Mountain Standard Regional Newsletter May 2024

Embracing New Technology & Integrity

By Tim Kerber

Tim at Jasper Park Baptist Fellowship

21 We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable. 2 Corinthians 8:21

The apostle Paul is talking to the Corinthians about his thankfulness for their generosity, and his intent to deliver their gift to the churches in need. But Paul also wants them to know that he is making this journey with other trusted ministers, including Titus, as a demonstration of his accountability.

What I love about this verse is the way that it reminds us about the importance of integrity as ministers of the Gospel. We are accountable to both God and to one another.

Integrity is about being honest, and living up to the moral standards we hold as truth. I find word pictures to be helpful to me, and what comes to mind is the image of a physical structure. I’m sure all of us are aware and have seen the video of the collapse of the Baltimore bridge. What we know is that its collapse was the result of the loss of its structural integrity. The Welding Institute defines structural integrity as: “… the ability of a component, structure or asset to operate at optimum level under the pressure of a load, including the weight of the asset itself.” [1]

As ministers of the Gospel, we are called to operate, lead, or shepherd as stewards of God’s call under the pressure and weight of the world in which we live. This is what we preach, week after week.

1 Corinthians 4 jumps to my mind: 8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

Under pressure, we show integrity, with the help and strength of God.

All of this brings me to a conversation around the developing world of Artificial Intelligence. Very quickly, we have discovered this tool, which has the seeming ability to produce vast amounts of coherent and relevant information at the click of a mouse.

Last year, as we talked about this technology as executive staff, one of our colleagues made an inquiry out of curiosity. He asked CHATGTP to write a Christian Easter Sermon. The result was quite impressive. This program spit out a message that was orthodox, clear in its progression of thought, had multiple points, with a practical application at the end. To be honest, it outstripped a few of the sermons I have preached over the years!

But here’s the problem. It was created by a computer program, created by imperfect/sinful people, and to use this sermon would lack integrity. When we stand up to bring God’s Word to our congregations, as we are not simply conveyors of information, or deliverers of content. The challenge that exists is that in the midst of a busy life, we could be tempted to allow this technology to produce messages for us, instead of creating them ourselves.

Now in the context of this article, I don’t have time to get into all the ethics and theology of this topic, but I would like to do two things. First, I would like to share with you how a few of our pastors use this technology in their ministry life. Like all things which are tools, there are some helpful times and places where we could use this. I don’t recall having met a pastor yet who was looking for things to do with their time, and so in that sense why not use something that can be of assistance in increasing our efficiency or capacity? And second, I want to direct you to the work of other who have given this more time and attention than I have been able to give. I know that you will find some thoughtful ideas and guidance from others to help you navigate this technology in your ministry.

So, in my conversations with a few of our pastors, here is some of what I discovered. I asked this question: How have you used AI to assist you in your daily ministry life? Here is a list of responses:

· Asking AI to create reflection questions for a message or devotional

· Asking AI to condense a thought or point

· Asking AI to give sermon title suggestions

· Asking AI to write a condensed summary of the message for social media

· Asking AI to create social media quotes to promote the message

· Asking AI to help write website or promotional content

· Asking AI to help create a survey

Of interest, one pastor sent me a draft document of a church policy around use of AI, drafted by AI! As I read through it, I was impressed by some of its content. Here is just a few of the things it suggested.

Under core values, it said this regarding transparency and accountability:

Decisions made using AI should be transparent, explainable, and subject to human oversight. Church employees shall be accountable for any AI systems they choose to deploy. AI use should be disclosed to supervisors and peers.

Under prohibitions it said this:

The church prohibits the use of AI technology to generate or compose sermons on behalf of clergy or leaders. Sermons are to be crafted through genuine inspiration, prayerful consideration, and the direct connection with divine guidance.

And finally, it proposed this:

Spiritual Authenticity: Sermons are seen as a sacred and personal expression of the preacher’s relationship with God. The use of AI undermines the authenticity and spiritual connection present in individually crafted messages.

Human Connection: Sermons are an opportunity for the congregation to connect with the spiritual journey of their leaders. AI-generated content lacks the depth of personal experience and human connection crucial to fostering a vibrant faith community.

Divine Guidance: The church upholds the belief that sermons should be guided by the Holy Spirit and the individual experiences and revelations of the preacher. AI lacks the divine discernment and personal connection required for this sacred task.

Not bad!

Now as far as other sources or guidance I can direct you to, I would encourage you to check out a three-article series diving deeper into the ethics and uses of AI written by a former CBWC pastor Mike Engbers. The articles can be found in the Mennonite Brethren Herald. Here is the link to the first of his articles:

Here is a link to an article written by Barna about how pastors use and view AI:

Finally, here is an article written by pastor Trevor Sutton that gives lots of ideas / reflection about the use of technology. Sutton has also written a book called: Redeeming Technology. Here is a link to his work:

Like the rest of the technology that we use regularly today in the life of the church, and in our ministry settings, it is important to remember that all of these things are intended to be tools. Tools are never means unto themselves. Mechanics use wrenches to fix vehicles, artists use brushes to paint pictures, and pastors use computers and the internet to assist them in leading and speaking to their congregations.

We are accountable for how we use these tools; first to the Lord and then to one another. We are not performers, and every week we demonstrate our reliance upon the Lord, for the guidance and leading of His Holy Spirit. In the moments when we are weak, we must trust in His strength. In the weeks, where the busyness has squeezed our time for preparation, we must trust that God can multiply a small offering of spiritual food. On a Sunday morning, when we are worn out or discouraged, we trust that faith as small as a mustard seed can produce a mighty harvest.

Let me finish with a quote from Billy Graham:

“Our world today is looking for men and women with integrity, for communicators who back up their ministry with their lives. Our preaching emerges out of what we are. We are called to be holy people—separated from the moral evils of the world.”

May we be wise in our use of the tools we have at our disposal, and daily seek God’s help in being people of integrity.


1. The Welding Institute, “Find out about structural integrity and failure”, The Welding Institute, 2023. Accessed Jul. 31, 2023. [Online]. Available:

Around the Region

Leduc Community Baptist

Brownfield Baptist

Battle Lake Community

Laurier Heights Baptist

This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Email our senior writer, Jenna Hanger: