Energizing Accountability

By Eric Wenger   |   August 1, 2019

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11, NIV).

I imagine that many of you experience the very same thing that I do as July comes to a close and August begins with September close behind.  The ever changing summer schedule starts turning back to the fall schedule that is impacted by the return of the school year rhythm.  That means it’s time to review schedules, make changes, and consider new initiatives.      

Schedule updates, life changes, and new initiatives as well as the resulting challenges signal the need for self-discipline and accountability no matter what season of the year.  I know from personal experience that there is a big difference between negative and fearful accountability and energizing accountability.  It has been my privilege over the years to be engaged in Christ-centered accountability relationships including coaching with people who have helped me overcome obstacles and invest in healthy change in every aspect of my life.         

Years ago, I was introduced to a great coaching resource called Leadership Coaching by Tony Stoltzfus.  I find his insights on accountability (pages 258-268) to be especially helpful.  Tony’s seven principles for healthy accountability (pages 262-263) are listed below. 

1.      Voluntary – The person being held accountable initiates the healthy accountability.

2.      Positive – Trying to motivate with negative emotions like guilt or shame is counterproductive in the long run.

3.      Pre-emptive – Accountability is primarily proactive, not reactive.  It is meant to pre-empt wrong behavior rather than punishing it. 

4.      Consistent – Consistent accountability is particularly vital in habit change, where if you slip up you start sliding back down the hill and may have to start over.

5.      Honest – Effective accountability doesn’t let you slide by.  It calls for honest, authentic answers.

6.      Specific – Effective accountability is specific and to the point. 

7.      Energizing – It helps focus and motivation, and gives energy to keep going for the long haul.

I have a few coaching questions that I invite you to prayerfully consider.

1.      Where do you need healthy accountability in your life?

2.      What person (people) will you ask to provide that accountability?

3.      What people are you already holding accountable?

4.      How will Tony’s seven principles help you become even more effective as you encourage people with energizing accountability?

It is my prayer that you will initiate healthy accountability where it’s needed in your life, and that you will build people up with energizing accountability every time you have an opportunity.  Please let me know if a C4USM coach can help by contacting me at 920-393-3532 or ewenger@livingraized.com.  You can also follow this link - http://www.centerforusmissions.com/coaching - to find coaches and additional resources in our coaching network.

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6, NIV).

Joy in Jesus!


Moment Extras 

Resources You Can Use

Suggested reading:  Leadership Coaching:  The Disciplines, Skills, and Heart of a Coach by Tony Stoltzfus


Mission Moments is the e-newsletter sent by the Center for U.S. Missions to bring information and encouragement to all who desire to share God's great love in Jesus Christ with others. Permission is given to copy this article for distribution within your congregation or organization. Please credit the author and the Center for United States Missions. For more information contact the Center at (952)-221-0362, or visit our website: www.c4usm.org

Center for U.S. Missions – Contact Information 

Email us at: | Rev. Dr. Peter Meier, Executive Director; peter.meier@cui.edu  | Rev. Eric Wenger, Director of Mission Coaching; ewenger@livingraized.com| Kathy Meier, Coordinator; kathy.meier@cui.edu  | Mil Behnken, Office Manager; mildred.behnken@cui.edu