How does AI affect visual design in the church world? The Fishhook team weighs in on the state of the matter.

In order to assess how artificial intelligence is affecting those in the church communications world, we decided to ask our team how it's going in their space.

In this series on AI, we're asking our team some of the practical as well as bigger picture questions for how technological developments are affecting their work and the churches we partner with. 

This Q&A places one of Fishhook's Visuals Designers, Dylan, in the hot seat. Let's see where he's seeing AI influence the design world.

Part 1: Bigger Picture 

High-level - how do you think the church can use AI to further their missions?

Dylan: I think that the most important thing to remember when it comes to artificial intelligence is that it’s first and foremost a tool. I think when we talk about AI, many of us immediately jump to the idea that AI will replace humans. I’d encourage all of us to shift our thinking about AI from this mindset toward a mindset of utilizing AI as a tool that can assist us in our jobs.

Practically, if we’re thinking of AI as a tool, let’s think about some of the ways we can begin to incorporate it into our workflow in a way that helps us further our mission! For starters, chatbots like Google Bard and Chat GPT make great sounding boards for brainstorming! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using one of these programs to help you come up with some creative sermon illustrations, campaign names or even basic social media copy. 

There are also some great AI tools for project and time management. Utilizing AI to manage your personal calendar is a great way to free up some of your time and mental energy to invest back into people!

How do we make sure to “humanize” it all so that we aren’t just robots?

Dylan: Again, don’t think of AI as a replacement for creativity. If we’re thinking biblically, there’s something unique about our ability as people, made in the image of God, to create something from just a thought. It’s one of the things that I believe represents that Imago Dei. We are made to image God, and He is the ultimate creator. There is no software, program, or algorithm that could ever replace the creative inspiration that the Spirit of God has gifted to His image-bearers. 

Now thinking practically, it is absolutely crucial to add your own voice and touch to anything that AI helps you create. For example, if you use AI to create some social media copy, I’d encourage you to take whatever is written and rewrite it using your own voice, style, and creative flair. 

Part 2: AI In Your Role 

Practically, what are ways you see AI in communications being helpful in a church’s context?

Dylan: I personally use design mostly as a springboard for ideation. It can be a great place to start, whether that’s using ChatGPT as a writing idea generator, or midjourney for artwork. Within the Church, specifically, I think this is how church leaders should be using it. AI can be a great tool for coming up with content for creative series, ad campaigns, fun games for youth ministry, and so much more.

What do you think about artificial intelligence in visual design for the church?

Our team would be happy to continue the conversation about how to use AI in your role, how to set AI guidelines for your designers and everything in-between.