10 | Jeff Hoenshell: Accountability Through Small Group

So often, when people hear the word accountability, they cringe. It’s easy to understand why, too.  Real life examples of biblical community are uncommon. Rarely do we see men and women consistently challenging and encouraging one another – sharing the struggles, but also rejoicing together in the victories.


I’m thankful to be a part of an “uncommon community” here at Harvest.

Last fall, I was failing to love my wife well. I had become so focused on my role as a pastor and the demands of ministry that my relationship with Carissa was suffering. I felt frustrated when I misunderstood or disagreed with her perspective, and instead of seeking to listen and understand her heart, I chose to focus on my own selfish views. I could feel a distance growing between us…

I’m so glad now that I had men in my small group that were willing to listen, pray for me, and hold me accountable to changing. Through that accountability and the truth of God’s Word, Christ convicted me of my selfishness and pride, and showed me how I was failing to be a loving leader in my own home. The Lord helped me first confess my pride and selfishness, and helped me understand how to put my wife’s needs above my own and pursue her.

Praise God, Carissa and I had an incredible renewal of our love for one another! Now, I genuinely want to understand what she’s thinking, instead of dismissing her feelings. How my actions are making her feel matters to me, and I want her to know how much I love her. We have had so much more joy, peace, and closeness in our marriage as a result.

Throughout this time, I found encouragement in Ephesians 5:25, which says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

I have found a new depth in my relationship with Carissa, and I’m so thankful for the incredible gift she is to me! And being able to be transparent with the men in my small group also helps me to better lead within our group as we strive for greater accountability as we walk with Christ together.

God is using our uncommon community at Harvest to change lives and make disciples!