As followers of Christ, we’re called to be good stewards, to manage God’s resources well. But we’re also called to help those in need. Today we’ll talk with Art Rainer about a new program that addresses both. Art Rainer is an author and MoneyWise contributor. He not only provides excellent articles on biblical finance to our online community, he’s also heading up a brand new way for folks to give and get help with managing money. We’re talking about a new program for Certified Christian Financial Counselors (CCFC). Certified Christian Financial Counselors help individuals and couples discover and pursue God’s design for money. Practically, Christians financial counselors guide individuals and couples in making wise financial decisions, build sound financial habits, and increase their biblical, financial literacy. They’ve received certification by passing the Certified Christian Financial Counselor Exam. Areas where Christian Financial Counseling can help include: - Setting and obtaining financial goals - Increasing generosity - Creating and maintaining a budget - Getting out of debt - Building an emergency fund - Saving for larger purchases - Understandin.networth - Improving credit score - Managing cash flow - Managing financial risks - Discussing investment and retirement basics - Maintaining an eternal perspective on money WHO SHOULD SEEK THE HELP OF A CCFC? We’ve identified five issues that are a sign that you should seek the help of a CCFC: 1. Your finances feel out of control. Your finances feel like one big mess. Every month you are just flying by the seat of your pants. There is no direction, only disorganization. And it stresses you out. You know something must change. A CCFC can help make sense out of the mess. They can help you develop financial goals and organize your finances. 2. You have no idea what financial step you need to take next. It feels like you are, financially, just existing. There seems to be no progress in your finances. This is, in large part, due to the fact you have no idea what progress looks like. A Christian Financial Counselor can look at your current financial situation and suggest some wise next steps. 3. You are regularly arguing about money with your spouse. God designed married couples to operate as one, even in finances. And you want this, but you are struggling to get on the same financial page with your spouse. Money is not a point of unity but a point of division. A Christian Financial Counselor can provide guidance to help a couple get on the same financial page. 4. You don’t know what you don’t know. You acknowledge that you know very little about money. And this has caused you to make some regretful decisions in the past. You need someone to take a look at your financial situation and educate you on what decisions you should make. 5. You need accountability. You know what you should do, but this knowledge does not always lead to the right action. You are still tempted to spend money you should save. You still give out of your leftovers. You still add to the credit card balance. Regular meetings with a Christian Financial Counselor can create accountability around your finances. BECOMING A CERTIFIED CHRISTIAN FINANCIAL COUNSELOR Who would be a good candidate for becoming a Christian Financial Counselor? The Christian Financial Counselor education program prepares individuals for the Christian Financial Counselor exam and is for those with a passion to help others manage money in a way that leads to financial health and glorifies God. The ideal candidate for this program already has a broad-based knowledge of personal finances. The Christian Financial Counselor program is not best for those with little to no understanding of money management or personal finances. The Christian Financial Counselor program includes 32 modules. Each module has a short video, required readings, notes, and quiz. Because of the reading and exam study involved, the program will likely take 3 to 12 months to complete. Pastors often meet with people who have financial struggles, or their church has a benevolence ministry that helps people with financial struggles. We would love to see every church have a Certified Christian Financial Counselor, even on a volunteer basis. This way, they have someone designated in their church to care for those who are struggling financially and doing it through a biblical worldview. So, if the pastor has someone who has significant debt or struggles budgeting, he can have that person meet with a volunteer Christian Financial Counselor. Or if someone is asking for financial help from the church, they’re able to provide something far greater than just financial assistance. Learn more about becoming a Certified Christian Financial Counselor or getting help from one at ChristianFinancialHealth. com On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Is there anything you can do to get your name off of a loan for which you co-signed? ● Can you put IRA or Roth IRA money into an I-bond?