Should My Church Use ChatGPT?

Rochelle Smith

Technology is a fast moving entity these days, and one of the newest pieces of tech to hit the scene is ChatGPT, an AI writing software that is causing shake ups and debates across every single field and industry. 

Churches are always looking for new and innovative ways to reach more people and serve their communities, and ChatGPT may offer that, but you should consider the potential benefits and drawbacks before jumping into the world of artificial intelligence in your church.


What is ChatGPT?

If you haven’t already heard, ChatGPT is a AI model developed by the tech company, OpenAI. It uses the GPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) software to create human-like text based on the input it receives. It has been trained on a massive amount of text data from across the internet and can be used to generate anything from a poem to HTML code to a sermon. Ask ChatGPT to “write me a sermon on depression” or “tell me the meaning of Christmas” and it will write you a personalized answer based on all the data it has been trained on.


What are the Benefits of ChatGPT for my church?

Churches put out a ton of content throughout the week. Sermons, email blasts, devotionals, podcasts, blogs, bulletins, social media posts: you do it all. And wouldn’t it be nice to be able to automatically generate some of that content? Or at least, use it to draft something you could edit to fit the voice and tone of your church?

ChatGPT allows you to instantly pull up “Bible verses about Christmas” or “write a social media post for Mother’s Day” and can save you a ton of time on the small details throughout your week.

ChatGPT is being heralded as a huge time saver and efficient way to create quick and easy content. Your church staff could get back tons of time that they spend drafting content that they don’t even realize they spend time on. Things like event announcements and social media posts can be created with ChatGPT in an instant and then edited to meet your church’s needs.


Ways you can use ChatGPT for your church

  • Write social media posts and hashtags for holidays and other generic events
  • Create event announcements (Trunk or Treat, Egg hunt, Christmas Eve services) and drop in your own details
  • Generate ideas for your church podcast or blog
  • Pull up lists of Bible verses relevant to certain topics or holidays
  • Write basic copy for event descriptions and ministry pages
  • Spark your creativity by asking it to rewrite copy that feels bland, unclear, or just not quite right
  • Ask ChatGPT to gather resources from the internet to save you research time


What are the drawbacks of ChatGPT for my church?

AI software is an incredibly new technology that we’re still learning the quirks of. Because ChatGPT has been trained by generic content out on the internet, it is NOT infallible. You will probably run into mistakes with AI generated blog posts and other content. If you are using ChatGPT to create content, you will for sure need to proofread and fact check before you start sending AI content to your congregation. 

Additionally, ChatGPT is not going to be a great resource for the most important content you produce every week: your Sunday sermon. Because it is an artificial intelligence that learned from the internet, its content is typically very generic and lacks theological and pastoral insight into tricky subjects. 

There has also been some debate regarding copyright law on ChatGPT since it was trained with content from the internet that the original creators may or may not be getting credit for. Additionally, there is debate on who actually owns the content that ChatGPT writes for you.


Is the use of Artificial Intelligence Biblical?

Some might argue that using an artificial intelligence tool like ChatGPT subverts the natural order or that it circumvents the work of the Holy Spirit and his gifting of writers in the church. 

While we understand this argument, we’d say that ChatGPT doesn’t circumvent the giftings of writers in the church. Instead it actually frees them up to put effort into the work that matters most to your congregation. 

The use of any new digital tool may beg this question, but this tool, and any tools for church marketing, are to be used by God’s people and His church for the growth of the Kingdom.


ChatGPT is a tool, not a solution

At the end of the day, ChatGPT is a tool just like any other you might use. It has its upsides and downsides. If you are going to use ChatGPT to help support the content creation at your church, it is important to be discerning about what you ask this computer to write for you. 

We love that you’re thinking about taking new opportunities to engage with people. Did you know you can use the free, $10,000/month Google Ad Grant to connect more people with your church? The Google Ad Grant is another great digital tool to help expand your reach and connect with more people in your community. Learn more about the grant here!

Today, church growth starts with Google.

People in your area are googling all kinds of questions that you have answers to - things like "how to pick a church" "how to fix my marriage" or "how to manage anxiety".

We can help you reach more people each week (and we can help you use the free, $10,000/month Google Ad Grant to do it). Interested in learning more? Book a free strategy call with me.

Ryan Clark
CEO, Reach The Lost