Dear Pastors,

Artificial Intelligence may be the most important technology mankind ever develops. It’s already reconfiguring how society operates, changing the way people learn, and driving global debates about ethics. AI and other emerging technologies like the Metaverse and Virtual Reality are going to be the norm for future generations. 

With such far-reaching implications, Lead Pastors have crucial new roles to play – and I implore you to lean in early. 

Change Requires More of Us: Artificial Intelligence for Church Leaders

As a trusted expert and fellow servant in Christ, I know how deeply you care about your congregation and community. We live to shepherd the spiritual care of our congregations. To spread the Word of God and transform people’s lives. We’re driven by purpose. But we also need to be driven by the changing world around us. 

When it comes to Artificial Intelligence, it can be easy to want to sit back and watch what develops. In taking that approach, Pastors miss the opportunity to keep up with something that can truly change everything about church operations. And we cut ourselves off from a topic very much at the forefront of our congregation’s thoughts.

How Pastors Can Shape AI’s Future

Pastors aren’t trend followers. Tradition is important to us. Human connection, paramount. Being mindful – possibly even suspicious – of how new technologies can serve our mission and impact the lives of those we care about is absolutely understandable. But there are ways for us to step in:

  • 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 can improve your church, suggest those ideas to technology-focused partners who can help make them a reality

An Example: Sermon Preparation

AI for sermon preparation doesn’t mean you’ll lose your unique voice or the personal touch that makes your sermons so impactful. Instead, think of artificial intelligence like a powerful new tool in your sermon-creating toolbox. With AI technology, you can create even more powerful, transformative messages that speak to the hearts and minds of your congregation. AI for Sermon Preparation can:

  • Save Time. AI can research and gather information, so you can focus on synthesizing and planning 
  • Boost Creativity. AI presents diverse perspectives, insights, and illustrations, stimulating your thinking and providing fresh angles on familiar passages.
  • Tailor Sermons. AI can analyze your congregation’s needs and interests, helping you craft sermons that deeply resonate. 
  • Expand Biblical Knowledge. Access the latest scholarship, trends, and discoveries in theology, biblical studies, and ministry best practices, grounding your sermons in the most recent understandings of God’s Word.

The World Needs Pastors to Step In to AI Discussions

AI is not a replacement for a pastor’s God-given gifts and calling. Rather, it’s a tool to support and enhance ministry. Just like you collaborate with other pastors, mentors, and spiritual leaders, AI can be a valuable partner in your sermon preparation process and all areas of your ministry. Together, let us explore the potential of AI to enhance your ministry and be a catalyst for God’s work in the lives of those we serve.

In Christ,

David Thorne
Research and Development Leader: Missional Marketing
Ed.D in Leadership Studies
Masters in Management and Leadership, Practical Theology, and Counseling