AI systems to perform human-like abilities including:

  • Learning
  • Reasoning
  • Problem solving
  • Understanding language
  • Perceiving the world

ai for sermons

With these skills, AI can replicate some aspects of human-like intelligence. Businesses worldwide are already utilizing AI to improve their operations. Now, churches have the opportunity to benefit from these technological advances, too. In light of this new technology, there are a few things Christians should keep in mind:

  • AI is not new to God. He already understands these technologies fully.
  • It’s our responsibility as Christians to become aware of AI and use it as a tool to spread the Gospel.
  • AI can significantly aid sermon preparation and distribution if used appropriately.

However, AI will never replace our God-given roles.

  • God’s primary plan involves us, not AI.
  • We are the ones entrusted with the Great Commission.
  • AI cannot fulfill that, no matter how advanced it becomes.

ai for sermons

The key is remembering that AI is simply a tool God has allowed us to develop. While powerful, it does not replace our purpose as Christians.

Let’s dive in.

Essential AI Vocabulary

The language of AI is likely appearing more often in articles you read and everyday conversations. Language is a powerful tool. Just as in the Bible story of the Tower of Babel, language can help foster connections, sow confusion, encourage unity, or generate chaos. AI for Churches aims to equip you to engage confidently in AI discussions by providing this ongoing list explaining key terms. Here are a few important ones you’ve likely stumbled across:

-Algorithm

An algorithm is a series of instructions that a computer follows to solve a problem or complete a task. An example is the Facebook algorithm that determines how your church content shows up in people’s feeds. Millions of algorithms are in use daily.

-Automation

Automation involves precise, repetitive tasks done without constant human intervention, freeing up our time for more divine and interpersonal interactions. If you’re using social channels at your church, you likely use a social media scheduling tool. That’s a perfect example of automation: You set the schedule, and the tool does all the posting work for you.

-Chatbot

Imagine a digital greeter at the church door, ready to answer questions from newcomers like “When does the service start?” or “What are the Sunday School options for my child?” That’s what a chatbot can do on a church website, providing information and answers at any time of day.

-Data Mining

Data mining is the process of discovering patterns in large data sets. Marketers often data mine to find trends in transactions, purchase history, consumer behavior and more. In your church, you may search through attendance information and demographic trends to discover patterns that are influencing your congregation’s growth.

-Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a branch of AI focused on enabling machines to understand and interact in human language. NLP can enhance sermon transcription and translation, and helps create empathetic chatbots. NLP related tasks often leverage Large Language Models (LLMs) to perform the work.

-Large Language Models

Large Language Models (LLMs) are deep learning algorithms that can recognize, summarize, translate, predict, and generate textual content much like a human would.

Click here to see the full list of definitions you need to know: Full List of Definitions

AI definitions for church leaders

Biblical Foundation for AI

Biblical Foundation for Using AI for Sermons

God deeply cares for those who are lost and disconnected from Him. Throughout the Gospel, Jesus spent time with sinners and outcasts, displaying God’s heart for the broken. As followers of Christ, we are called to share the Gospel through any means necessary, just as Jesus and the apostles did.

  • Artificial intelligence presents an exciting opportunity to advance this mission.
  • Tools like SermonSpark can help overburdened pastors create sermons more efficiently.
  • This frees up more time for pastors to connect with their congregations and communities.
  • More organizations are now investing in developing ethical AI to serve the church.

ai for sermons

Pastor David Thorne, Ed.D., leader of the AI for Churches AI Ethics Collective, recently wrote a blog on The Biblical Case for AI for Sermons and shared the following considerations:

God’s heart for the lost, broken, and disconnected

Jesus spent time with the sick, with sinners, and the outcasts, too. Religious leaders thought this was despicable and wanted him to stop. But Jesus replied, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

On another occasion, a group of lowlifes and troublemakers were eating with Jesus and He noticed the religious leaders standing back, despising Him in their hearts for what was happening. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus told a story about a shepherd in charge of 99 sheep who lost one.

In fact, let’s bring this story into today. Think of a dog walker out walking 10 dogs. Imagine what would happen if they lost one! Would they say, “Oh well, I’ll just keep going and return the other nine to their owners?” No way! They’d stop right there and do everything possible to find the lost dog.

Then Jesus finished His story about the sheep by saying, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

This message is straight from God’s heart for all those who feel broken, lost, and disconnected from their heavenly Father. The truth is, other people play an essential role in how God connects with us.

The role of man in helping God

For some reason, God believes we humans are capable of a lot. For one thing, we are His image-bearers in this world. But more importantly, we have been given a job to do by Jesus. Before He went up to heaven, Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

As believers, our job is to go out into the world and help new people become followers of Christ—just like Jesus did while here on the Earth.

Soon after Jesus was taken up into heaven, small groups of Christ followers—Christians— began to meet together to fulfill the job Jesus gave them to do. These small communities were called churches. Regardless of the religious denomination, believers of Jesus Christ are to act as God’s hands, feet, and heart in this world today. Our job is to do whatever it takes to help people come to know and understand God’s love for them.

Whatever it takes to share the gospel
Missionary CT Studd once said:

“Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop,
Within a yard of hell.”

That sounds a lot like Jesus, doesn’t it? We see this reinforced time and time again in the New Testament. Jesus did whatever He could to connect with people and help those who felt far from God. So must we as His followers.

When the apostle Paul was preaching and planting churches, he did something really interesting in the city of Athens. As he was sharing about Jesus, he noticed an object of worship dedicated to “An Unknown God.” Paul used that very object—a temple built to honor a nameless pagan idol—to explain the truth of God’s love.

In fact, Paul was known to use whatever tools he had at his disposal to share Jesus. He later explained his motivations in a letter to the church in Corinth. He wrote, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” To the apostle Paul, the job of sharing God’s love with a broken world wasn’t a pastime or a hobby; it was a serious mission. And he was determined to use every means available to accomplish it.

As Christians today, we share the same calling as Paul. Maybe we’re not all ordained to plant churches, but we are all called to share Jesus with our neighbors. And like Paul, we need to use every tool we have available to help us work toward that goal.

Artificial Intelligence is a wonderful new tool for sermon inspiration
If my house was on fire and I could use a bucket filled with water or a powerful hose to quench the growing flames, you can easily guess which one I’d choose. When it counts, we want to use the very best tools we can find to get the job done.

Writing a sermon is one of the most important tasks a pastor does during the week. It typically takes serious time, thought, and prayer. At times, the process may feel like putting out the fire to a burning house with one bucket of water at a time. This is where artificial intelligence is changing the game in sermon preparation. It’s like hooking up a powerful fire hose, and blasting the burning building with water—it’ll help you get the job done exponentially faster.

Pastors can lean into this resource and learn how to use AI to support their sermon-writing process. AI tools like SermonSpark can help you brainstorm sermon titles, create potential outlines, find stories, identify Bible quotes, and even suggest ideas on how to discuss difficult topics. It is just the tool pastors need right now to help them save time and start writing better sermons immediately.

ai for churches

AI has great potential to help share God’s love, if developed and used responsibly.

  • The church should thoughtfully embrace this technology as part of its eternal mission.
  • AI tools can aid pastors and churches in connecting people to the Gospel.
  • However, AI should not replace genuine human relationships and ministry.

How Pastors Can Shape AI’s Future

Pastor David also shared a blog called “Why Lead Pastors Should Embrace Artificial Intelligence: An Open Letter” where he unpacks how Pastors are not followers of trends and place an importance on tradition. He shares how it’s entirely understandable to be cautious – even skeptical – of how emerging technologies may serve our mission and impact the lives of the congregation we care about. Yet, there are constructive ways for us to get involved:

  • Understand AI – Make time to read about emerging AI trends, implications, and advancements.
  • Use it – AI use cases exist across church operations, spiritual inspiration, and improving your congregation’s experience.
  • Safeguard it – Develop and share opinions from a faith-based lens, offer to sit on AI Ethics boards in your community, bring the Word of God to guide wherever possible.
  • Expand it – Be open and on the lookout for ways AI can improve your church, suggest those ideas to technology-focused partners who can help make them a reality.

Overall, AI offers new ways for the church to carry out the Great Commission. We must ensure it is designed and used ethically to spread the message of God’s unconditional love.

Ethical Considerations for AI

Authenticity and Originality

Remaining honest and authentic, especially in ministry, is vital to reaching people with the good news of the Gospel. To maintain authenticity and originality when utilizing AI, it is important first to comprehend the limitations of AI.

AI software, which uses algorithms, data, and natural language processing, can assist with:

  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Editing and formatting
  • Performing routine tasks

But it cannot replace:

  • Original thought
  • Personal connection
  • Individual creativity

ai for churches

Understanding what AI can and cannot do is crucial.

AI must be used ethically and effectively to support (not replace) ministry.

The key is using AI as a tool while ensuring our words, stories, and messages remain real and rooted in God’s truth. AI assists the process but cannot replace honest, authentic ministry. Our creativity and critical thinking come from God alone.

Privacy Concerns

Church leaders may have concerns when it comes to the privacy of congregation information shared with any AI technology. Below is a helpful cheat sheet with ways to protect church privacy when using AI:

  • Do your research before registering for an app
  • Always review the Terms & Conditions
  • Limit the sensitive information directly input into any AI tool
  • Limit the access any AI tool has to your folders and files
  • Review AI App upgrade releases when they launch

ai for sermons

Jason Collier, a founding member of the AI Ethics Collective, attended the 2023 AI Conference and had the following to say regarding safety and privacy in his recent blog:

One of the keynote speakers at the conference was Ben Mann, co-founder of Anthropic. His company is responsible for the development of Claude, an LLM assistant similar to (but with several key distinctions from) ChatGPT. I had the pleasure of chatting with Ben briefly after his talk, which was a highlight of that day.

Ben, and Anthropic as a whole, emphasize AI safety above all else. Ben’s talk at the conference was about the lessons learned trying to make Claude as harmless and honest as possible, and what that might mean for the landscape of AI going forward.

There’s no doubt there is good reason to be concerned about the impact this technology is going to have. We’re in the infancy of what some suspect we’ll one day be calling “The AI Revolution” in history books. While that may seem grandiose, it is clear that at minimum the stakes are very high. I sleep a little easier at night knowing that there are folks like Ben who are putting safety at the front of their priority list.”

Ethics Collective

The AI for Churches AI Ethics Collective is dedicated to addressing crucial intersections of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Christianity. The Collective places an emphasis on fostering collaborative discussions that encourage ethical and responsible AI development and use aligned with Christian beliefs.

The AI Ethics Collective has four guiding principles:

  • Biblical integrity
  • Transparency
  • Human-Centricity
  • Safety

The AI Ethics Collective focuses on ensuring that AI applications align with teachings from the Bible and respect the sanctity of human life while promoting the safe and responsible use of AI.

Learn more and join the AI for Churches AI Ethics Collective:

https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-ethics-collective/

AI Usage in Ministry

When integrating AI into ministry work, it is crucial to thoughtfully delineate which tasks are appropriate for automation, and augmentation, and those that require full human effort.

Tasks Completed by AI
  • AI can streamline routine tasks.
  • It creates more space and resources for substantial work.
  • Careful judgment is pivotal to prevent an over-reliance on AI technology.

Example: Using AI chatbot to provide sermon illustration ideas to a subject that has been determined in advance through prayer..

-Tasks Augmented by AI
  • AI can suggest ideas, but the final decision calls for human judgment.
  • Areas demanding sensitivity, nuance, and theological integrity require a human touch.
  • AI serves best as a tool to augment, rather than replace, human decision-making.

Example: Using AI to transcribe your sermon. Human intelligence is required to ensure accuracy and standard of excellence.

-Tasks that should not involve AI
  • Vital roles like preaching and hospital visits necessitate human interaction.
  • Moments of high emotion, such as weddings or funerals, call for genuine empathy and compassion.
  • AI shouldn’t intrude during moments of crisis or celebration, where human-to-human connection is irreplaceable.

Example: Using AI to write an entire sermon without prayer, preparation, and research.

stop light

The challenge lies not just in recognizing where AI can add value, but in preserving the inherently human values of integrity and compassion that form the cornerstone of spiritual leadership. With thoughtful integration, AI has the potential to improve your sermon process and heighten efficiency, all the while respecting the fundamental tenets of your ministry.

Sermon Preparation Tools

Overview of Process and how AI can Help at Each Stage

Artificial intelligence provides pastors with an exciting new set of tools to enhance the sermon preparation process. It’s important to note that AI will never replace your unique voice and personal touch. But, it can help save time, boost creativity, tailor sermons, and expand biblical knowledge.

AI takes care of time-consuming research, freeing you up to focus on synthesizing information and planning powerful messages. It also stimulates fresh thinking by presenting diverse perspectives, insights, and illustrations. Additionally, AI can:

  • Analyze congregation needs and interests, helping craft sermons that deeply resonate.
  • Provide access to the latest scholarship, trends, and discoveries in theology and ministry best practices. This grounds sermons in the most recent understandings of God’s Word.

With these AI capabilities, you can create transformative sermons that speak to hearts and minds. The technology becomes an invaluable asset in your sermon-creation toolbox.

Top Free Sermon Preparation Tools

SermonSpark:
Introducing SermonSpark, the revolutionary AI tool designed to elevate your sermon preparation to new heights. With SermonSpark, you can access an extensive library of research, writing, and outreach tools, empowering you to maximize the impact of your sermon like never before. Unleash the full potential of your preaching with SermonSpark by your side.

Google Bard:
Google Bard is an AI chatbot that can generate text of all kinds, from blog posts to emails to creative writing. It is powered by Google’s vast knowledge base and can access up-to-date information from the web. This makes it a powerful tool for any writing and research needs.

ChatGPT:
ChatGPT is a language processing tool powered by AI technology that offers an almost human-like conversational experience. Its chatbot feature can answer questions and assist you with writing projects, drawing upon its extensive training from social media, websites, and other online sources.

Top Paid Sermon Preparation Tools

SermonAI

Magai

Sermonly

ai for sermons

Continue reading to unpack several of the tools listed above in greater detail.

How Much Does Using AI for Sermons Cost?

Avoid the “Streaming Trap”

In the era of peak TV, it’s so easy to fall into the streaming service trap. You start with just one – say, Netflix. But then a buzzy new show drops on Hulu, so you have to sign up for that, too. Before you know it, you’ve got subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO Max, Disney+, Peacock and more. Your credit card statement looks like a TV guide from the 90s. Suddenly, you need to take out a second mortgage just to keep up with all the exclusive must-see shows spread across different platforms. How did we get here?

ai for churches

The same can be said for AI tools. With so many to choose from, and more being created every day, it’s easy to fall into the trap of having more than you need and know what to do with. In this section, we’ll walk through:

  • Where you should spend your money
  • Top free tools available
  • Top paid tools available

Where Should I Spend My Money?

With countless AI tools for sermon preparation, you may be wondering:

  • “Which tools should I use?”
  • “How much should I spend?”

Before deciding, it’s important to first identify:

  • Where you spend the most time
  • Your biggest pain points
  • Your strengths and weaknesses

Not all pastors have the same challenges with sermon prep. For example, one pastor may excel at outlines and structure but struggle to generate creative examples. Another may be great at research but have difficulty with titles.

AI for sermons

The goal here is to find the right tools to boost your creativity and productivity. But first, uncover where you get stuck and where you thrive during the sermon process. This will reveal the areas that would most benefit from AI assistance.

Rather than overwhelming yourself with every AI tool, focus on ones that target your unique pain points and leverage your strengths. With the right support, you can spend less time struggling and more time doing what you do best – delivering transformative sermons.

Research Your Sermon Using AI Tools

Research Tools to Consider

-SermonSpark

SermonSpark‘s Topic Explorer is designed to aid in-depth research on any topic or verse. This powerful feature helps you explore possibilities by providing:

  • Thought-provoking questions to consider
  • Key concepts to cover
  • Relevant perspectives to include
  • Ways to frame the topic for maximum engagement from non-Christians

With the Topic Explorer, you can dive deep into research from new angles. It encourages you to examine all facets of a topic – from the questions worth asking to potential frameworks for connecting with unbelievers. This allows for sermons that are well-rounded, insightful and impactful.

By suggesting diverse viewpoints and probing questions, the Topic Explorer sparks ideas to create messages that resonate. It helps uncover what to preach about and how to preach it for maximum relevance. With this advanced research assistance, you can deliver sermons that delve deeper into scripture in ways that stir your congregation.

Read our full review of SermonSpark here:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-sermonspark/

-SermonAI

Streamline your sermon preparation and unlock enhanced creativity with SermonAI. Their versatile AI research assistant will supercharge your productivity so you can craft powerful sermons in half the time.

SermonAI seamlessly integrates tools to elevate every aspect of your sermon creation workflow:

  • Bible Verses – Access all your favorite translations through our AI-powered platform.
  • Illustrations – Instantly generate compelling analogies that illuminate the Gospel and resonate with your congregation.
  • Original Languages – Gain deeper scriptural understanding through analysis of linguistic nuances, idioms, and cultural contexts.
  • Sermon Outlines/Manuscripts – Quickly create well-structured outlines or full manuscripts to streamline your process.
  • Application – Translate biblical teachings into practical, real-life lessons that foster spiritual growth.
  • Commentary – Effortlessly integrate insightful commentary and quotes from renowned Christian thinkers to add depth and wisdom.

With SermonAI, you can craft sermons faster and take your preaching to the next level. Our AI assistant handles the busywork so you can focus on powerfully communicating the Word.

Read our full review of SermonAI here:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-sermonai/

-Google Bard

Google Bard is an AI chatbot that generates text on any topic imaginable. Powered by Google’s vast knowledge, Bard can tap into the most up-to-date information from across the web. This makes Bard ideal for sermon research, especially when it’s involving current events, trending topics, and other instances requiring real-time data.

Key benefits and use cases of Google Bard include:

  • Research Assistance – Get instant answers to questions by querying Bard like a search engine. It scans the web and synthesizes the most relevant, timely information.
  • Fact Checking – Verify facts, statistics, quotes or any claims by having Bard quickly search and confirm information from reliable online sources.
  • Current Events – Ask for summaries, perspectives, and updates on emerging news stories, political issues, pop culture, and other timely subjects.
  • Topic Exploring – Explore nuances around concepts by having open-ended discussions with Bard to gain insights from different angles.

With Google’s vast knowledge at its fingertips, Bard can enhance productivity and quality for your sermon preparation involving the latest information.

Read our full review of Google Bard here:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-google-bard/

Write Your Sermon Using AI Tools

Tools to Consider

-SermonSpark

SermonSpark is an incredible tool designed to help prepare and elevate your sermons. Hear me when I say, AI powered tools aren’t here to replace you and fully write your sermons, but they can make you more productive and effective in the process.

One way SermonSpark can play a role is by helping you overcome writer’s block and create powerful sermons faster. SermonSpark can assist you in:

  • Brainstorming creative titles
  • Generating outlines based on chosen topics or verses
  • Writing discussion questions
  • Creating social media posts

SermonSpark saves all your output so you can easily search and reference it for future sermons. While the AI provides valuable support, you remain in full control – writing and conveying the teachings in your authentic voice.

Other key benefits with SermonSpark include:

  • Research library to find related verses, context, news and quotes
  • Outline generator to kickstart sermon structure
  • Time savings so you can focus on connecting with your congregation

With SermonSpark’s AI-driven sermon prep tools at your fingertips, you can overcome writer’s block and create messages that resonate. It streamlines your process so you can spend less time struggling to write and more time sharing biblical truths.

Read our full review of SermonSpark here:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-sermonspark/

-Magai

Magai is an AI-powered platform designed to make your work easier and improve your projects. This tool specializes in writing and has features to help you write better sermons.

  • Choose from over 40 “Personas” like Bible Scholar, Expert Copywriter, Historian, and Storyteller. These give you tailored outputs for your sermon writing needs.
  • Founded by Dustin Stout, a passionate Christ-follower who wants to use technology to impact God’s Kingdom.
  • An outstanding AI tool you can add to your toolkit to enhance your sermon writing.

Magai streamlines workflows and takes your projects to the next level. With this tool, you get:

  • AI-enhanced writing features to boost productivity and efficiency.
  • Outputs customized precisely for your unique requirements.
  • An exceptional platform crafted to make sermon writing easier.
  • Seamless integration into your workflow for smoother sermon creation.

Read our full review of Magai here:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-magai/

-ChatGPT

ChatGPT is an amazing AI-powered tool that can have human-like conversations and help you write better sermons. This free chatbot has some excellent features that make it easy to craft great sermons:

  • Saves you time by improving consistency in your writing. You don’t have to start from scratch each week.
  • Mimics your unique voice and tone, so the sermons sound authentic.
  • Proofreads and critiques your drafts to optimize the content.
  • Generates multiple variations of sermon ideas/outlines for diversity.

In summary:

  • ChatGPT is a conversational AI chatbot
  • It can help write high-quality sermons quickly
  • Mimics your tone and critiques drafts
  • Creates diverse sermon ideas/outlines

As the most well-known AI app today, ChatGPT can serve you remarkably well in writing powerful sermons week after week. Give this free tool a try to elevate your preaching.

Read our full review of ChatGPT here:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-chatgpt/

Create Sermon Slides Using AI Tools

Introduction to AI-Generated Art

In the dynamic world of content creation, the rapid generation of visuals is now as accessible as creating text. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the process of image creation, eliminating the need for artistic prowess or prior experience with traditional tools. Your role is simplified to providing a concise textual description of the image you envision, leaving the intricate work to AI.

ai for church communications

Compelling visuals have the extraordinary ability to captivate and move hearts. When sharing sermons and teaching the Word, the impact is significantly amplified when slides and backgrounds seamlessly complement the message. However, not everyone possesses graphic design skills or has a dedicated creative team. The solution lies in leveraging the power of AI, which, with accurate descriptions, can swiftly transform your concepts into breathtaking images.

The common challenge of lacking graphic design expertise or a creative team is addressed by AI-powered tools that efficiently generate images. By providing accurate descriptions, you can save substantial amounts of time and money. Below are several tools that exemplify this capability, enabling you to seamlessly incorporate AI-generated images into your projects.


Tools to Consider

-Canva Generative Design AI

Canva is a graphic design tool that empowers you to create a wide range of visual content. It offers a suite of powerful AI tools, including Magic Design, which enables you to create personalized templates using your own uploaded images or videos. The Magic Eraser tool allows for easy removal of unwanted objects from photos, while Magic Edit seamlessly adds or removes objects. Magic Resize streamlines the process of adapting designs to different platforms, and Text to Image generates artwork based on your prompts.

Read our full review of Canva Generative Design AI:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-canva-generative-design-ai/

-Midjourney

Midjourney is a platform that transforms textual descriptions into high-quality images, capable of producing both realistic and abstract styles. There’s no need for artistic expertise, or even past experience with a paintbrush. Thanks to the power of artificial intelligence, all the intricate work is handled – your part is simply to provide a brief textual representation of the image you envision.

Read our full review of Midjourney:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-midjourney/

-Magai

Magai seamlessly integrates the most powerful AI Image Generation models into a user-friendly interface, allowing users to effortlessly create jaw-dropping images with just a few words. By leveraging advanced AI algorithms, Magai’s image generation tools empower you to produce stunning visuals tailored to their needs. With customizable styles and themes, Magai becomes the go-to solution for all your image creation endeavors.

Read our full review of Magai:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-magai/

Introduction to Prompts for AI Sermon Prep

Importance of Excellent Prompts

Utilizing excellent prompts and personas can revolutionize your experience using AI and save you massive amounts of time, energy, and resources.

ai for church content

But first, what are prompts and why do they matter?

  • A prompt tells the AI what you want and how you want it done. It is how humans communicate with AI systems.
  • Prompts allow AI to generate contextually relevant content based on instructions from users.
  • The language model GPT-4 is an example of an AI tool churches can use to bolster their communications through optimized prompting.

Prompts are optimized when an AI is given a specific persona, or point of view, to consider. This personalized approach increases the relevance of responses.

  • A persona provides a context for the AI to think from, such as being a teenager in the present day.
  • Personas can be general or highly specific, down to describing a role like a pastor in a particular place and time.
  • Optimizing prompts with well-defined personas allows AI to generate the most useful and appropriate responses.

Elements of a Well-Crafted Prompt

Note: the examples in this section are provided by Pastor David Thorne, Ed.D. in his blog “Mastering AI Church Prompts and Personas” from June 2023.

AI

10 practical prompt examples:

  • “As a church secretary, draft a weekly newsletter incorporating a pastor’s message, upcoming events, and a Bible verse of the week.”
  • “Generate a list of ten inspirational Bible verses for sharing on our social media accounts to offer encouragement during trying times.”
  • “As a worship leader, propose a setlist for the forthcoming Sunday service, resonating with the sermon’s theme of ‘faith and perseverance.’”
  • “Craft an engaging invitation for our church’s upcoming youth retreat, spotlighting the array of activities and spiritual growth opportunities.”
  • “Pen a sensitive and compassionate email to the congregation, informing them about a bereavement in our church family.”
  • “As a pastor, write a prayer centered on hope and healing for our prayer meeting.”
  • “As a church marketing expert, propose five inventive ideas for ramping up engagement on our church’s Facebook page.”
  • “Develop a potential dialogue for a church small group discussion centered on ‘Grace in the New Testament’.”
  • “As a youth pastor, plan a fun and engaging youth group meeting blending biblical teachings and fellowship.”
  • “Compose a script for a brief, welcoming video introducing our church’s mission and community to prospective new members.”

10 specific persona and prompt pairing examples:

  • Sermon Preparation: “As a seasoned pastor, offer an outline for a sermon on ‘Finding Strength in Unity’, drawing from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.”
  • Community Outreach: “As a passionate outreach coordinator, outline a plan for a community service project aimed at assisting the local food bank.”
  • Bible Study: “As a Bible scholar, provide a detailed interpretation of the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15.”
  • Prayer Requests: “As a compassionate church leader, draft a prayer for comfort and strength for families dealing with loss.”
  • Church Event Planning: “As an event organizer, draft a plan for a church fundraising event to support a local charity.”
  • Social Media Engagement: “As a digital communications expert, suggest ten engaging post ideas for our church’s Instagram account.”
  • Youth Ministry: “As a youth pastor, outline a series of Bible study lessons aimed at helping teens understand the fruits of the Spirit.”
  • Church Volunteer Coordination: “As a volunteer coordinator, draft an appreciation message acknowledging the dedication and hard work of our church volunteers.”
  • Congregation Communication: “As a pastor, draft a year-end letter to the congregation reflecting on our shared journey and vision for the coming year.”
  • Church Administration: “As a church administrator, create a checklist of tasks necessary for smooth operation of Sunday worship services.”

Through strategic prompts and carefully developed roles, artificial intelligence has the potential to act as a valuable ally for churches. With the right direction, AI can enhance outreach efforts and assist in sharing the Good News in powerful new ways.

Sermon Distribution Tools

How You Can Use Artificial Intelligence to Distribute Your Sermons

If you’re a teaching pastor, your sermons likely have a meaningful impact on your local congregation. But the message God has put in your heart can reach even more people. Modern technology provides exciting new ways to spread the Gospel beyond the walls of your church.

AI tools can help expand the audience for your sermons in several impactful ways:

  • Automated transcription for search engine optimization
  • Summarization for descriptions and recaps
  • Repurposing and editing for social media content

When considering AI, common questions arise:

  • Where do I start?
  • What tools align with my goals?
  • How should I allocate my time and money?

Here are just a few of the recommended AI tools that we’ll be highlighting and unpacking:

PulpitAI

Captions

Magai

Keep reading to learn more about using these tools to extend your sermon’s reach. The possibilities of AI provide new and exciting ways to spread the Gospel.

Broadcast Your Services Live Using AI Tools

One vital way to reach wider audiences in a post-covid world is to broadcast your services live online. In a world where much of social media feels dark and broken, sharing the light and good news of Jesus is needed now more than ever.

Some excellent free platforms to share live services are:

These platforms reach huge audiences with massive user traffic and popularity.

Unless you only want to livestream from a phone or webcam, utilize a dedicated service that connects to social media platforms. Fortunately, Resi, Boxcast, and other great options were created specifically for churches.

Resi and Boxcast were designed with the user experience in mind. They serve as excellent platforms for churches to livestream. Once selected, Church Online is a great, free platform that can also improve viewers’ experience and guide next steps.

While the above aren’t AI-powered, complementary AI tools can optimize broadcasts. For example, leverage ChatGPT to generate titles, descriptions and tags that boost SEO.

Likewise, Canva creates compelling thumbnails to increase click-throughs. Thoughtful use of AI allows expanding reach over time to share the Gospel with more searching individuals.

Transcribe Your Sermon Using AI Tools

AI-powered transcription provides a valuable opportunity to extend the reach of sermons. Within minutes, entire spoken messages can be accurately converted to text. These automated transcripts open doors for efficiently repurposing content across platforms. Written versions connect with wider audiences, including those unable to attend services.

Please note: While the following tools showcase the power of AI, remember that generated content requires human discernment before sharing. Like we discussed in the AI Usage in Ministry section, utilizing AI to transcribe sermons falls into the augmentation category. These transcriptions will still require proofing and likely some light editing.

ai for sermons


Tools to Consider

-PulpitAI

Using a service like PulpitAI, pastors can quickly transform spoken words into text. This allows for personalized audience engagement across digital channels.

PulpitAI is known for turning one sermon into unlimited, shareable content. Key features include:

  • Full transcriptions
  • Overviews
  • Discussion Questions
  • Devotionals
  • Social Posts
  • Email Recaps
  • Key Points
  • Highlights & Quotes

Additional benefits include access to PulpitGPT – an AI chatbot that can answer prompts and questions about sermons using generated transcripts. This creates interactive, ongoing connection.

The process is simple. Upload an audio or video file, and in under 5 minutes receive a trove of engaging derivative content. With flexible plans allowing 5 or 10 monthly sermon uploads, PulpitAI makes reaching wider digital audiences turnkey.

Check out the tool Pulpit AI here: https://pulpitai.com

-Rev

Rev streamlines sermon transcriptions with fast turnaround and impressive accuracy. Simply upload an audio or video file, and within minutes Rev automates the entire transcription process.

Benefits include:

  • 90%+ precision thanks to advanced speech-to-text technology
  • Intuitive editing with audio synchronization for error-checking
  • Downloads in editable document formats like Word and PDF
  • Cloud-based storage for organized access to full transcripts

Having written records makes it easy to keyword search old sermons when prepping anew. It also opens opportunities to repurpose content into quotes, studies, books and more.

Getting started is easy. Just drag and drop media or plug in a YouTube link. Rev handles the rest, delivering editable transcripts to empower your ministry through text-based content.

Read our full review of Rev here:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-rev/

-Church.tech

 

Church.tech leverages AI to make sermon content more accessible. This powerful tool automatically creates summarized transcripts optimized for digital ministry.

Benefits include:

Craft captivating captions and thought-provoking follow-up questions tailored for social media

Develop comprehensive leader guides catering to community groups

Transcribe and summarize full sermon

Offers Prompt Buttons to assist in leveraging AI

By handling time-consuming transcription and adaptation tasks, Church.tech frees up pastors to focus on bringing the Word to life. Automated summarization into customized formats allows for relevance across community groups, blogs and social networks. Your voice can resonate further when delivering sermons enhanced by AI.

Read our full review of Church.tech here:

https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-sermons-tech/

Summarize Your Sermon Using AI Tools

Creating shareable sermon content is now easier than ever thanks to AI summarization technology. Rather than poring over transcripts, you can now automatically generate concise overviews and previews in seconds.

These AI tools are game changers for spreading your message. Compelling keywords, descriptions and summaries are essential for discovery across online platforms. They showcase your content and draw people in.

Let your sermons shine beyond Sunday mornings. AI equips you to produce snackable derivatives customized for social media, podcasts and more. Effortlessly transform transcript excerpts into vital visibility drivers.

Join the revolution to maximize engagement and increase your ministry’s impact. AI summarization frees up valuable time while opening new dimensions for your sermon content.

Tools to Consider

-PulpitAI

Highlighted in additional detail in the section above, PulpitAI, the tool designed specifically for pastors, excels at transforming sermons into impactful, shareable content. Its summarization features are second-to-none.

After uploading a sermon, PulpitAI’s Overview section provides two 2-3 paragraph summaries reflecting length and key topics. It highlights keywords to help optimize online distribution and includes timestamps to divide the content into logical chapters with summaries.

For ultra-concise descriptions, use PulpitGPT – PulpitAI’s conversational AI assistant. Just ask for a 1-2 sentence summary optimized for platforms like YouTube or podcasts. Regenerate new suggestions until you get the perfect preview of your content.

Stop leaving your sermon’s richness untapped. With PulpitAI’s powerful summarization toolkit, extend your reach and resonance no matter the format. It unleashes your preaching’s potential.

Check out the tool Pulpit AI here: https://pulpitai.com/

-Rev

Rev, the gold standard for AI-powered transcription, now offers excellent sermon summarization. While specialized in transcribing long-form audio, Rev added handy summary features perfect for pastors.

After uploading an audio file, Rev provides a one-paragraph summary of your full sermon. Utilize the “Ask a Follow-Up” and “Regenerate Summary” options to fine-tune it to your needs.

Rev Chat understands natural language questions about your sermon. Use it to easily obtain summaries of any length or focus area.

Though not specifically built for sermons like PulpitAI or Sermons.tech, Rev remains a versatile mainstream tool. It brings AI summarization into any preacher’s workflow to save time and extend reach.

Let Rev help you turn well-prepared sermons into a ministry content goldmine.

Read our full review of Rev here:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-rev/

Repurpose Your Sermon Using AI Tools

Your powerful sermons contain treasures just waiting to be unearthed. AI now makes it possible to repurpose those gems into an ongoing stream of content for your congregation.

Imagine sending personalized written reflections, discussion questions, or inspirational quotes throughout the week. Or creating snackable video clips focused on key messages. The possibilities are endless.

AI tools open new doors for extending your sermons’ impact beyond Sunday mornings. Let’s explore how to leverage technology to nourish your flock and further your ministry.

Tools to Consider

-PulpitAI

As you’ve probably discovered if you’ve read the last few sections–we’re big fans of PulpitAI. Here’s a few features that we’ve yet to cover that are excellent ways to repurpose your sermons.

Using a service like PulpitAI, pastors can quickly transform spoken words into text. This allows for personalized audience engagement across digital channels.

PulpitAI is known for turning one sermon into unlimited, shareable content. Key features include:

  • Full transcriptions
  • Overviews
  • Discussion Questions
  • Devotionals
  • Social Posts
  • Email Recaps
  • Key Points
  • Highlights & Quotes

Additional benefits include access to PulpitGPT – an AI chatbot that can answer prompts and questions about sermons using generated transcripts. This creates interactive, ongoing connection.

The process is simple. Upload an audio or video file, and in under 5 minutes receive a trove of engaging derivative content. With flexible plans allowing 5 or 10 monthly sermon uploads, PulpitAI makes reaching wider digital audiences turnkey.

Check out the tool Pulpit AI here: https://pulpitai.com/

-Captions

In an age of shrinking attention spans, snacking content in more digestible formats is key for engagement. Short-form edited video clips, enhanced with captions, allow you to repurpose sermons to enlighten new audiences.

That’s where AI-powered Captions shines. This user-friendly mobile app makes it simple to:

  • Trim and edit videos from your sermon footage
  • Generate accurate closed captions to embed
  • Identify engaging excerpts from YouTube to highlight
  • Download your new social-ready video creations

While alternatives exist, none match Captions one-stop shop capabilities optimized for today’s content habits. In minutes, highlight resonant messages without losing meaning.

Please note: While tools like Captions showcase the power of AI, remember that generated content requires human discernment before sharing. Like we discussed in the AI Usage in Ministry section, utilizing Captions to create clips from your sermon fits the augmentation category.

Read our full review of Captions here: https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-captions/

YouTube AI Tools

-Eightify

Looking to make long-form YouTube sermons more discoverable while repurposing key messages? Eightify is the handy Chrome and Safari extension for you.

Integrated directly on YouTube, Eightify uses AI to:

  • Generate an impactful summary of sermons and their key insights for use in descriptions
  • Enhance user experience and navigation of weekend service videos by applying timestamps
  • Utilize key insights to repurpose content on social media, website, and provide a recap of the sermon in the following weekend

The convenience of this tool is second to none, and holds real power in maximizing your sermons. Since sermons often exceed 40 minutes in length, viewers may hesitate to watch them. However, if they encounter a detailed description, along with key takeaways and timestamps throughout the video generated by Eightify, you might just change their minds.

Read our full review of Eightify here: https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-eightify-ai/

Edit Videos Using AI Tools

One area where AI can massively assist you in your sermon repurposing is by editing videos. Especially for those who do not have film teams at their disposal, AI has revolutionized the way you can edit and repurpose video content each week.

Tools to Consider

-Captions

Previously mentioned as a top AI sermon repurposing tool in the Repurpose Your Sermon Using AI Tools section, Captions shines as an accurate video editing app. With intuitive interfaces for both mobile and desktop, it centralizes clipping, captioning, and enhancement.

Captions equips you to repackage content for modern platforms. It analyzes long videos to identify shareable moments perfect for Instagram Reels, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube Shorts.

The AI assists by:

  • Pinpointing compelling moments from full sermon via YouTube link
  • Adding stylish, customizable closed captions
  • Trimming unnecessary pauses to amplify engagement
  • Offering creative zoom effects to highlight messages

Save hours of tedious editing work by using Captions’ numerous automation and design options. It’s the ultimate assistant for increasing discovery while maintaining your vision.

Read our full review of Captions here: https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-captions/

-Canva

Canva extends beyond graphic design into user-friendly video editing boosted by AI. Take your sermon content further with customizable clipping, audio generation, multilingual translation and more.

Specifically, Canva enables you to:

  • Remove, replace or animate backgrounds
  • Sync video clips perfectly to the beat using Beat Sync
  • Create professional voiceovers and soundtracks with Sounddraw
  • Translate videos into over 130 languages

Though its AI toolkit doesn’t match dedicated tools like Captions, Canva fills several gaps. It brings welcome assistance without steep learning curves.

Save hours of production time while making videos that captivate across cultures. Canva streamlines enhancement so you can reach more people without overextension.

Focus on the messages while Canva handles the media. Let its AI elevate your content from great to shareable.

Read our full review of Canva here:

https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-canva-generative-video-audio-language-tools/

Copywriting AI Tools

Artificial intelligence’s natural language generation has become quite popular in recent years for its ability to craft written content. With countless writing tools now available, discerning which are truly worth your time and money can prove challenging.

In this section, we will explore select tools that can immediately help expand the reach of your sermons. From intuitively producing titles and descriptions to writing persuasive invitations for viewers to tune in, leveraging these AI assistants can streamline and enhance your promotional efforts while saving you precious time while spotlighting your message for wider audiences.

Tools to Consider

-Magai

Magai is an exceptional all-in-one content creation tool featuring capabilities to enhance your written content.

Some of Magai’s features and applications for expanding sermon distribution:

  • Craft compelling copy by selecting from 40+ available writing personas to match your church’s voice
  • Generate engaging social media posts to grow your community and actively connect with your audience
  • Ensure consistent messaging across platforms by maintaining your organization’s unique tone and values
  • Summarize sermon transcripts into concise, scannable bullets highlighting key takeaways and focal points

Powered by ChatGPT, Magai offers an intuitive interface plus specialized functionalities for producing customized content that resonates with your viewers. Whether creating shareable graphics or turning transcripts into snackable insights, Magai provides advanced aids to maximize the reach and impact of your sermon material.

Read our full review of Magai:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-magai/

-ChatGPT

ChatGPT is an AI-powered language model that provides a remarkably human-like conversational interface. As one of the most widely recognized AI writing tools, this chatbot can respond to prompts and aid writing tasks by referencing its deep learning training on vast datasets scraped from digital sources.

Key benefits for content creation:

  • Maintains consistent voice and style for efficient, sizable text generation
  • Tunes output to mirror distinctive authorial tone based on sample inputs
  • Critiques drafts and suggests focused proofreading revisions
  • Creates varied versions of similar content to avoid duplication
  • Helps overcome writer’s block with intuitive co-authoring functionality

In summary, ChatGPT is an adaptable AI assistant equipped to help authors ideate, edit, refine, and produce quality written content at scale once trained on preferred tone.

Read our full review of ChatGPT:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-tool-explainer-chatgpt/

-GrammarlyAI

Discover Success Using Metric and Analytic AI Tools

Data has never been more important than now in our increasingly data-focused world. As AI becomes more integrated into working with data, leveraging these technologies wisely along with good data practices will lead to success for organizations.

Here are a few of the top AI tools designed specifically for metrics and analysis:

Additionally, everyday AI tools offer robust analytical capabilities:

  • Google Bard (Conversational Generative AI Chatbot)
  • Rytr (Promot-Driven Writing Assistant)
  • Wizdom.AI (AI Research Management Tool)
  • Microsoft Bing AI (Conversational Generative AI Chatbot)

Below are 2 practicals examples for Pastors using these tools:

  • With Rytr, use SERP Analysis to optimize SEO to elevate your written content. When you create a new blog using a keyword, this tool will suggest keyword clusters and their frequency to help your search engine results.
  • With Microsoft Power BI, create beautiful visualizations of several points of data (attendance, online viewership, discipleship groups) and communicate valuable insights.

In short, the latest AI can enable understanding data better than ever before – spotting patterns, suggesting enhancements, and predicting future outcomes. By combining human creativity with computerized tools, people and companies can become more data-driven than previously feasible.

Additional AI for Churches Resources

AI Tool Reviews

Browse AI tool reviews from the AI for Churches team covering pros, cons, pricing details, and real-world applications for churches.

We thoroughly evaluate each tool on critical criteria – ease of use, output quality, overall value, and more.

These AI aids streamline workflows so church staff members can direct their energies toward people-focused ministry rather than administrative tasks.

By leveraging our assessment of today’s best church technologies, you can make informed adoption decisions to further your mission through modern capabilities.

View library of AI Tool Evaluations:

https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-exchange/

AI Ethics Collective

The AI for Churches AI Ethics Collective is dedicated to addressing crucial intersections of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Christianity. The Collective places an emphasis on fostering collaborative discussions that encourage ethical and responsible AI development and use aligned with Christian beliefs.

Everything is done with a focus on:

  • Biblical integrity
  • Transparency
  • Human-Centricity
  • Safety

while ensuring that AI applications align with teachings from the Bible and respect the sanctity of human life while promoting a safe and responsible use of AI.

Learn more and join the AI for Churches AI Ethics Collective:

https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-ethics-collective/

Amen for AI Newsletter

The global impact of Artificial Intelligence is on the rise. Hundreds of new AI technologies emerge weekly. As a pastor or church leader, you need to keep up so you can discern what is or isn’t helpful for your unique ministry.

We’re here to make it as easy as possible for you to begin leveraging AI. Our AI for Churches division is constantly evaluating tools, talking to AI experts, and pressure testing everything for the church environment. The team shares their top tips every month in Amen for AI.

Amen for AI is:

  • Relevant: Written for senior pastors, lead pastors, executive pastors, and church communications directors
  • Focused: AI insights, through a faith-based lens
  • Trusted: Since 2008 we’ve been the go-to for digital marketing church trends
  • Simple: No jargon. Just plain English.

Amen for AI brings you:

  • Prompt examples and tips to help you use AI across your church
  • Exclusive content in engaging formats: videos, guides, podcasts, tech reviews
  • AI Exchange reviews – we pressure test AI tech in faith-based use cases

By leveraging Amen for AI’s ministry-context testing and analysis, church leaders can make informed decisions about AI while furthering their mission with modern capabilities.

Sign up for newsletter:
https://ai-for-churches.com/amen-for-ai-newsletter/

AI for Churches Podcast

This podcast focuses on helping church leaders harness the power of artificial intelligence and unlock AI’s potential for ministry.

Join host David Thorne to talk about the tools, topics, and opinions that live at the intersection of artificial intelligence and Christianity.

Airing twice a month, you’ll hear from guests including:

  • Church leaders and innovators using AI to amplify the gospel
  • AI experts on the front lines of hot-button discussions
  • Christian thought leaders balancing technology and biblical integrity

Listen today:
https://ai-for-churches.com/ai-for-churches-podcast/

AI for Churches Blog

Artificial intelligence (AI) changes daily. The AI for Churches blog helps church professionals keep up. On this blog, you can browse content about the basics of AI, tactical suggestions on how to make AI tools work for your team, and opinions about the intersection of AI and Christianity.

Read the blog:
https://ai-for-churches.com/blog/

Our Team Stays In-Tune With National AI Trends

Observations from AI Conference

Takeaways from David Thorne

“The first ever national AI Conference was held in San Francisco in September, 2023. Speakers from the most influential companies in the world shared their insights and progress on the topic of artificial intelligence (AI). I think that myself and fellow Missional Marketing colleague, developer Jason Collier, represented the only Christian organization in attendance. We listened to over 25 speakers covering all kinds of topics related to artificial intelligence. If artifical intelligence is on your radar, and you love conferences, we’re sharing our key AI insights for churches, and how they may help you on your path.”

Here are a few bullet points of what David learned at The AI Conference:

  • We’re Just Getting Started with AI
  • We’re in the Wild West of AI Ethics
  • AI should be Helpful, Honest, and Harmless
  • AI Should Augment Humans, Not Replace Them

Read David’s seven insights from the conference::
https://ai-for-churches.com/7-essential-ai-insights-for-churches-from-inaugural-the-ai-conference/

Takeaways from Jason Collier

“I recently had the opportunity to spend two long but rewarding days in San Francisco soaking in The AI Conference. This vendor-neutral event – the first of what will be a yearly series – was focused on broadly sharing AI related knowledge and innovation with the community at large.

Attendees were able to hear from an extremely wide range of speakers. Some talks were deeply technical, while others very high level. There was of course speaker representation from many of the usual Silicon Valley suspects such as Google, Meta, Microsoft and nVidia. Big players in the AI space, who you might not yet be overly familiar with, accounted for most of the other speakers, including the co-founder of Anthropic (the company behind Claude, a market leading LLM). Finally there were speakers from disciplines that were a bit surprising to me, including the Department of Defence, Government, and Venture Capital firms.

In this post, I’m going to highlight three takeaways from the conference. Coming from a technical discipline myself, some of these will deal with the finer points of certain technologies, but I’ll try to focus on the big picture impact that will be relevant to a layman.”

Here are a few bullet points of what Jason learned at The AI Conference:

  • Applications You Already Use Will Gain AI Powers Soon. Embrace Them!
  • The Only Thing That Stops A Bad Guy With AI Is A Good Guy With AI
  • There Are Very Smart People That Care About AI Safety

Read all of Jason’s takeaways here:

https://ai-for-churches.com/3-takeaways-from-the-ai-conference-2023/

Closing

In conclusion, as a tool for pastors, artificial intelligence provides an avenue to not only streamline the sermon creation and distribution process but also to facilitate meaningful connections within your congregation and beyond. Its application frees up valuable time for pastors, allowing them to focus on what truly matters – ushering in a compassionate, spirit-led community. Artificial Intelligence isn’t here to replace the traditional sanctity of pastoral work; on the contrary, it’s a powerful aid that works alongside you, amplifying your message and helping you reach more lives with the good news of the Gospel.