CBNNews.com - People in the church are not immune to tough economic times and more and more churches see this as a perfect chance to teach financial lessons God's way.
"We're having people having trouble trying to keep food on the table, we've seen some with job cut backs in their hours," Pastor Helen Lofton, Solid Rock Ministries said.
That's why pastors and members of more than a dozen Raleigh, N.C., churches came together for a Chrisitian financial workshop.
"I felt like it was important because so many people are going through hard financial times with the economy that we're dealing with," Pastor Kenneth Lofton said.
Christian Financial Advisor, Rodney Ballance, lost everything after a divorce including his job, his home, and all of his savings. He even wanted to take his life. But after years of doing things his way to recover, he turned to God and took some simple steps toward financial healing.
"You cannot serve both God and money. Now we've all heard this haven't we? But realistically do we put it into practice everyday?" he said.
Now, more than ten years later, Ballance is using what he learned to help others who are struggling. He starts with the number one problem facing families, including Christians, money management.
He said 61 percent of American families spend more than their net income every year.
He ministers across the country covering subjects from basic budgeting to financial investing and does it all for free.
Ballance shared with CBN News his keys to beginning the turnaround:
First, realize what put you into financial crisis. Focus on where you want and need to be financially. Then seek and heed the advice of Christian counselors, including tithing.
"God is the ultimate healer of all things, including your finances. And until you turn to him and you realize that the worldly things got us to where we are.Our focus on self and world have taken our focus from where it needs to be. Til we realize that they can't turn their focus where it needs to be, we help them refocus," he said.
Ballance shares practical financial tips in his book called, The Trinity Plan.
-Live within your means.
-Pay all of your bills on time.
-Improve your credit score. Don't waste money on credit repair companies promising to fix your history for a fee.
-Don't apply for credit on a whim. Pay down credit card balances.
-Learn to save money.
Church members are listening and acting.
Kenneth Barnes attended Ballance's financial workshop and said it has helped him grow.
"We're learning a lot of different truths; a lot of good stuff that actually makes you grow and dispel some of the myths that we've grown up to learn about," he said.
*Original broadcast February 26, 2009.