On Easter weekend in 2019, I took a silent retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani near Bardstown, Kentucky. I had planned to pray, read Scripture, and journal as I had always done on prior retreats. But this trip felt different. Late in the first evening, I pulled up a chair to a wooden desk, lit by a lamp overhead and nestled by a twin sized bed. The blank pages of my journal stared at me as I waited on the Lord. He gently whispered to me about the next generation. Not a generation rising up, but a generation with an abundance of gifts ready to be discipled in.
Over the next three evenings, the first drafts of several children’s books were written. A series simply named “The Ones Who...”. Each book in the series completes its title with a specific spiritual gifting. Each book tells the story of a fictional child learning how to use their gift alongside an adult who guides them. Each book highlights the uniqueness of the gift and how to steward it. Some gifts may be considered more supernatural than others, but the greatest emphasis is on how the Gospel can be shared through the use of each one.
Each book will feature a different illustrator. Trusted friends to use their artistic gift to illuminate the stories. As of July 2022, two illustrators have completed a story a piece and a third is working on the next book.
My prayer is for believers, both young and old, to be encouraged to step out in their own gifts to be Christ to those around them.