Making Technique an Idol

In the church leadership world, “Technique is emerging as the new idol.” (Nate Bush)

In a half-baked post the other day, I complained about how churches today prefer gimmicks and silver bullets to the slow, hard work of transformation by the Spirit. (Actually, I wish I’d said it that well the other day.)

Lo & behold, THIS popped into my timeline. “One of my criticisms of the current approach to church, particularly church growth, in the scenes I’m part of is that it ends up being a little machine like.”

The author, Nathan Campbell, used ChatGPT (an AI, which scours the internet learning and combining bits & pieces of material related to user queries) to help him plan a church plant. The results are FRIGHTENING: a full turnkey church-in-a-box, no prayer of Spirit needed. 5,500 words, 22 pages of detail about mission & marketing & strategy.

A giant bandolier full of silver bullets, if you will.

Campbell sets the scene:

What happens then, if you ask ChatGPT to function as a consultant for a new church plant in modern Australia? What vision for church does it offer? Well. Let me introduce you to Radiance Church. A church for Australia’s future imagined by the machine. I asked ChatGPT to answer my questions using the personality of a church leadership guru.

Here are excerpts of the results.

Church Names

Me: give me ten different one word names with Bible references in a rationale for the name.

GPT Church Guru

“Empower” Church – based on Ephesians 3:20, which says “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” The name “Empower” Church emphasizes the idea that God’s power is at work within us, giving us the ability to do great things in His name.

“Resurrection” Church – based on Romans 6:4, which says “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” The name “Resurrection” Church emphasizes the idea of a new life through Jesus Christ, symbolizing the resurrection of Jesus and the new life that believers receive through faith in Him.

“Radiance” Church – based on 2 Corinthians 4:6, which says “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” The name “Radiance” Church emphasizes the idea of the light of Christ shining in our hearts, illuminating our path and guiding us to the glory of God.

Mission, Vision, Values

Me: Write me a mission statement, a dynamic vision statement, and a set of values for Radiance Church.

GPTGuru

Mission Statement:
“Radiance Church exists to glorify God by shining the light of Jesus Christ in our hearts and sharing it with the world through worship, fellowship, and service.”

Vision Statement:
“To be a vibrant and growing community of believers, passionate about sharing the love and hope of Jesus Christ with all people, and to empower them to live a life of purpose and fulfillment, in the light of God’s glory.”

Values:

Worship: We value the importance of worshiping God in spirit and truth, and to exalt his name together. (John 4:23-24)
Fellowship: We value the importance of building meaningful relationships with one another, through fellowship and support. (Acts 2:42-47)
Service: We value the importance of serving others, through acts of kindness and compassion. (Matthew 25:40)

Me: Write me a style and brand guide for Radiance church, including colour scheme, description of branding elements, voice and style of copy writing.

GPTGuru: 

Style and Brand Guide for Radiance Church

Colour Scheme:

Primary: Gold #FDB813
Secondary: Dark blue #1B1C20
Accent: Light blue #B5E3F4
The primary color of Radiance Church is gold, representing the light and glory of God. The secondary color is a dark blue, representing the steadfastness and stability of God. The accent color is a light blue, representing the hope and peace of God.

Branding Elements:

Logo: 

The logo for Radiance Church features a stylized depiction of a lightbulb, with the word “Radiance” written in a bold and modern font. The lightbulb represents the light of Jesus Christ shining in our hearts, and the word “Radiance” represents the glory of God.

Typography:

The primary font for Radiance Church is “Montserrat”, a modern and clean sans-serif font. The secondary font is “Open Sans”, a friendly and approachable font.

Photography and Imagery: 

The photography and imagery used in Radiance Church should be bright, positive, and inspiring. They should depict people of all ages and backgrounds, and should reflect the diversity of the community.

How much prayer, study, deep discussion, etc., went into generating this stuff?

Not a bit. The lazy “leader” punches a button and out it comes.

We’ve moved from stealing sermons from YouTube to asking HAL-9000 put together our entire plan for a church, no fuss no muss.

Read the whole thing & tell me it doesn’t freak you out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s