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Artificial Intelligence: Exploring major areas for ministry (2)

by Church Times


Oyewole O. Sarumi |Ph.D., ACC.

Fighting AI integration into your ministry is a lone battle that you can’t win. No one can stop the progress of AI. It’s the future of the digital era, and it is here already. AI is going to be the central force in our future including your ministry.” – Oyewole Sarumi, 2023.

The world is changing, and so are the ways churches can connect with their communities. Artificial intelligence (AI) offers a range of tools that can empower ministry leaders to streamline tasks, enhance communication, and deepen the faith experience for their congregations.

Pastors and church leaders may deploy AI Tools effectively to augment their workflow, performance, and productivity in the following critical areas:

  1. Writing Assistance

  2. Creating Educational Materials

  3. Sermon Enhancement

  4. Marketing and Outreach

  5. Administrative Efficiency

  6. Personalized Pastoral Care & Counselling

  7. Community Analysis

  8. Community Engagement and Outreach

  9. Data Analytics for Decision-Making

  10. Language Translation and Interpretation

  11. AI-Powered Communication & Collaboration

  12. AI and Enhancing Interactive Worship Experiences

  13. Create devotionals.

  14. Streamlining Event Management

  15. Facilitating Learning and Development

Briefly discussed below are the 5 Categories with the  15 exciting areas depicted above where AI can be harnessed with examples of relevant tools to strengthen your ministry:




  1. Writing Assistance: AI tools can help draft compelling newsletters, emails, and even sermon outlines, freeing pastors to focus on refining the message and adding their unique voices.
  • AI Tools: ChatGPT, Rytr, ai, Writesonic, JasperAI, & CopySmith, etc.
  • Tools like Grammarly and ProWritingAid can refine grammar, sentence structure, and overall clarity in newsletters, emails, and other written communications.
  • Jasper and Rytr can help generate initial drafts and suggest creative content for announcements, blog posts, and social media captions.
  • Applications: Craft compelling newsletters, emails, announcements, and even sermon outlines. AI generates initial drafts that you can refine, saving time and ensuring consistent communication.


  1. Educational Materials: Generate engaging Bible study resources with AI suggestions for outlines, discussion points, and scripture references.
  • AI Tools: QuillBot (paraphrasing), Wordtune (tone & style adjustments), OpenAI Codex, GPT-3, Jarvis, Copy.ai, JasperAI etc.
  • Canva offers user-friendly design templates for creating visually engaging Bible study handouts and worksheets.
  • SparkToro provides insights into trending topics and audience interests, allowing for the creation of relevant and timely study materials.
  • Applications: Develop Bible study guides, worksheets, and handouts. AI suggests outlines, key points, and relevant scripture references, providing a solid foundation for educational resources.


  1. Sermon Enhancement: Brainstorm captivating sermon titles and illustrations to make sermons more relatable and impactful for modern audiences.
  • AI Tools: SermonMachine (topic & illustration suggestions), Proclaim (manuscript formatting), Sermonary, SermonAI, OpenAI Codex, Jarvis, JasperAI, etc.
  • Other tools include SermonFuse (sermon outlines), Bible Gateway (scripture references), and AnswerThePublic (trending topics).
  • SermonSpice offers sermon illustrations, anecdotes, and contemporary references to enhance sermon content.
  • Quechua analyzes scripture to identify key themes and verses, aiding in sermon development.
  • Applications: Brainstorm sermon series titles, craft engaging introductions, and conclusions, and find relevant illustrations and anecdotes to connect with modern audiences.


  1. Marketing and Outreach: Design eye-catching flyers and social media graphics with tools like Canva, while AI analytics can help tailor outreach efforts to resonate with your community.
  • AI Tools: Canva (design), Mailchimp (email marketing), Hootsuite (social media management), Buffer, Hootsuite, HubSpot, Google Analytics, etc.
  • Facebook Ads Manager and Google Ads leverage AI to target specific demographics and interests, ensuring outreach efforts reach the right audience.
  • Canva assists in creating eye-catching flyers, posters, and social media graphics for effective church marketing.
  • Applications: Create visually appealing flyers, social media posts, and website content. Leverage analytics to understand audience demographics and tailor outreach efforts for maximum impact


  1. Administrative Efficiency:

    Automate repetitive tasks like scheduling meetings, managing databases, and tracking attendance, allowing staff to focus on more personal interactions.

  • AI Tools: Calendly (scheduling), Honeycomb (communication & task management), Zapier, Trello, Monday.com, Asana, etc.
  • Church Community Builder and Planning Centre automate tasks like scheduling meetings, managing databases, and tracking attendance, freeing up valuable staff time.
  • Honeybook automates appointment scheduling and streamlines communication with church members.
  • Applications: Automate tasks like scheduling meetings, managing databases, and tracking attendance. This frees up valuable time for church staff to focus on core ministry activities.


  1. Personalized Counselling & Pastoral Care:

    Analyze data to better understand congregation needs and preferences, enabling pastors to provide more personalized pastoral care.

  • AI Tools: SurveyMonkey (gathering feedback), CRM software (constituent relationship management), Cogito, X2AI, Woebot, CaredFor, Sense.ly, etc.
  • BetterHelp and Talkspace are online platforms that connect church members with licensed therapists for confidential counseling. However, these are not AI-powered but can be facilitated by the church.
  • SurveyMonkey allows for anonymous surveys to gauge congregational needs and preferences, informing personalized pastoral care strategies
  • Applications: Analyze data on congregational needs and preferences to personalize pastoral care. This ensures each member feels seen, understood, and supported.


  1. Community Analysis

    : Gain valuable insights into community demographics and trends to inform strategic ministry planning.

  • AI Tools: Social media listening tools (e.g., Brandwatch), Google Trends, Tableau, IBM Watson Analytics, Google Trends, Microsoft Power BI, SAS, etc.
  • Google Trends reveals trending topics and searches within your community, allowing you to tailor ministry programs and messages to address their specific needs.
  • Social media listening tools like Brandwatch analyze online conversations to understand community demographics and interests.
  • Applications: Gain insights into community demographics, trends, and local interests. This allows churches to tailor programs and outreach efforts to address the specific needs of their surroundings.


  1. Engagement and Outreach:

    Utilize social media monitoring tools to connect with your congregation and understand their interests to better tailor programs and communication.

  • AI Tools: Social media monitoring tools (e.g., Sprout Social), Crowdsignal (surveys & polls), Sprout Social, Mention, Brandwatch, Socialbakers, Talkwalker, etc.
  • Social media management tools like Hootsuite and Buffer schedule and automate social media posts, fostering consistent communication with your congregation.
  • ManyChat allows you to create chatbots that answer frequently asked questions and engage with church members online.
  • Applications: Understand the concerns and interests of your community. Develop targeted social media campaigns and programs that resonate with your audience.




  1. Data Analytics:

    AI can analyze church data to identify areas for improvement and adapt ministries to better serve your community’s evolving needs.

  • AI Tools: Church Management Software (e.g., Church Community Builder), Google Analytics (website traffic), Google Analytics, Microsoft Power BI, IBM Cognos Analytics, QlikView, Domo, etc.
  • Church management software like ChurchMetrics and ly provide valuable insights into attendance records, giving patterns, and member engagement.
  • Power BI and Tableau are data visualization tools that translate complex data into easy-to-understand dashboards, aiding informed decision-making.
  • Applications: Analyze attendance records, giving patterns, and engagement metrics. Gain insights into the needs and preferences of your congregation, allowing for strategic planning and resource allocation.


  1. Language Translation and Interpretation:

    AI translation tools can bridge language barriers and ensure everyone receives pastoral care, regardless of background.

  • AI Tools: Google Translate, Microsoft Translator, DeepL, Translate.com, IBM Watson Language Translator, etc.
  • Google Translate and Microsoft Translator provide real-time translation for sermons, written materials, and online communication.
  • Voice translator devices like Pocketalk facilitate face-to-face communication with non-English speaking members.
  • Applications: Translate sermons, written materials, or facilitate communication during counseling sessions or hospital visits. This ensures inclusivity and eliminates language barriers in pastoral care.


  1. Personalized Communication:

    Chatbots can offer immediate answers to frequently asked questions, improving communication and accessibility.

  • AI Tools: Chatbots, ManyChat (Facebook Messenger chatbot), Intercom, ChatGPT, Dialogflow, Ada, etc.
  • Chatbots powered by ManyChat or Drift can answer common questions about church events, service times, and directions.
  • SMS messaging platforms like Twilio allow for automated appointment reminders and important announcements.
  • Applications: Offer 24/7 support and answer frequently asked questions. Provide a convenient way for church members to connect and get information promptly.


  1. Interactive Worship:

    Explore the potential of natural language processing to create engaging and immersive prayer and worship experiences. A worship experience can benefit from having tools like ChatGPT or JasperAI write announcement scripts for church services.

  • AI Tools: Natural Language Processing tools (e.g., Bard), Altar Live, JasperAI, ChatGPT, OpenAI Codex, Sermonary, etc.
  • Planning Center allows for online song lyrics, announcements, and giving options, creating a more interactive worship experience.
  • Worship projection software like ProPresenter and SongShow Plus can integrate interactive elements like polls and quizzes into worship services.
  • Applications: Develop interactive prayer prompts, reflection exercises, or even generate music based on specific themes. Enhance the worship experience by creating a more immersive and engaging atmosphere.


  1. Devotional Generation:

    AI tools can assist with devotional content, expanding on current sermons and providing additional resources for deeper reflection.

  • AI Tools: Content-generating AI (e.g., ShortlyAI), Sermonary, ChatGPT, Jarvis, CopySmith, JasperAI, etc.
  • Devotional generators like Verses and Bible Gateway offer scripture selections and starting points for daily devotionals.
  • Content creation tools like Jasper can be used to generate initial drafts of devotionals based on specific themes or Bible passages.
  • Applications: Generate devotionals that align with your sermon series or current events. This can provide additional faith-building content for your church app or newsletter.


  1. Streamlined Event Management

    : Simplify event planning with AI assistance for registration, reminders, and scheduling based on past attendance patterns.

  • AI Tools: Eventbrite (registration & ticketing), Doodle (scheduling), Eventbrite, Cvent, RSVPify, AI-Events, Monday.com, etc.
  • Eventbrite and SignUp Genius simplify online event registration and can even suggest optimal dates and times based on historical data.
  • Planning Centre allows for online ticketing and event management, streamlining the entire event planning process.
  • Applications: Simplify event planning by managing registrations, sending reminders, and suggesting optimal dates and times based on past data. This ensures better organization and higher participation rates.



  1. Learning and Development:

    Offer personalized learning paths and AI-powered simulations for church staff and members to enhance their skills and knowledge.

  • AI Tools: Adaptive learning platforms (e.g., IXL), Online course platforms (e.g., Udemy), Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, Pluralsight, Teachable, etc.
  • Udemy (online courses), Skillshare (creative learning platform), Duolingo (language learning).
  • AI supports learning and development initiatives by offering personalized courses, simulations, and resources for church staff and members, enhancing skills and knowledge.
  • Applications: Offer personalized learning paths for religious education or leadership training. Utilize AI-powered simulations to enhance skills and knowledge for both church staff and members.


AI is a powerful tool that can empower churches to reach new heights. By exploring these areas of intervention, ministry leaders can unlock new possibilities for serving their communities and inspiring their congregations.


Remember, AI is a tool to enhance, not replace, human connection and spiritual guidance.




  1. Start Small and Specific:
  • Rather than aiming for a massive AI overhaul, pick one area where the potential benefits are clear


  1. Seek clarifications prior to use:
  • Administrative tasks: Can AI help streamline your scheduling processes?
  • Communication: Would AI-powered personalization make your outreach more effective?
  • Content creation: Could you utilize AI brainstorming tools for your next sermon series?


  1. Explore Free Or Low-Cost Ai Tools:
  • There’s no need to break the bank or church budget to get started.
  • Many readily available AI tools offer freemium plans or affordable options such as:
  • AI writing assistants: Tools like Grammarly or Jasper can provide writing assistance, grammar suggestions, and even tone analysis.
  • AI transcription services: Options like aior Descript can transcribe audio to text, making sermons or meetings easier to reference.
  • AI image generators: Explore tools like DALL-E or Midjourney if you need visuals for presentations, social media posts, or other content.


  1. Learn And Adapt
  • The best way to understand how AI can serve your needs is to experiment and observe the results.
  • Take note of what works well, where it falls short, and what your members respond to.
  • Technology is constantly evolving, so stay informed.
  • Follow tech blogs, attend webinars, and connect with other church leaders engaged in AI.



Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents a transformative landscape for religious organizations. Here’s a glimpse into how AI is projected to impact future faith practices:

  1. Enhanced Efficiency and Focus: AI can automate administrative tasks, scheduling, and data management, freeing up valuable time for clergy and ministry leaders. This allows them to focus on core activities like building relationships, offering spiritual guidance, and fostering deeper connections with their congregations.


  1. Personalized Ministry and Outreach: Data-driven insights and AI-powered tools can personalize outreach efforts and pastoral care. Churches can tailor communication, resources, and support to individual needs, leading to a more impactful ministry.


  1. Expanded Reach and Engagement: AI can assist in content distribution across various platforms, facilitating online interaction and engagement with a wider audience. This allows churches to connect with geographically dispersed members and individuals seeking spiritual connection.


  1. Deepening Religious Experiences: AI-powered tools and chatbots have the potential to provide personalized spiritual experiences. This could include tailored prayers, meditations, and other practices based on individual preferences and needs, fostering a deeper connection with faith.


  1. Enhanced Religious Education: Interactive learning tools, AI-powered chatbots, and virtual assistants can improve the quality and accessibility of religious education. This allows for more engaging learning experiences and facilitates exploration of faith for individuals of all ages and learning styles.


  1. Increased Diversity and Inclusivity: AI-powered translation tools can break down language barriers, making religious practices accessible to a wider audience. AI can also be used to create more inclusive and diverse experiences that reflect the perspectives and cultures of different communities.


  1. Navigating Ethical Considerations: As AI becomes more integrated into faith practices, ethical concerns require careful consideration. These include the use of AI in religious decision-making, potential biases within AI algorithms, and ensuring technology complements, rather than replaces, human connection.


  1. Potential Shifts in Religious Authority: With the rise of AI-powered spiritual tools, a shift in religious authority structures may occur. It’s important to ensure AI tools complement traditional religious leadership by providing support and resources, not replacing human guidance and spiritual discernment.

Overall, AI offers exciting possibilities for faith practices. By embracing AI responsibly and ethically, religious organizations can enhance ministry effectiveness, deepen community engagement, and create a more inclusive and accessible space for individuals seeking spiritual connection.

 Read also: AI Revolution is your ministry ready?:https://churchtimesnigeria.net/the-ai-revolution-is-your-ministry-ready-part-1/

CONCLUSION: Embracing the Future of Ministry with AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) has transcended the realm of science fiction, transforming industries worldwide. Its potential to reshape ministry is undeniable. Churches that proactively integrate AI with wisdom and discernment stand to usher in a new era of effectiveness.

The transformative power of AI extends across various aspects of ministry. From optimizing operations and deepening personalization to expanding outreach and fostering discipleship, AI emerges as a powerful tool, opening new avenues for engagement. However, it’s crucial to emphasize that AI enhances, not supplants, the human experience. Ethical and moral boundaries must remain steadfast, ensuring AI serves as an amplifier rather than a replacement for the human touch in ministry.

As church leaders, our primary calling is to shepherd God’s people. Technology, including AI, should always support this core purpose. Strategically and ethically applied, AI offers a robust toolkit for leaders seeking to optimize operations, deepen personalization, and expand their ministry’s reach. This journey towards harnessing AI’s power for the mission of the Church is just beginning, with vast potential waiting to be explored.

Important Question: Following this discussion, how do you view AI’s potential role in ministry? How might you begin integrating it into your work as a pastor or church leader?

AI presents a thrilling frontier for faith, offering possibilities for more profound and inclusive worship experiences, boosted creative expression in sermon writing and media production, and innovative pathways for discipleship and ministry. Yet, responsible and discerning navigation is paramount. AI should serve as a tool to amplify the essence of our ministry, not replace it. Through thoughtful integration, AI can become a valuable partner in crafting a more dynamic and faith-filled future for our congregations.

The future beckons the Church to embrace AI as an opportunity to extend its reach, optimize operations, and engage the community on a deeper level. By harnessing the power of AI technologies, churches can enhance worship, empower pastoral care, and optimize community outreach. However, navigating ethical considerations and maintaining a balance between technology and human connection remains crucial. Embracing AI with wisdom and discernment positions the Church at the forefront of innovation, enabling it to better serve and impact the lives of individuals in a rapidly evolving world.

Closing Thought:

“AI is here to stay. It’s very much like the dawn of the computer era in the 80s and 90s, or the rise of the internet era in the 2000s. It’s not going anywhere. It’s only going to get better. It’s only going to get more integrated into our lives including the church.” – Tonye Brown, FaithGPT.



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