All posts tagged: accountability

Is the Writing on the Wall for You?

-written by Betsie Richards Around this time last year, I was faced with a huge decision. It was a decision I prayed over very intently, honestly more than I’ve ever prayed over a decision before. I can’t even count all the ways God graciously showed me the answer. Signs, if you chose to think of them that way, sermons, bible study lessons, and random unsolicited messages from family and friends all confirmed what my decision should be. At one point, I’m pretty sure I said outloud, “Ok Jesus, I get it. I see what you’re trying to tell me.” I felt like I could clearly see what I needed to do as if it had been written out for me personally. We’ve all probably heard the phrase “the writing’s on the wall.” Sometimes in regards to failing businesses, failing managers for sports teams, and, sadly, sometimes even failed relationships or marriages. Unfortunately, most times the phrase carries negative implications. Daniel 5 seems to be no exception. King Belshazzar has a moment where he physically sees …

Are You Arming Yourself with Worthless Spitballs?

I remember being a college student and sitting in front of the TV listening to the Georgia Governor Zell Miller speak at the Republican National Convention in 2004. He was talking about how Senator Kerry, then presidential candidate, was opposed to expansion of military forces. Governor Miller said, “This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces, US forces armed with what? Spitballs?” The crowd erupted in a standing ovation. Agree or disagree, I have never been able to forget, “Armed with what? Spitballs?” I think this often what we arm ourselves with when it comes to sin: spitballs. Sin is deadly, and it is not Satan who sends us to Hell, it is our sin. Sin has ended the lives of millions of people, and has led people to end their life as well. Sin has caused countless health issues, depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety, and secluded life styles. Sin has led to division in families, and churches, business. It has started wars and psychotic mass casualties. …

A Different Style of Authentic Counseling

Southern Hills is a church committed to following the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:18-20). One of the many ways we seek to fulfill this in and through our church is our Biblical counseling ministry, known as Soul Care. If you are wondering what makes Soul Care unique from other counseling services, I would like to offer three elements that guide what we do in Soul Care. Although these are not the only elements, they are driving every part of our ministry. Soul Care is Christ-centered. Every drop of counsel that we give is to be focused on Christ and His work. Ultimately, our goal is for all people to love Him more than anything else (see Matthew 22:37-40). And how do we believe this is accomplished? In our sessions we want to learn about Christ and develop a greater understanding of what He has done.  As Shannon said on Easter Sunday, our theology is not meant to puff us up. What we learn about Christ, as well as seeing what He has done, should always humble us. If …

From a Soul Care Counselor

One of the most important factors in becoming a Biblical counselor is motivation. What is my main motivation for doing Soul Care work? Why do I want to guide others? The answer to this question has to be Jesus. In a sense, this comes down to following the final command of Jesus- the Great Commission. When Jesus says “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth,” this includes my life. This is key for what Jesus says next. The mission of Southern Hills (and all Christ followers) is laid out by Jesus here: “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.” (Matthew 28:18-20) If Jesus is Lord over my life, then I will follow what He tells me to do and He tells me to make …

Accountability Through Discipleship

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 …