Calling Pastor AI

August 31, 2023

Dear Friends,

I am so excited to pass on the good news that our church finally called a pastor after years of searching. Pastor Artificial Intelligence seems like a perfect solution to our needs. Pastor AI comes to us on a screen. And if you ask me, Pastor and family look just like models right out of a fashion magazine, but I digress. We agree that we have been behind the curve on the use of technology in the church, so Pastor AI is just the leader we need to do all that social media stuff other churches are doing. There is so much more to tell you. After only a month, everyone is so happy with the choice. Remember all the conflicts we used to have? No more!

For instance, there are no more arguments about worship times. On Sundays, or any day, each member can watch church on the screen of their choice, from anywhere. Now we attend when we want, on the computer or cell phone or iPad or whatever.

How often have the choir, pastor, and congregation debated our style of music? And honestly, we all hated those preference surveys. Now Pastor AI chooses the music. New music is included each week in just the style I love. How does Pastor do it? There is a new song each week that sounds like Amy Grant and Vince Gill wrote it just for me. My mother says that at the service she “attends” they only sing the old hymns and the voices sound just like George Beverly Shea. I cannot explain it, but she has never been happier.

Are you wondering about the sermons? How many times have you heard someone confess that it seemed like the pastor was speaking specifically to them? Well, now that happens every week. The sermon illustrations seem to relate specifically to each person, as if Pastor had been reading my emails and texts, no less. How cool is that? I admit it is odd that others I might see at the market will tell me they felt the same way, but when they recall what Pastor said, it was not what I heard. Oh well. God works in mysterious ways.

Listen, I too was a little worried about pastoral care since we have never actually shaken hands with Pastor AI, but there is nothing to worry about. Agnes was in the hospital last week and Pastor AI knew she was there the minute she was assigned a room and sent flowers. Next, a text arrived with the perfect prayer, the kind Agnes would have liked. Pastor seemed to know the diagnosis as soon as the doctors did and I know I may be imagining this, but I think Pastor may have given the doctors some advice. Pastor’s presence among the congregation is everywhere.

Remember all those committees and board meetings? We don’t need them now. Pastor AI takes care of everything, and everyone gets what they want.

When someone is depressed, in moments there is a message to cheer. When someone has a fight with a spouse, an article on marriage enrichment appears and personal advice to each spouse is texted within minutes. I can’t explain it.

Interest in spiritual things is growing, too. For instance, I might have a nagging biblical question in the middle of the night or some doubt that lingers. All I do is text Pastor AI and in seconds there is a thoughtful explanation. I just don’t know how Pastor does it. We tried forever to get people out for even one Adult Class a week, but now the topics Pastor offers are endless and so personal. Sometimes Pastor holds a class just for me. And the youth love the online ministry. It seems like Pastor can relate to each kid’s needs, at the same time, day, or night.

Remember all those committees and board meetings? We don’t need them now. Pastor AI takes care of everything, and everyone gets what they want.

Oh, and I haven’t even told you the best part. No more problems with maintaining an old building. We sold it. No more volunteering for “Workdays” or problems with parking spaces. The pastoral compensation? Pastor comes to us for what is called a “Clergy Subscription Fee” of $50 a month. Forget all that tithing stuff. We are making out like bandits; I mean responsible stewards. I don’t know how Pastor does it, but no one is complaining.

Missions giving has taken off and we get a report each week on where the money went. Pastor knows the areas of greatest need almost immediately and what mission projects each of us likes to support. Pastor simply takes the donations right out of our bank accounts. Missions has never been so easy.

Well, I just wanted you to know. I must log on to choir practice now. We sing into the computer, and I swear, we sound just like a hundred-member choir. And no one is off-key. I know what you are thinking. Yes, Pastor leads the choir too, and plays every instrument. If you know of any church needing a pastor, tell them to text me and I can talk to Pastor AI, but I bet the minute I get the message, Pastor AI will already know. How does Pastor do it?

Sincerely, Paul

Rev. Dr. Paul Bailey retired in 2021 from the Eastwood Baptist Church in Syracuse, NY. In addition to over 40 years of pastoral ministry, he was an adjunct instructor in Communications at Onondaga Community College for 15 years.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of American Baptist Home Mission Societies.

Don't Miss What's Next

Get early access to the newest stories from Christian Citizen writers, receive contextual stories which support Christian Citizen content from the world's top publications and join a community sharing the latest in justice, mercy and faith.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This