Ask the Questions

coaches_jeff-150x1501by Jeff Tunnell

Discipleship requires that someone is asking the “hard” questions that relate to the application of the Word of God.  Some would refer to these questions as “Accountability Questions”, and if you Google that phrase you will find the first ten results will all be from Christian sites.  There are a myriad of questions that reflect a basic discipleship process and help you to mentor someone else in following Christ.

For cell leaders, our questions reflect another facet of accountability that is simple and fundamental.  Questions that request an honest response and intial evaluation of how the most recent Bible message that we shared together is being actively pursued for apprehension and lifestyle upgrades, i.e. becoming more Christlike.

This is certainly a great advantage within the cell-based church.  Any pastor would love to know that his message preparation has produced fruit in the lives of hearers.  Mid-week cell meetings bring the message to a strong deveolpment point where someone who knows the other person intimately is able to ask the questions that promote growth and progress.

What are the questions you ask?

2 thoughts on “Ask the Questions

  • To guard myself against being perceived as controlling or actually slipping into a problem with control, I use what I’ve learned from Tony Stoltzfus’ coaching materials:

    1. As you examine this scripture, how does your life or heart measure up?

    2. What do you feel the source of the issue is for not living it out?

    3. Think out loud with me and tell me what you want to do differently to be the person that fully embodies the truth in this scripture.

    Jeff, I’m learning that accountability has been all wrong for me for many years. I’ve perceived it as someone asking me when and if I have sinned and my response is telling them when and if I have sinned and the confession of that sin.

    While confession is a great thing and something all believers should practice consistently, accountability is best described as:

    A. You reveal weak areas of your character to someone whom you can trust to pray hard for you and loves you unconditionally.

    B. You share how you are digging for the roots of your problems to that person without being asked or challenged.

    C. They encourage you to maintain ownership of your weaknesses and work hard on them with their support.

    What Tony taught me is there’s a whole other side to an accountability and/or discipleship relationship called peer coaching. This is well beyond simple accountability in that two people of vastly different ages can coach one another because mentoring is not involved. So, a fourteen year old teenage girl could easily coach me on writing my next book because she is asking me about how my writing is going, what my obstacles might be, how I am overcoming those obstacles, and to voice my plans for future change for better results.

    What I like about the peer coaching approach used in accountability is it keeps the accountable person personally responsible for their actions, reactions, and plans of action as well as digging for the root (vs. being nailed on areas of stubborn sin).

  • Good article ! Useful approach ! Thanks !

    Still, individual accountability may be a mostly Anglo American idea and practice, about as life-changing as most other individualist practices. (“Accountability”. En francais, on n’a meme pas un mot pour cela.)

    In cultures where group action and group growth lead to most individual change, cell coaches often use questions — or a check-list — to verify that whole cells are indeed making disciples in the way that Jesus commanded, by teaching others to obey his commandments.

    One such question list I saw drew upon the commandments of Jesus that the early Jerusalem cell church was practising (Acts 2:37-47). It asked, In what ways does your cell group currently…
    1) Show love to God, one another, neighbours and enemies?
    2) Bring others to repentance and faith in the Good News?
    3) Baptism and incorporation the repentence?
    4) Help each other learn and apply the apostles’ teaching (about Jesus)?
    5) Pray about everything?
    6) Break bread in communion with Christ?
    7) Share your spiritual gifts and material assets?

    A weak answer leads to specific plans to strengthen the cell group on that point.

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