I Used ChatGPT for Six Months to Help My Pastoral Ministry. Here’s What Worked.

A young Taiwanese pastor shares about the opportunities and challenges AI offers to those in the ministry.

Since ChatGPT became publicly accessible last year, we’ve heard reports that artificial intelligence (AI) will replace jobs and disrupt other aspects of our lives. Such changes may not currently be apparent to individual local churches in Taiwan. But in recent months, a number of Christian thinkers have been discussing how AI might either aid or possibly replace humans when it comes to pastoral care and preaching.

Several pastors point out that AI lacks physical, emotional, or empathetic abilities, though I personally believe that these limitations may one day be overcome technologically. In addition, they note that AI’s social bias, monopolization, and lack of spirituality when it comes to data labeling. But these are the same dilemmas humans are facing.

Many have cautioned that AI will have an ideological bias, but we can actually use the intelligence of ChatGPT to examine whether our words could unintentionally offend congregants with different political identities and positions.

As a young pastor who is optimistic about what role AI can play in my work, I recently spent six months exploring whether ChatGPT could be beneficial to my own ministry. After using this tool for half a year, I believe AI offers ways for pastors to more efficiently work and balance their many responsibilities.

Working smarter, not harder

For many pastors, there is never enough time for sermon preparation. When I was in seminary, one of my classes required students to draw up a schedule of a typical week in a pastor’s life. The professor critiqued the schedule I submitted as having “too much time for sermon preparation.” Indeed, after researching and writing a sermon and dealing with all the administrative work, leading …

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