Have you heard the hype or are you avoiding it?
Some people think this new tech has no place in churches, and others relish the opportunities the new tool brings.
So, who is right?
In this post we’ll explain what you need to know about AI and ChatGPT for churches and how it’s going to affect social media and content writing.
What Is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is the most advanced chatbot in the world developed by OpenAI.
AI and ChatGPT are not synonymous.
AI stands for Artificial Intelligence and encompasses a wide range of tech attempting to simulate human intelligence by machines. Sound creepy yet?
ChatGPT uses AI. It's like a smart search engine that goes one step further and puts what you're looking for together in human language.
ChatGPT has learned from a lot of information on the internet, so it can respond and answer questions.
It’s like a glorified google search.
Instead of searching on a search engine yourself, it’s like asking a friend a question, then they went to google to find some ideas of how to answer you and then they respond from their findings with no sources cited.
ChatGPT is designed to engage in conversations, answer questions, provide explanations, and generate coherent responses.
It has been trained on vast amounts of text data from the internet, making it a powerful tool for any type of content writing like blog posts, website content, presentation outlines, scripts, emails, social media captions or anything else you need to write.
It would have been nice to have this when I had to write essays in high school!
Here’s the catch: ChatGPT is a useless tool without a human heavily massaging the content it comes up with and adding in first-hand experience and expertise.
No chatbot can replace your story, real-world experience, and you know communication with living, breathing people with a soul.
That being said, here’s some advantages and disadvantages of using ChatGPT for your Church’s content creation.
Pros Of Using ChatGPT For Your Church’s Content Creation
Do Church’s Need To Create Content
Wait, do church’s need to create content?
You are already creating a lot of content without even realizing.
You have a robust weekly piece of content, your Sunday Message!
Plus you probably have a website, social media, emails you send out and maybe a blog.
The questions you need to answer are: Do you want to put that content online in some way?
Do you want people to find your church digitally?
And do you want to set yourself up for the unavoidable future of finding stuff online?
Think about this: you consume digital content for education, for entertainment and to find products or services you need.
It’s a normal part of life.
Because of that if your church doesn’t have a digital presence it gives the impression that your doors are closed.
If you want to reach people online, and keep your doors wide open, consistent content creation is key.
Aka consistently putting written and visual content out on the internet in different forms and locations.
Content creation for your church can include all but not limited to: Sunday Sermons, Social Media Posts, Blogs, PDF Guides, E-Books, Emails and YouTube Videos.
So the answer is yes, your church already creates content, and it’s a matter of where you’d like to make that content available.
Is your content only available verbally on a Sunday?
Or is it documented and dispersed online for maximum reach even after Sunday is over?
If you’d like to do the latter, keep reading for advantages of using ChatGPT to make this process much easier.
While ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for content writing, you must remember that it should supplement the work of human copywriters and not replace them entirely.
Human oversight is crucial to ensure the final output aligns with your church’s values, follows ethical guidelines, and involves a relational touch that ChatGPT can’t and will never give.
Never Start From Scratch
With ChatGPT you’ll never stare at a blank page again.
You can start with an outline, basic email draft, social media caption template or creative ideas that you can edit and add your human touch to.
You’ll do more editing and refining, and less banging your head against the wall coming up with somewhere to start.
Write Content Faster
ChatGPT can generate text quickly in the right format for whatever you need content for, enabling you to produce content at a faster pace.
This is particularly useful for churches if you are a volunteer or the only staff member working on your content.
For example: Tell ChatGPT to write an Instagram Post and Twitter Post from your Sunday Message Transcript.
Repurpose Existing Content For Multiple Platforms
My favorite way to use ChatGPT is to put in a transcript and ask it to repurpose content for you in different formats.
This way ChatGPT is learning from your content you feed it, versus coming up with something random.
For example: You give ChatGPT your Sunday Message transcript and ask for a Youtube description, captions for social media, to pull 5 inspiring quotes from your transcript, a 1 minute script that summarizes the transcript for a video promo, or a blog post with a clear outline.
Does that sound like it would make your life easier?
Get Ideas And Suggestions
ChatGPT can provide creative ideas and suggestions.
It can help writers overcome writer's block and come up with fresh and engaging content angles.
For example: You can ask ChatGPT for social media post ideas, a blog post outline based on certain keywords, or ask what social media posts would help people who are searching for God.
Cons Of ChatGPT Content For Churches
Lack of Human Touch
Don’t use ChatGPT content verbatim, it’s not going to be good.
ChatGPT-generated content lacks the emotional depth and understanding that comes from human writers.
This can lead to copy that feels impersonal or fails to resonate on a deeper level.
ChatGPT might generate content based on incorrect or outdated information present in its training data.
It lacks the ability to cite sources, which means you would have to fact check everything written.
The quality of output from ChatGPT can vary, and it may sometimes generate content that is irrelevant, off-topic, or of poor quality, requiring human intervention for review and editing.
Limited Context Understanding
ChatGPT lacks a contextual understanding of what God is doing in your church and who you are.
This makes it challenging to generate copy that aligns perfectly with your vision, mission and values.
This is why my favorite way to use ChatGPT is to give it your message transcript and then ask it to create content for you based on your transcript.
It’s like training it to know what to say!
Since ChatGPT has access to vast amounts of online content, there's a risk of inadvertently generating copy that closely resembles existing copyrighted material, leading to potential plagiarism issues.
Be careful of this if you write a blog for your church. You don’t want to just regurgitate what is already online. Search engines can see this.
Lack of Intuition and Creativity
While ChatGPT can suggest ideas, it may not have the intuition and creative insight that comes naturally to human writers.
This makes it less adept at generating truly original, creative and innovative copy.
What Does ChatGPT Mean for the Future of Churches?
While ChatGPT can help you generate content that your church can use for social media, your blog, your emails or your videos, it's essential to add a human touch to make the posts feel authentic.
You must enhance the AI-generated responses with expertise, depth, stories, character and additional context otherwise it’s useless.
As we know, no “robot” can replace God’s amazing creation, humanity and experience.
Remember, while ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for generating content, it should supplement your content creation, not replace it completely.
ChatGPT and other tools using a similar language model can be very useful for churches that want to create better content faster to reach more people online.
Bottom line: ChatGPT is only useful if you know how to accurately prompt it through testing and add your church’s personal touch, voice and context.
In the future there will be more tools and web apps created for churches using AI to help you quickly create your content.