What is Love INC Boise?

Meeting the needs of the poor is a top priority for churches in Boise, Idaho. A network of about 40 congregations is crossing denominational lines to help those trapped in poverty.

An organization called “Love INC Boise” (Love, in the Name of Christ) is helping them do that by providing the basics like food, clothing and a host of other essential items.

“A lot of times they’re needing help with making the rent, paying the electric bills. In fall, we see a lot of school supplies and clothes for kids,” Kimbra Shaw, outreach director of Love INC, said.

“In late fall we’ll see coats and blankets become a heavy, heavy need,” she explained.

People looking for assistance call a hotline, and operators at Love INC Boise direct them to a member church.

Unifying the Body of Christ

There are more than 100 Love INC chapters across the country.

While the mission of Love INC is to help churches needs in local communities, it also focuses on unifying the Body of Christ for the purpose of transforming lives.

“One of Jesus’ prayers was that we’d be one and there’s nothing better that demonstrates the reality and the truthfulness of the Gospel than when the Church comes together and doesn’t see themself in competition,” Pastor Rod Enos of Southside Christian Center said.

Shaw agreed, saying, “… Each church individually can’t do it all. But when they work together every church brings a little bit. They each bring their part together and we can funnel that through Love INC and we can do it all.”

Breaking the Cycle

Shaw said their work isn’t just about meeting the physical needs of participants.

As a follow up to the initial request for help, the group offers a six month program called “Abundant Living.”

It’s a hands-on approach that requires effort on the part of those needing help. It teaches participants skills, such as healthy cooking or balancing a budget.

“Just giving stuff – that handout – isn’t breaking the cycle of living in need,” Shaw said.

“It is investing relationally with people, walking with them — not doing to them, not doing for them — but doing with them the things that glorify God and brings them into first relationship with us and then by model into relationship with Christ,” she added.

Beyond Church Walls

The impact of Love INC is reaching well beyond the walls of the churches.

“What we see is that the community is taking notice and we see communities seeking us out…the city and the county and the state are all realizing that charity in itself doesn’t work,” Shaw added

Pastor Brenn Angelos of Revolution 22 Church is part of the Boise Love network.

Angelos and his church members often help home owners with building projects they can’t afford on their own.

“It’s not just ‘Here, serve someone. Here’s some money, go away,’ but it’s we’re going to enter relationally and show Christ through not just tangible things but also through bringing the spirit of God to those in need,” Angelos said.

This Love INC strategy is an effective model and method for mobilizing church congregations to live out two of the Bible’s greatest commands: to love God and to love their neighbor.