Texas Pastor Who Used AI For Church Service Says He’d Never Do That Again

A church in Texas turned to artificial intelligence – ChatGPT, in particular – to conduct its worship service. This wasn’t received well by many, so the pastor is already regretting what he did. 

AI-generated church service?

Jay Cooper, the pastor of Violet Crown City Church, a Methodist church in North Austin, Texas, turned to ChatGPT to officiate one of the worship services it held last month. 

ChatGPT is a technology developed by artificial intelligence organization OpenAI. ChatGPT is capable of doing so many things, from composing music to coding. It was launched in November last year. 

Cooper used ChatGPT and its language learning model not only to write sermons, but also prayers and a song. 

“The initial reason we offered this, admittedly unorthodox, service was to inform our congregation about AI and to understand its potential and its limitations,” he said.

He added that the church should not only be made aware of the most pressing issues of world, “but also to actively engage in them,” pointing out that AI is “definitely one of those issues.” 

“The purpose is to invite us to consider the nature of truth and challenge our assumptions about what God can make sacred and inspired,” the pastor added. 

‘Let’s never do that again’

Not many were quite impressed about what he did, and even this pastor felt that it was not “spirit empowered” and did not have the “human element.”

“It can get relative real quickly. But then, you know, some of it was just goofy,” he recently told media outlets. “It would make these odd jokes, these kinds of metaphors or things they would try to tie in just did not make any sense.”

Cooper said he would not do another AI-generated church service, adding that it was only “a one-time deal.” 

“Let’s never do that again… It was not our intention in any way to disrespect the Holy Spirit,” the pastor said. 

Lindley Agustin

Lindley Agustin

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