Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. – Jesus (Matthew28:19-20, NLT)
As Southern Hills has really focused in on making disciples, without realizing it, my view of accountability has changed.
Growing up, I was taught to have an “accountability partner.” We were to meet once a week to ask each other “the hard questions” about what tempted us, how we sinned, and what we could do next time to resist temptation. It sounds great in theory, but I’ve had little success with accountability partners. I believe this is because this method is flawed at it’s very core.
Accountability partners are about behavior modification. At least for me, the focus was eliminating the sin in my life. And because behavior modification rarely sticks, I’d find myself frustrated, guilt ridden, and avoiding a good friend. We said the goal was ultimately to look more like Christ, but we went about it the wrong way.
Discipleship, on the other hand, is about heart change. Discipleship examines the sin and gets to the motivation behind it. Discipleship points people to Christ and His word to produce lasting change. While there is an aspect of accountability, discipleship isn’t about sin management. Rather, discipleship teaches about the grace found in Christ which leads to obedience.
Do you have discipleship relationships in your life?
Who are you discipling? Who are you meeting with to pour your life into? Who are you pointing to the Bible and empowering with the Word? Who are you teaching about the grace of God? No matter where you are in your walk with Christ, you are called by Christ to be a disciple maker.
Who is discipling you? Who is encouraging you with the scriptures? Who in your life is genuinely concerned for your heart and wants to see it become more like the heart of Christ? Who is reminding you about the grace you have been given and motivating you to live for Christ instead of self? We all need someone to push us.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25, NLT)