Integrating AI in Ministry Without Losing Your Soul


You’ve probably heard a variation of the saying, “the shortcut is actually the longest path.” It’s a cautionary tale that reminds us quick fixes are (often) too good to be true. This is especially true in ministry, I would suppose. But in some ways, AI could be an exception to the rule.

AI is a shortcut for some productivity things that actually delivers on its promise. Just in the last year (months, even!) we’ve been handed AI-powered tools that can do in the blink of an eye many mundane things that used to take hours or days. Is this Ok?

Here’s the thing – AI can be a double-edged sword, in life and ministry. While it can be an incredible asset, it can also become a crutch, and cause us to forego a lot of personal development.

Sometimes the journey to a conclusion is just as important as the conclusion itself.

It’s easy to get so caught up in all the new tools and capabilities, that we start relying on it too heavily… even to the detriment of our own growth and Spirit-leading. We forget the fundamental habits and reliance on the Spirit that got us here in the first place.

And that’s where the real danger lies. You still need to know whether the final product (lesson, sermon, vision, initiative) is effective, ordained, and appropriate. Just because you got there faster doesn’t ensure any of these things.

Here are 5 practices to cultivate character, wisdom, and spiritual depth, while exploring and harnessing the capabilities of AI.

  1. Balance efficiency with personal development:
    Recognize that while AI can streamline tasks, it’s essential to not neglect personal growth and spiritual development. Balance time for both leveraging AI tools and engaging in personal study and work that fosters your own development.
  2. Maintain reliance on spiritual guidance:
    Despite the convenience of AI, remember to rely on discernment and guidance from the Spirit. Maintain prayer, meditation, and reflection in your routine and work to ensure your decisions align with spiritual principles.
  3. Evaluate effectiveness and appropriateness:
    Don’t solely rely on AI-generated outcomes as indicators of success. The outputs can often be very good… incredible, even. But continuously assess whether the results align with your ministry’s goals, values, and the guidance of the Spirit.
  4. Use AI as a tool, not a crutch:
    While AI can be beneficial, avoid over-dependence on it. Ensure that AI supplements your abilities rather than replacing fundamental skills and spiritual practices.
  5. Stay grounded in your core disciplines: Maintain a strong foundation in the core disciplines of ministry, such as study, prayer, spiritual conversations, and wrestling with God over ideas and direction. For centuries, God spoke and advanced His church without the use of AI… this should be our go-to.

So, what can we conclude from this? Use AI to your advantage, but don’t let it become a disadvantage. Embrace it as a tool to enhance your ministry efforts, but don’t forget the core disciplines that make you, yourself, a Spirit-led disciple and minister in the meantime.

If you’d like to chat together to strike the right balance and harness the power of technology while staying rooted in effective spiritual habits, feel free to reach out.