Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Counting the Cost of Electric Sheep

Written by: on September 4, 2023

My husband and I recently had dinner with a close friend and his twelve year old son, Johnny.[1] We started talking about Chat GPT. Johnny told us that one of his classmates claimed to have used Chat GPT for every assignment the previous year with great success. I know Johnny to be prone to exaggeration. Plus, we are talking about sixth graders. So I am not sure of the veracity of his claim. However, it does lead to the question of the impact and role of Artificial Intelligence when it comes to academics.

I think, like all of technology, Chat GPT is a tool. Artificial Intelligence is not an evil overlord like Skynet from the Terminator movies or the Architect from The Matrix. (At least not yet.) Technology can be used for good or for bad. A knife can be a tool to chop vegetables for dinner or it can be used as a murder weapon. I think the same can be said for Chat GPT. It is simply a tool. What matters is how we use it.

Positive Aspects of Chat GPT:

The first time I heard about Chat GPT was from my husband. He was playing around with it and telling me what it could do. He sent me a text where he asked Chat GPT to “Write a biography of Pastor Becca Hald in the style of Walter Isaacson.” It was a fun exercise. I want to be the woman in this biography![2] Chat GPT can be used as a tool to help create content for websites, biographies, or book synopses. Teachers can use it to create exam questions, poetry prompts, or other aspects of learning. “Students today need to be prepared for a future in which writing with AI is already becoming essential. Just as word processor functions such as spelling or grammar checks have become accepted and integrated into writing practices, so too will text generators.”[3]

Negative Aspects of Chat GPT

I can remember my teachers telling me that I needed to learn math because I would not “carry around a calculator” all my life. Clearly, I grew up pre smart phones. Does that mean I did not need to learn math or that children today can simply skip math in school? No. Learning math taught me important life skills. From budgeting to knowing whether a bookshelf will fit in my office, I use math skills on a regular basis. If I relied on always carrying a calculator with me, I would not have the fundamental skills of when and how to use math.

It is the same for Artificial Intelligence. Using AI to write a term paper does not teach a student critical thinking skills. Additionally, AI is imperfect. It is limited by the programmer and the information available to it. Because it uses predicative text, it can easily get off track and provide inaccurate information or create bias context.[4] What may seem a brilliant article on a subject could be fraught with error.

Artificial Intelligence has yet to provide innovation. In his book Ten Lessons for a Post Pandemic World, Fareed Zakaria writes:

I believe that we have a long way to go before we reach truly general intelligence in a machine – one that can, for example, not just solve a scientific problem, but grasp the underlying logic of innovation, the very notion of science itself. Could it really invent new modes of inquiry and new fields of knowledge in all areas, as humans have done repeatedly?[5]


The impact of Chat GPT and other Artificial Intelligence programs will be based on how we use them. We have crossed the bridge into the realm of AI and there is no going back.

Just for fun, use the predictive text of your phone with the following prompt and share the results in the comments:

“I wrote a blog post about…”


[1] Name changed to protect minor’s privacy.

[2] Biography written by Chat GPT: Pastor Becca Hald is a visionary leader and spiritual guide who has dedicated her life to serving the community at the Shepherd’s House Church in Westlake Village, California. Born in Bishop, California, Becca had a natural call to ministry from a young age and honed her skills and passions through her education, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1998, a Graduate Certificate in Christian Ministry from The King’s University in 2011, and a Master of Divinity from the same institution in 2015.

Married to her husband Andrew Hald for over 25 years, Becca is the proud mother of two children, Drew and Evelyn. Her family life is an important part of her ministry, as she seeks to balance her role as a pastor, mother, and wife with grace and intentionality.

As a pastoral assistant at the Shepherd’s House Church, Becca has created a warm and welcoming community through her kindness, generosity, and unyielding faith. She is known for her ability to bring people together and create a sense of belonging and purpose, and her leadership has been instrumental in the growth and success of the church.

Becca’s favorite Bible verse, Philippians 3:14, speaks to her approach to life and ministry: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” With this guiding principle in mind, she works tirelessly to inspire and encourage those around her, and to help them find their own path towards their own personal and spiritual goals.

When asked about her experience at the Shepherd’s House Church, Becca responds with a sense of deep affection and gratitude. “I felt like I was home from the moment I walked in the door,” she says. “There is such a feeling of family about our church that I love.” This sense of family and community is evident in the way that Becca interacts with those around her, always seeking to build bridges and bring people together.

With her passion for ministry, her love of God, and her unwavering commitment to her family and community, Pastor Becca Hald is an inspiring example of what it means to live a life dedicated to love, service, and faith.

[3] Lucinda McKnight, Eight Ways to Engage with AI Writers in Higher Education

[4] “Chat GPT-3 and its impact on Education: Michael Webb”

[5] Fareed Zakaria, Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World (New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2021), 119.

About the Author


Becca Hald

Becca is an ordained Foursquare minister, serving as the Online Community Pastor at Shepherd's House Church. She has over twenty-five years of leadership experience both inside and outside the church. Becca has served her community in many capacities ranging from Administrative Assistant and Children’s Ministry Director to Secretary and President of multiple school organizations. She and her husband, Andrew have been married for over 25 years. They have two adult children, Drew and Evelyn. Her great passion is to equip others, to raise awareness about mental health, and to help reduce the negative stigma surrounding mental health issues. In her free time, she loves going to Disneyland, reading, sewing, and making cards.

4 responses to “Counting the Cost of Electric Sheep”

  1. Kristy Newport says:


    I appreciate your post. I love that your husband is so familiar with Chat GPT and knows the benefits it can bring. Thank you for highlighting these points! The following is a challenge to me:

    “Students today need to be prepared for a future in which writing with AI is already becoming essential. Just as word processor functions such as spelling or grammar checks have become accepted and integrated into writing practices, so too will text generators.

    It will be interesting to navigate this future of accessing so much data/resources. In some ways it is exciting and in other ways it is overwhelming. I am caught wondering how this will simplify my life when there will be so many products/apps that I must consider/learn? Feel free to share any of your thoughts.

    • mm Becca Hald says:

      Thank you Kristy. Yes, I agree. It can be overwhelming. The amount of sheer information to which we have access is mind blowing. Sorting through it all and knowing how to properly use it is overwhelming at times. I think much like the internet, social media, or other technology, future generations will be more adept at navigating it while we will continue to struggle.

  2. Alana Hayes says:

    Tell me something that was in your biography that you aspire to be? What stuck out to you that you reach for?

    • mm Becca Hald says:

      Oooh, great question. I think I have never thought of myself as a “visionary leader” and would aspire to be one. I often find that others see things in me that I do not see in myself. My hubby told me just the other day that I am an entrepreneur. I would never had described myself that way.

      Also, I would love to be able to work tirelessly! Coffee only helps so much!

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