A church in Texas has tried using artificial intelligence (AI) to design an entire Sunday service. The Violet Crown City Church in Austin enlisted the help of AI program ChatGPT to craft every aspect of the worship experience.
That included the order of prayers, the sermon, the liturgy and the choice of songs, including an original composition tied to the sermon.
“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 church explained to its parishioners. It acknowledged such an experiment would be easy to write off, but encouraged its members to keep an open mind. “Why not attend instead and experience it for yourself?” the church said, clarifying that this would be a “one-time experiment and not something we’ll likely do again.”
Pastor Jay Cooper said initially the program could only produce a 15-minute service with a “shotgun sermon” so he had to provide more prompts. He revealed some human element was still necessary to create a service.
He got the idea after reading more about AI and speaking with members of the congregation who are software developers. “There’s so many different applications for AI. I just had the idea what would it look like to incorporate this into a worship service?”
Congregation member Ernest Chambers said he was able to worship during the service, but ultimately, it was still missing a key ingredient for him — feelings. “I’m not sure that AI can actually express the emotions of love and kindness and empathy. I think that we must practice love and express that. Not only feel it, but we must express it,” he explained.
Premier Christian News reports Pastor Cooper agreed the AI-generated sermon was relevant, but like the rest of the service it lacked emotion.