LAKE IN THE HILLS, Ill.—New Life Baptist Church hosted a seminar called “You Really Can Change: God’s Strategies for Heart Change.” Mike Hess, GARBC national representative, taught the three-hour event.

All believers, Hess pointed out, have the tools they need to grow and change and then to help others grow and change. Those tools are God Himself, God’s Word, and wise individuals.

When counseling or discipling others, Hess said, believers need to know that “the problem is not really the problem.” The main problem is what’s going on in a person’s heart. Therefore, growth and change in anyone’s life should strive for heart-targeted growth and change.

But we alone can’t fix people, Hess said; we need to point people to God, Who changes hearts. Heart-targeted growth and change then involves eight nonnegotiable elements of Christlikeness: holiness, service, love, being others focused, involvement in the local church, the Word of God, making disciples, and dependence on God. God Himself, through His grace, helps people address each of those elements to truly grow and change.