God recently directed me to a new path on my generosity journey. And it all started with a sermon and a simple invitation.
The sermon topic was the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. The invitation was to come forward if you felt led to accept a “Kingdom assignment” -- an opportunity to put into practice the challenges from the sermon. There was one catch: We would not be told specifics about the assignment until after we came forward.
Feeling prompted by the Holy Spirit, I walked to the front of sanctuary and received an envelope with $100. It included instructions to multiply the money (like in the parable) and then use those resources to build the Kingdom. No other instructions were given.
A Plan in Answer to a Prayer
As the pastor prayed over those who came forward, I was reminded of my passion for art, correspondence, and generosity. And as wild as it may sound, during that prayer I sensed God giving me a both a name and business plan.
The name No. 9 Talents stirred inside me. The number 9 was printed on the outside of the envelope I received. The word talents has multiple meanings. In the parable, it refers to a financial resource, like gold. Talents also means natural aptitudes. For this endeavor, I would need to utilize my business talents, sales skills, creativity, communication abilities, and other talents to execute goals.
I saw my efforts building God’s Kingdom in two ways: First, by creating custom art stationery with life-giving words and transformational scriptures, believers would have the opportunity build each other up. Second, the money generated from stationery purchases could be donated to some of my favorite ministries.
The adventure began. Built on biblical principles and sound business concepts, I started a stationery business in just 90 days.
Steps of faith, courageous obedience, and creativity drove the initial momentum. No. 9 Talents officially launched with a social media campaign and launch parties. In the months that followed, hundreds of people were introduced to No.9 Talents and many made purchases. The initial $100 I received was multiplied to more than $5,000!
While the assignment affiliated with my church is complete, No. 9 Talents will continue as a giving engine, with proceeds going to Kingdom-building organizations. In January the brand will transition to an e-commerce social enterprise.
Just as I was entrusted with $100, my goal is to be trusted more and to one day hear my Master say: "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!"
No. 9 Talents builds the kingdom through custom art and stationery, promoting the life-giving power of words, correspondence, and generosity. Join the party and creative conversation on Instagram and Facebook.