MTC Plumbing (Master’s Touch Construction and Plumbing) is one of the businesses listed in our membership directory. Following is a Q-and-A with the owners, Doug and Carla Luffman, on their life as homeschoolers and business owners.
Note: If you’re an MPE member (at the Family tier or higher) and homeschool, you’re eligible to include your business’ information in our directory. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- Name of MPE member
- Name of business/service (and if needed, a description in five words or less)
- Address, telephone, website, and section of choice (Educational Services, Home Maintenance & Contracting, Medical Services, or Professional Services). Companies with websites will also be listed on our Members’ Only website section. Deadline to submit information is Sept. 10. You must be a current MPE member at the Family tier or higher to qualify.
What made you decide to start your business?
Our story began when Doug was in his early twenties and was offered a job in the construction trade. This was an answer to prayer at that time as Doug had recently committed his life over to the Lord after being delivered from a difficult past.
During high school, he was raised by a single mom; he had no guidance from an earthly father and no financial future mapped out. The opportunity for a job alone was a huge blessing for Doug.
So without any prior experience, he began learning the plumbing trade in new residential construction. After gaining an understanding of the whole picture of constructing a home, he felt the Lord prompt him to draw and build his own home at the age of 23.
As God continued to write our story, we were married after three years of dating. Soon after, Doug studied for and passed the Block and Associates Examination to become a Master Plumber.
As he continued to grow in his plumbing career through working for other companies and doing his own side line jobs on evenings and weekends, he saw an opportunity to officially start his own business.
For many years the focus of his business was plumbing in new construction, along with constructing new basement finishes and bathroom remodels.
In a season where new construction had slowed, he expanded more into the service side of plumbing, going into existing homes to perform repairs or replacing hot water heaters, faucets, and toilets.
His previous experience allowed him to extend his reach, as being able to design and create a new plumbing system naturally helped him troubleshoot existing systems.
During this time, Doug liked to listen to talk radio. He would listen to programs like “Focus on the Family” that would occasionally interview homeschooling families.
Although the concept was initially foreign, it was an attractive option to him because in his own high school experience where he viewed life as merely a party and did his not apply himself to his studies.
Looking back, he felt that the public school system allowed and even enabled him to pursue destructive tendencies, all while not taking his education seriously.
As Doug continued to reflect on his unfulfilling experience, he began to feel that the Lord was calling us to homeschool our family.
Carla remembers that, “Doug approached me about homeschooling our first child when she was still nursing! I had no vision for it, and I truthfully felt inadequate. However, he wisely asked me to pray about it.”
As we continued to pray about it, we started talking with families we respected who were homeschooling. We really enjoyed interacting with their teenagers and observing their composure and confidence in not only how they had been schooled, but also in their personal character and ability to interact with us.
After speaking with various families on the subject, Carla began to pursue further research and started reading books on the subject. We soon understood that the vision was not to hide your children from the world, but rather, it was an opportunity to build into your child’s life.
As He revealed all of this to us, the Lord was kind to make it clear that He was indeed calling us to homeschool.
Our approach with homeschooling was to take it year by year and child by child, while remaining sensitive to what God was instructing us rather than forcing an ill-fitted approach on any of our children.
Thankfully, we found that the method worked with each of our children, regardless of their diverse learning style or natural strength as students.
Since that time, the Lord has blessed us with a total of five children: Kelsey, Sadie, Josh, Audrey, and Steven.
We started homeschooling in 1995 and have continued up to today with our youngest, Steven, who just began his freshman year in high school.
We have been happy with the flexibility that comes with homeschooling, not only in academic studies, but also in our schedule, allowing the freedom to adjust our daily schedules as needed.
Could you describe a typical day for your family?
Though our typical day generally includes Doug focusing on the MTC Plumbing business and Carla focusing on schooling, there is much communication between us throughout the day.
We strive to work together to accomplish current goals for each area. Often times, Doug would serve Carla by driving the kids to a homeschool co-op while she stayed home with the little ones, or Carla would adjust dinnertime so that Doug would have a hot meal regardless of when he gets home, and the family could eat together.
The luxury of the flexibility that comes with both homeschooling and owning MTC Plumbing has also allowed for the two worlds to intersect for our children.
Throughout the years, the kids have helped us in various ways with our plumbing business, allowing them to be exposed to the joy of hard work as well as many practical skills.
They have assisted us in preparing for taxes, paying the bills, organizing and cleaning work trucks, creating advertising through various media, and some have even worked on the job sites with their dad. Josh has become an excellent plumber!
If you are currently homeschooling and considering starting a home business, we would encourage you to count the costs. Here are a few things to consider:
- Continue praying about your business idea. Proverbs 16:3 encourages us to, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” This is one more way that we continually declare our dependency on God for all things in this life.
- Proverbs 11:14 instructs us, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Are there people in your life that you can share your ideas with concerning your business ideas and get their objective thoughts?
- How stable is your current financial state? God has used men like Larry Burkett and ministries like Crown Financial to give us wisdom concerning a budget plan for both our home as well as our business.
- Are there startup costs? Would you need to go into debt to start?
- Is there a demand for your service or product, or would you need to pursue potential customers? Are you aware of the time investment involved in this pursuit?
- How does the quality and price of your service or product compare to others out on the market?
- Know your tendencies: Are you a self-disciplined, self-motivated, self starter?
- Do you have a priority plan for spending your time? Think of all areas such as: devotions of
Bible reading and prayer, time invested in the business, time serving in your local church, time invested in relationships including family, friends, as well as evangelism.
Above all, it is important to embrace humility and realize that, apart from God, we can do nothing. We are not flawless, but we have been bought with a price, and thankfully our lives are not our own.
What a comfort it is knowing that God is faithful and His mercies are new every morning! There are not separate compartments in this life. Whether we are learning to trust God during the ebb and flow of owning a business or leading and teaching our children, His grace is sufficient.
May we be used as vessels in God’s hands, pointing others to the God we know, love, and serve, whether it’s in the education of our children or in our vocation. It is all by His grace and for His glory!
Thanks so much, Doug and Carla Luffman!