Accountability can be defined as “mutual disclosure leading to increased obedience.”
As leaders, you must seek to move your accountability times from shallow superficiality to transparent vulnerability. Your desire should be for everyone to be honest and transparent about their walks with Christ each and every time you meet. When this happens, mutual disclosure happens. However, the end goal of accountability is not simply mutual disclosure and confession of sin, rather it’s increased obedience! Remember our definition of accountability: mutual disclosure leading to increased obedience. This means that effective accountability ultimately leads to sanctification and life-change. In order to help facilitate this, we must be prepared to Biblically and appropriately respond to confessed sin. On this note, here are a few principles from the Uncommon Leadership 101 training curriculum that I find helpful:
1. Focus more on Christ than on sin.
- Seek to bring conviction and hope rather than condemnation and shame.
- Relevant Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 6:19; Galatians 2:20; 1 John 1:9; Philippians 2:12-13
2. Focus more on identity than on obedience.
- Focus more on who you are rather than what you did. The imperatives of Scripture (what you should do) flow out of the indicatives of Scripture (who you are). Obedience is still important to focus on, but it must first and foremost flow out of who you are in Christ.
- God doesn’t ask you to do anything that He doesn’t first empower you to do.
- Relevant Scriptures: Colossians 3:1-3; Romans 6:6; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 3:4-6; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
3. Focus more on gracious exhortation than on failure.
- Help the person move toward something not just away from something. Help them move ahead rather than focus on the past.
- Remember, repentance involves both putting off the old self and putting on the new self.
- Relevant Scriptures: Philippians 3:12-14; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:9-10
4. Focus more on pursuing Christ than on avoiding sin.
- True, lasting change comes not through simply trying harder, but through abiding in Christ. Encourage people to abide in him each day by spending meaningful time in the Word and prayer.
- Relevant Scriptures: John 15:1-11; 1 John 3:24
Finally, as you seek to apply these principles remember to keep the gospel central every step of the way. The gospel has the power both to save and to sanctify. Jesus died and rose again so that sinners would be saved and conformed into his image.
Hopefully you find these tips helpful. If you have any others feel free to leave them in the comments below.
You are loved!