In 2018, LHM embarked in a partnership with Barna Group-an industry leader for research-based insights about faith and culture, leadership and vocation, and generational groups-for a critical study of faith in America. After evaluating our own spiritual conversations, and the spiritual vibrancy of our households, we began looking outward, starting right where we live. Gifted for More, the latest report produced in partnership with Barna provides crucial research to help today's Church flourish and grow and help Christians understand and use their gifts well-inside and outside of church walls.
What is Gifted for More?
Gifted for More: A New Framework for Equipping Christians to Share Their Abilities and Skills in Everyday Life offers the U.S. Church a fresh framework for gifts. This report follows Christians through phases of their own journey: from being aware of their gifts, to being intentional with their gifts, to being generous with their gifts.
According to research found, "when it comes to their giftings, abilities or skills, 54 percent of practicing Christians are aware of their gifts. They know and understand their gifts at least very well. Thirty-eight percent of practicing Christians are intentional with their gifts. They are not only aware; they also have gifts they know they want to develop and have already put some effort into developing these giftings in some way. Twenty-seven percent of practicing Christians are generous with their gifts. They are not only aware and intentional; they also believe their gifts are intended for the benefit of others-and they invest in others' gifts too."
Learn more about the Gifted for More monograph at lhm.org/gifted.
Why is this study important?
"There are two worrisome trends in our modern understanding and utilization of gifts, which Gifted for More aims to address. First, people understand gifts in the context of occupation. Second, pastors understand gifts in the context of church service."
Every Christian has skills to share for kingdom work, but nearly half of practicing Christians (47 percent) are not yet even aware of their own gifts and talents.
That's why LHM partnered with Barna to create a new report where together, we studied three crucial topics:
- 1. The extent to which U.S. adults and practicing Christians feel aware of their gifts, with an eye on how churches may or may not be helping people discover their gifts.
- 2. How people are personally growing their unique skills and abilities, as well as how others-including worship communities-are investing in them.
- 3. How people are sharing the abilities and skills God has given them to generously serve others-and how the sharing of Christian gifts can sharpen the vision for the local church.
"As we discover our gifts and put them into practice, our gifts are strengthened," says Rev. Dr. Tony Cook, vice president of Global Ministries for LHM. "The community becomes stronger. Therefore, it's vital to discover our gifts for the benefit of others in all areas of our lives. Through the discovery and intentional use of our gifts, Christians can make a positive impact in the lives of those around them, demonstrating what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world today."
What are your gifts?
Curious about the aptitudes, innate abilities, and acquired skills that make you unique? Take the EveryGift Inventory to see your gifts in 12 distinct areas. Discover your gifts today by visiting everygift.org.
Look out for two new books based on the Gifted for More research coming later this year.
Discover Your Gifts: You have gifts! And you are a gift to the world around you. Because every human is fearfully and wonderfully made, each one of us has something to offer to the world. But we have not always identified or developed our gifts well, nor deployed them effectively.
Discover Your Gifts Workbook: All of us have gifts that can be used for the common good. This workbook has sessions on 12 different kinds of gifts, from artistic and technical gifts to entrepreneurial and civic gifts. Every session defines and describes what each gift looks like and gives examples of how the gift can be used in four distinct vocations of life: church, family, work, and society.