A successful businessman for more than 20 years in Canada, Ralph Hoehne and his wife, Joanne, never dreamed they would start a church.
But they discovered that the past 25 years helping in church ministries and mentoring people in business happened to be the training they needed to begin The Source, a church focused on equipping people with biblical principles to guide them in life and business.
“We had never pictured ourselves as having a church,” Joanne said, who left her career to home school the couple’s four children. “Our whole passion was to just help people. We saw people floundering around when common sense would make such a huge difference.”
Aside from services on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, the Hoehnes have begun The Roundtable, a monthly forum to help people with business decisions.
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The Roundtable is set up in a format that allows men and women in business to discuss and even debate the answers to questions. Questions range from how to resolve cash flow problems, save money and advertise, to how to decide whether to go into business.
“What it does is it forces people to think. They have to stop and think, ‘Do I really want to get into business?’” Ralph Hoehne said.
The free monthly session not only allows new or prospective business owners to tap into information, but it gives them a chance to get mentoring from veteran business owners. The next session is Feb. 3.
Especially in tough economic times, the Hoehnes are finding that people are looking for a way out of their financial troubles.
“Sometimes, it’s just a matter of taking a step back and getting a perspective on things,” he said. “Sometimes, when people are in the middle of a crisis in their lives they don’t know how to get out of it.”
The Hoehnes, who have been mentoring and counseling people for the past 15 years, have more recently led 12-week sessions, called Victorious Living, at various churches since moving to the area five years ago. Ralph says that finding relief from financial woes may not happen overnight. But with good decision-making families can get out of debt.
Author of “Anointed to Prosper: Keys to Breaking the Power of Debt”, he outlines biblical-based ways to succeed in the financial realm. They include living with integrity, saying what you’re going to do and doing what you say, and doing everything to the best of your ability.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel. We’re taking a step back and talking through the decisions they make in their lives before they make them,” he said.
Financial stress tends to add pressure on couples who are now struggling. Many times, couples aren’t having serious issues but have grown apart because of the stress.
The Hoehnes should know. Early on in their marriage, they were struggling with finances and their relationship. Wishing somebody would have handed him a manual on marriage, Ralph, who was already successful at a real estate businesses in Canada, set out to find a way to make it work.
Counseling he received about romancing his wife, keeping a weekly date night and taking an annual vacation, are some of the tips he gives to men in counseling sessions.
“Marriage takes work. It doesn’t end. You can’t say, ‘I’ll figure it out now, and I’m good to go,’” he said.
In the midst of it all, they turned to their faith for a plan for marriage and finances, including tithing 10 percent of their income and being good stewards of their money.
“We started to say let’s look at what God has to say. This is not enough to look at our common sense,” Joanne said.
“God’s got great plans for all of us. So often we want to do it in our own way. We can only see a small portion of our own lives. God sees the whole the picture.”
In the past few years before the economy took a turn for the worst, they decided to hold off on business ventures and are glad they did, Joanne said.
“So often we make him the last resort instead of the first resort,” she said. “So we make it our goal to go to him as a first resort. That’s been the key to our success.”
Jessica Klipa, Herald reporter, can be reached at 708-7906.