Love INC meets the needs of people in the community by relational transformation. This means volunteers using their gifts to build relationships with clients God can transform their lives. Steve Lucas is one of those volunteers. Steve has been working with Love INC Littleton since one of the early directors came to the church he and his wife were attending some 10 years ago. Love INC was looking for volunteers to teach a financial class. Since Steve was a certified financial planner, he thought, “I can do that,” and stepped up.
After a few years, Steve and others, including Carl Cleveland, realized there needed to be a more comprehensive program than just the classes if the goal was to really change lives. Unless class participants became committed to new ways of doing things, change and improvement wouldn’t take place. The IMPACT program grew out of those meetings. Soon classes on subjects like building better relationships were added, along with the financial classes and incentives were scheduled to reward those willing to commit the time to learn new skills for living.
“My hope and desire is to get people to a position of no longer living in fear and of being able to afford the basic necessities. ‘In fear’ is not the way God wants us to live,” said Steve. “You have to be patient,” he noted, “But it is not rocket science. These skills can be learned.”
Steve had taught a lot of financial programs in the first few years, but most didn’t seem to quite fit the Love INC participants. Those programs were talking about investments and being a better steward. However, the people Steve was teaching were worried about keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table. He then found the Money & Me program which has been working so well it has become a part of IMPACT.
Steve noted that with the easy availability of credit and the materialistic culture we are living in, by the time some people finally see they need help, they have trouble changing their behavior. What cheers Steve is when people say “I can learn this–to manage my finances,” and then when they finish the classes are proud of having acquired a new skill set that actually improves their lives.
As a volunteer, you may not know how a seed you plant will take root. For Steve, that lesson was learned with one participant that he thought was a disappointment. He had met with one woman thirteen times to help her with her finances but didn’t feel they were really making progress. Then she suddenly quit. However, two years later he received an email from her thanking him for the “life-changing experience,” he had given her. It’s moments like this that make it all worthwhile for Steve.
If you think you God is calling you to be a part of changing lives and impacting the community, we are happy to send you some information.
Steve will be teaching Money & Me again when IMPACT’s fall semester starts.