The dawn of the 21st century has ushered in an era of technological advancements, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) leading the way. This powerful technology has been subtly woven into our daily lives, augmenting various sectors, including healthcare, education, finance, and transportation. As a result, the influence of AI is pervasive and profound, and its transformative power is becoming increasingly apparent to the general public.

One standout AI model that has emerged recently is OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Its rapid growth and influence have been nothing short of phenomenal. A testament to its impact is the staggering statistic revealing its user base to be over 100 million, with the website attracting 1.8 billion monthly visitors. Incredibly, this unprecedented growth was accomplished in just a record-breaking three-month period from
February to April 2023.

Because of the revolutionary potential of AI, it remains crucial for every Christian to consider how we can harness this technology for the greater good. The explosive growth of AI should not leave us in its dust but inspire us to adopt and adapt to this new communication age. So how can we leverage this technology and ensure it serves our Christian mission?

I firmly believe that AI offers immense possibilities for promoting the Christian mission and extending the reach of the Gospel message. It presents new and exciting avenues for evangelism, education, church administration, and addressing spiritual needs in our increasingly digital world.

AI’s potential as a tool for evangelism is immense. Evangelism’s primary goal is to disseminate the teachings of Jesus Christ as widely as possible. In this context, AI-driven chatbots like ChatGPT can be instrumental. These chatbots can interact with individuals in a natural, human-like manner, engaging them in meaningful discussions about Christianity. In addition, given their linguistic capabilities and
24/7 availability, they can reach out to people across different cultures, languages, and time zones, thus helping spread the Gospel.

AI can also revolutionise Christian education and discipleship. For instance, AI can help create personalised Bible study plans. Depending on an individual’s comprehension level and specific inquiries, AI can suggest suitable Bible verses, explain intricate Biblical concepts, and provide a more profound understanding of Scripture. It can assist with memorisation techniques, contextual explanations, and comparative studies, leading to a richer knowledge and experience of the Bible and Christian teachings.

In church administration and outreach, AI can also be a valuable asset. AI-driven tools like ChatGPT can aid in scheduling sermons, organising church activities, tracking member participation, and enhancing community engagement. They can also help analyse community needs and preferences to develop more effective outreach programs. All this without spending a penny.

Many people turn to the internet for their spiritual needs in our digital age. Online platforms have become a refuge for those seeking spiritual solace, understanding, or answers to their spiritual queries. AI technology like ChatGPT can help churches meet these needs, addressing common questions, offering spiritual encouragement, and directing individuals to a human pastor or counsellor for further support.

However, while AI holds great promise, it is essential to approach it with due ethical considerations. It is a tool that lacks human empathy, compassion, and spiritual discernment and should, therefore, never replace human pastoral care but rather augment it.

In conclusion, AI presents intriguing possibilities for Christian Mission. It offers new ways to reach out to the lost, educate the seekers, support the faithful, and serve our communities. However, as we navigate this intersection of faith and technology, we must always aim to use AI in alignment with our Christian values, always striving to glorify God and make His love known to all.

Mark Kelly