The congragation watching Pastor Jay. AUSTIN, USA: THE WORD of God has now been officially taken over by AI as proved by this robot-generated sermon which included humans worshipping.
You can now forget the stereotype that religion is backwards as this Methodist Church in the US now uses artificial intelligence to conduct a service with ChatGPT.
On September 17, 2023, the Violet Crown City Church, a Methodist church in North Austin, USA transformed the tradition of Sunday service into the new age with Artificial Intelligence.
Pastor Jay Cooper (AGE), of Violet Crown City Church decided to debut an AI-generated worship service for his congregation.
Jay came across this idea of using AI to worship God through using Chat GPT himself for personal use such as writing humorous country music lyrics for fun, and thought it would be a great way to move his congregation into the 21st-century by introducing them to AI in a way that still lets them worship God.
Using AI, Jay recorded the service while letting the artificial intelligence generator conduct the service, with AI being able to create prayers, a sermon, and an original song based on the sermon itself.
Jay insisted he was able to use AI in a way that many would not have thought of and take the stereotype that Christianity meant being unaccepting and stuck in the past.
“The idea to create an AI-generated worship service came from my belief that the church should not only be aware of the most pressing issues of our world, but also to actively engage in them,” Jay said.
“AI is definitely one of those issues, so I wanted to incorporate it into our community life in such a way that it would make an impact.
“The initial reason we offered this, admittedly unorthodox, service was to inform our congregation about AI and to understand its potential and its limitations.
“The purpose is to invite us to consider the nature of truth and challenge our assumptions about what God can make sacred and inspired.
“What it actually became was a meaningful conversation about how we as followers of Jesus are to seek the sacred in every person, place, and situation in our life, for scripture reminds us that when we seek God, we will find God.”
Although surprised by how many were open to the idea of an AI generated service, Jay does note that it will probably be a one-time experience for now, unless robots want to join their congregation in the future.
“I was surprised to hear several members of the church say they were able to worship during the service but I suppose it shouldn't have surprised me, especially since I opened the service with an invitation to seek to experience God in a time when we may assume we won't,” he said.
“What ultimately brought us closer to God as a community was the discussion after the service. We were able to share what was most important to us in worship and how much we treasure the human element in a community of faith, something that was clearly lacking in the AI-generated service.
“Although many were impressed by AI's ability to create prayers, a sermon, and an original song based on the sermon, along with being glad we have a much better understanding of AI now, many in our church expressed that the service felt shallow and generic and that it was missing the most important component of worship, which is heart and the human spirit of joy and authenticity.
“Never say never, I suppose, since it's possible AI may yet be of use for us in some way in the church, but for now we won't be using it again to generate any components of Sunday morning worship services.”
The opening sermon as prompted by Jay from the AI was as follows.
PROMPT: Write a call to worship for a church that values sharing life and belonging to one another, inclusivity for all, working for justice, and following in the Way of Jesus.
Let us begin our worship today with a call to worship.
“Come, all who are weary, come all who are heavy-laden,
“For in this place, we find rest for our souls.
“Come, people of all backgrounds and walks of life,
“For here, we celebrate the diversity of God's creation.
“Come, seekers of justice and peace,
“For together, we strive to make the world a better place.
“Come, followers of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
“For in His presence, we find purpose and meaning.
“Come, all who seek the Way of Jesus, for in this sacred gathering, we find belonging.”
mediadrumimages/Violet Crown City Church