I had a good conversation with a friend today that got me thinking about accountability in the context of small groups (2-3). I’ve been there, you’ve probably been there – you join an “accountability group” with a couple of your same-gender peers and meet regularly for so-called accountability, right? If your experience is anything like mine or my friend’s you’ve probably seen that group fizzle out after a few months…and you probably never really opened up with any serious life stuff, right? Maybe you’ve even been setup with a couple of other guys or gals by a well-meaning church leader — sort of like an arranged marriage, right? How’s that going to work with unveiling your closet skeletons if you don’t even know the people in your accountability group? Now, maybe you’re not in this situation and that’s great, your arranged accountability marriage is working, you share everything (or enough to be accountable) and the group has stood the test of time. Awesome! Allow God to continue blessing your situation and be grateful in that! I’m not writing to be against something, I’m just suggesting some other important elements in the context of accountability among believers today…
Here’s the question we pondered, “can real, sustaining accountability take place in the absence of true disciplemaking friendships”?
I would suggest that if you’re getting together for the primary purpose of accountability you might not have much success. However, if you are engaged in meaningful and intentional disciplemaking relationships you should see accountability presenting itself as fruit of those healthy, Jesus-like relationships! In other words, true Biblical Community fosters an honest dialog that will naturally bring spiritual accountability.
How are you approaching this area of your life today? Do you have friends to meet with, to study scripture with, to share personal issues with? Is your accountability group losing its effectiveness or perhaps never really got of the ground?
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) says, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together…”
Ask God to bring people into your life who can be a disciplemaking friend first – relationships matter!