My new book, Spiritual Gifts Reimagined, will be coming out very soon—February 2023. And nowhere in it will I tell you what I think the right list of gifts is. And nowhere in it will I define a single gift or explain how any of them work. Not much of a book on gifts, huh?
A year ago, Susan and I experienced the immersive Van Gogh exhibit that’s been touring the world. I’ve been fascinated by Van Gogh for quite a while and have read about him and perused his artwork. That was fun and educational, but the immersive experience was … well, immersive! Color and music and voice and history, swirling around us, tapped into emotion and intrigue and beauty and wonder in us. In it all, the life of Van Gogh came alive to us.
There’s a huge difference between studying about something and diving into the experience of something. I wrote Spiritual Gifts Reimagined because past publications about spiritual gifts stopped with the lists and definitions and explanations and exhortations. We received a lot of information through those studies. And we heard a lot of arguments between people with conflicting views on the subject.
But when it comes to experiencing spiritual gifts, we don’t need to focus on the lists. We don’t need to decide between the arguments of those who disagree with each other. Those studies have their places, but we’ve missed the real scenes of spiritual gifting. Those scenes are in you, and in each one of us.
In Spiritual Gifts Reimagined, I’ll present to you that gifting is a metaphor that was never intended to be understood as getting zapped with new abilities at some point in your life. Instead, you are a whole and unique person with potentials needing discovery and development. We’ll find that the Scriptures actually point us to the journey of growing into our gifts. That’s what I call The Journey View of spiritual gifts.
God gave us the lists, and they have a valuable role for our churches. But on the subject of gifts, he gave us a lot more than lists. That’s what’s been largely overlooked. Other books do a great job of explaining the words in those lists. But in Spiritual Gifts Reimagined: The Journey View, we’ll be scoping out the real scenes of gifting—in you, and in each one of us. And that’ll include learning how Scripture guides us to join each other in our gifting journeys.
We’ll go beyond studying about gifts, instead immersing ourselves in our shared journeys of gifting. And what we’ll find will be beauty and wonder, intrigue and fascination. We’ll learn about becoming our true gifted selves—who each serve others uniquely—as we share valuing love with one another.