What is an Accountability Group?

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Accountability Partners/Groups

I am actively seeking an Accountability Partner for both fitness-related items as well as a person meeting the classical definition below. If you are in need of a partner, feel free to contact me. See my posting here.

The best example for Accountability Partners comes from the Men of Integrity Site:

Accountability is…

A few men getting together to share their lives. (I think two to four is an ideal number.) Guys getting to know each other beyond the casual and superficial; beyond “sports and the weather.” Brothers allowing themselves to be challenged, and held to a higher standard than the world would dictate. Men being honest with each other about their struggles and shortfalls. Guys praying together, and for each other. Brothers growing together toward Christlikeness, reaching their full potential as men of God.And all of this takes place in an atmosphere of love and acceptance, without judgment. “How good and pleasant it is, whenbrothers live together in unity!”(Psalms 133:1)

The Bible tells us to:

  • Love each other. (John 15:17)

  • Serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)

  • Be kind and compassionate to one another. (Ephesians 4:32)

  • Carry each other’s burdens. (Galations 6:2)

  • Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other. (James 5:16)

  • Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)

  • Accept one another. (Romans 15:7)

  • Encourage one another and build each other up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

  • Spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. You are, in fact already accountable to many people: Your family, your employer, your friends and so on. But those relationships differ from the “vital relationships” we are talking about here. Typically, accountability is automatic, or “part of the job.” The difference with “vital relationship” accountability is that it would not normally occur, or even be expected to occur. It is voluntary and intentional; not because I have to, but because I want to. It is specifically for the purpose of growing as a Christian, and dealing with the struggles and shortfalls in our lives.“Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?”(Amos 3:3)

WHY ACCOUNTABILITY?

A common question men ask is why? Being the independent creatures we are, the idea of “needing” other men in our lives does not sit too well with us.You know the real reason the nation of Israel wandered in the desert for forty years? Because, even then, men refused to stop and ask for directions! Guys do not want to rely on anyone else for anything.

A couple of factors that keep men from developing close relationships are pride and fear.Do you ever have trouble admitting when you have made a mistake, or that you are wrong? I do. When we get into “vital” relationships with other men, it will ultimately require us to be vulnerable and transparent, and to admit that we have faults and problems. And that can be quite uncomfortable for most men. “I don’t need anybody else!” Sound familiar? I spent most of my life believing that. But, time after time, the Bible shows that “It is not good for the man to be alone.”(Genesis 2:18) I do not believe God was simply referring to a man’s need for a wife. I believe He was stating our need for each other in general.

The Bible is filled with examples of vital relationships among the great men of God.Moses had Aaron. David had Jonathan. “And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.” (1 Samuel 18:3) David said “I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.” (2 Samuel 1:26) Paul had Silas, Timothy and Titus, to name a few. In fact, once Paul was led by God to witness at Troas, but he did not, because he would not go there alone: “I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there.”(2 Cor. 2:12) Jesus had the twelve, and an even closer relationship with Peter, James and John. Do you see that all of the men God used to do great things had vital relationships with other men? They recognized the need for each other. They did not try to go it alone. Even Jesus, who was fully God and fully man, recognized the importance of vital relationships.

One of the great benefits of accountability is that you will look at your life more closely than ever before.It will raise your awareness of things that, before, you did not think twice about. Eventually, your actions and behavior will change, as you share your struggles with other men, and pray about them together. You will often be relieved to discover you are not the only one who struggles in a certain area, and together you can learn to overcome it. This is where “iron sharpens iron.”

HOW DO I FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER?

Begin by praying that God will reveal to you a guy or a few guys with whom you can explore the possibility of an accountability relationship.Start with the men in your small group or any ministry you may be involved in. (If you are not in a small group, get in one!) Participate in the men’s ministry activities at your church. If there aren’t any, talk with you paster about starting a men’s breakfast, or a basketball night or something that will bring men together in fellowship.

A good accountability partner candidate is:

Dear brothers, I cannot say enough about the importance and benefits of developing vital relationships with a few other men. I can tell you this: Once you try it, you will wonder why you waited so long to get started, and your life will never be the same.You will not regret it!

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the day approaching.” –Hebrews 10:25

If you need an Accountability Partner, contact me above and I can help you find one or possibly become one for you.

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