On November 13, many churches around the country will read an old story that Christ once told on a Galilean hillside: Three servants received large amounts of money from their master. Two invested their stipend, doubling the return. One dug a hole and buried an opportunity to exercise his gifts.
I am talking, of course, about the Parable of the Five Talents in Matthew 25:14-30, from which our organization takes its name.
One of the key verses reads that the master gave talents to his servants "...each according to his ability." This phrase – "each according to his ability" – contains a liberating message for the poor, and also for ourselves. This Gospel reading suggests that we are made in the image of God and, therefore, all of us have value and gifts to use for ourselves, our families and our communities.
Five Talents is built on this belief. The poor have value and can be empowered to tap their own unique gifts and abilities to create a better life. When Five Talents began 11 years ago, words like sustainability, economic empowerment, and self-supporting churches were just beginning to be whispered. Now these words are being shouted from every corner of the world.
I dare say Five Talents has helped to lead that conversation as a means of growing God's Kingdom.