Money can transform you. Or you can transform your money. When it comes to Transformational Capital, Sarah and Trent Shivley understand what it means to use their money for Kingdom impact.
It’s easy to get stuck thinking we don’t make enough, don’t have enough, and maybe if we just had a little more we could finally be generous or go after that one dream. But the Shivleys are proof that if we are faithful with little, God will trust us with more.
As a pastor and a stay-at-home mom, the Shivleys knew early on in their marriage that while they weren’t irresponsible with their money, they wanted to be more intentional with their finances so they could see God work through them.
Southpoint Church in Trenton, Michigan, where Trent is currently the Central Operations Minister, has partnered with CDF Capital for years now to fund the purchase of their buildings. After building a relationship with CDF Capital through Southpoint, Trent approached Sarah about becoming personal investors to earn bigger dividends on their emergency savings.
“We wanted to invest in something that was liquid but was going to have Kingdom impact.”
When it came to investing, partnering with CDF Capital was a no-brainer. They saw CDF Capital as a place that embodied their vision for capital, which is about so much more than finances.
“For me,” Trent said, “It’s about mission. It’s about purpose. We wanted to invest in something that was liquid but was going to give us a better return and go to Kingdom impact.”
CDF Capital’s approach to investing is what was attractive to them. “It’s spiritual. It’s leadership. It’s about the Kingdom,” Trent said.
Mark Senseman, Vice President of Ministry Development, said “Investors like the Shivleys love our mission of Helping Churches Grow. They don’t care what the name of the church is, as long as God gets the glory and Jesus is the main topic of conversation.”
The Shivley Family
Faithful with Little
In 2019, while visiting friends, the Shivleys felt an idea brewing—a way to take their passion for Kingdom impact to another level. Their friends took them to visit a coffee shop. Seeing how much this coffee shop did for the community got their attention.
They weren’t in a place to open a coffee shop, and they joke that they aren’t in a place now either. But they still wanted to pursue this new dream. They decided even if they couldn’t go big, they could start small. They developed a partnership with a roaster who has personal relationships with the farmers who supply the beans, and they began selling bags of beans online.
“Because we started small, we’re really learning, and God is helping us lay a foundation for business. That idea of when you’re faithful with little, you’ll be entrusted with more—God’s had His hand on us. We aren’t in a situation that would be over our heads.”
The Shivleys are committed to seeing where God will take them as they are faithful with what they already had access to. Together as a family, they can use their gifts and also get their children involved with bringing the dream to life.
“Having a common mission and purpose, as a couple and as a family has been really great for us,” Trent said.
This Is the Mission Field
While the pandemic may have delayed their plans, God’s plan is always greater. The Shivleys’ goal is to run a business that is good for the world. That begins with paying fair wages to the farmers harvesting the beans. While that means a slightly more expensive bag of coffee, they believe it’s worth it. They aren’t stopping there.
To bless the community, $1 from every bag of coffee goes to a non-profit organization. They recently partnered with Serve the City Detroit, who connected with Detroit’s public schools to provide teachers with bags of coffee and teaching supplies.
Initially, the Shivleys thought their greatest market would be churches that would buy and brew their coffee. But as plans changed, and as they navigated the curveball thrown their way, they have seen God opening doors they didn’t expect.
“We almost feel like God didn’t allow us to work with Christians at first so that we could work with non-Christians more,” Trent said. “We all can leverage coffee as a conversation piece, as a tool to have redemptive conversations for the Lord. What if this becomes a grassroots movement of sitting down and having coffee and conversations about the world we live in and how we can live in a way that honors Christ?”
Trent and Sarah have countless stories of God showing up in their finances in incredible ways that they would’ve never noticed had they not started being more intentional with how they spent and invested their time, talent, and treasure.
“Before we got married, I didn’t pay attention to my money,” Sarah said. “God could’ve been doing awesome things, but I wouldn’t have been aware of it. But after taking note of everything and trying to honor God, it was easy to see when He would do something really cool, which then makes you ask what else can you honor God with. It’s not a prosperity gospel. God doesn’t owe us anything. We just want to hear at the end of the day ‘Well done.’”
When it comes to the future of their ministry with Kaloway Coffee, their dreams aren’t set in stone. They’ve learned firsthand that plans change. Trent and Sarah hope that they can inspire other business owners to be salt and light in their communities. Ultimately, their biggest goal is to “take the gospel to the ends of the earth.” Whatever that looks like.
Read more from The Cornerstone Summer 2021
We hope that you are inspired by the stories in this issue of The Cornerstone. Thanks for being a part of God's work to transform churches and lives.