Should I be worried?
Last week the Wisconsin State Journal published an article on the use of AI (artificial intelligence) in writing a weekly sermon. There are AI sermon generating websites can produce a one-thousand-word sermon in less than thirty seconds. If so directed, they will include quotes from John Wesley, Mother Teresa or even President Joe Biden. Pretty amazing!
Out of curiosity, I checked out one of these websites and typed in the passage for this coming Sunday, John 3:1-17. I suggested that the sermon focus on spiritual growth. Sure enough, thirty seconds later I had two sermon outlines.
I noticed that these sermon outlines had much to say about the scripture and even offered some details related Jesus and Nicodemus. But they lacked any awareness of good news. This particular website even had a disclaimer. “Since AI generates these outlines, please use them with caution. Notably, AI likes to make things up…”
I have heard some powerful sermons. While I do not remember the exact words of a sermon, I remember another individual sharing his or her faith. AI has no faith. It has never experienced forgiveness, love or grief. It does not know what it is like to be part of a welcoming community. AI cannot speak to life-changing experiences when it has never had one.
I fully suspect that AI technology will improve and perhaps these sermons will get a little better. Still, I will continue to welcome the challenge of writing a sermon each week and doing my best to listen to what God wants us to hear.