1997-05-09 - Accountability Partners, Part 1
The Small Groups Series, Part 3
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Last week I talked about the value of being in a regular small group of believers to share and grow in Christ. Small groups, in my opinion, are where growth occurs -- while worship services are where we acknowledge God for Who He is, and celebrate our growth in Christ.
Today I want to take this a step further and talk about having an "Accountability Partner." Being accountable to someone, gives us more incentive to be even more like Christ and to be more intimate with Christ. One of the reasons we slip in our Christian walk is that generally, we answer to no one. We don't intentionally start out the day and say "today I will fail at walking the talk." We all have good intentions. A person does not walk in a bar and say "today I think will become an alcoholic". No one wants to fail, no one intentionally misses the mark; a devoted Christ-follower does not intentionally fall into to the traps and snares that are placed before us in life.
Okay, let's get practical. How do I find a partner, and what is my accountability partner going to hold me accountable for? We must carefully chose our partner. Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
The primary issue which people I have talked with hold each other accountable for, is the area of Spiritual Disciplines. A daily check-up on Bible reading, prayer, quiet time, etc. In another words -- holding you accountable for your relationship with God. Other areas are family relationships, use of time and money, moral behavior and personal struggles.
Building an accountability relationship with someone takes time. Lots of time. The most successful partners that I have seen have formed as an offshoot of a small group environment. Two people may connect in the group and then start meeting once a week on their own, to further develop their trust in each other, which leads to a true accountability relationship.
Next week I will talk more about what we should look for in an accountability partner, as well as discuss the relationship in more depth.
Dear Lord, Thank you for your love and for your Word. You have placed a wonderful plan for living in a wonderful book, we call the Bible. Help us to understand and apply your wisdom to our lives, so that we may glorify You. Lord we do not always hit the mark, thank you for loving us even when we fail and forgiving us when we repent. Give us the strength that only you can give, to be more like your Son, Jesus. In His precious name we pray, Amen.