Texas Church Uses AI to Devise Sunday Service

A church in Texas has reportedly used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to devise an entire Sunday service as a “one-time experiment.”

The Violet Crown City Church in Austin used ChatGPT, an AI chat program to plan every detail of their worship service, from the order of prayers to the selection of songs and even commissioning it to write a new song related to the sermon.

According to Premier, Jay Cooper, the church’s pastor, started the Sunday service by reading out the prompt he had given to ChatGPT, to come up with the service.

“Create a Sunday morning worship service 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. Include four familiar hymns or contemporary worship songs, a call to worship, pastoral prayer, children’s message, offering time, communion liturgy, a sermon, and one original song to reflect the message of the sermon,” He said.

In an interview with Austin-based broadcaster KXAN, pastor Jay said that the chat had produced just a 15-minute service. He acknowledged however that some human element is still needed to create today’s service.

“I had to fill out the service with additional prompts,” the pastor said. “And add a couple of prompts to the sermon to kind of beef it up.”

Reflecting on the service, one church member said he was able to worship but the AI-written sermon lacked the expressiveness and emotion of one written by a person.

“I’m not sure that AI can actually express the emotions of love and kindness and empathy,” the parishioner said. “I think that we must practice love and express that. Not only feel it, but we must express it.”

The pastor stated that the event was a “one-time experiment” and assured members that it wasn’t likely to happen again. He added that “we believe it’s a worthy and timely [experiment] in our ever-changing world, especially with the rise of AI.”


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