Earlier I ranted about the destructive nature of accountability groups to the ongoing sanctification process of the Christian. What sparked the push against the existence of accountability groups part 2 was a comment by Loren Pinilis.
Loren Commented that he,
“meet[s] with another guy for accountability regularly, and [he is] wondering how to best go about that. [They’ve] been issuing each other specific challenges and sharing successes, failures, and what [they’ve] learned… and also share how [they] can pray for each other.”
The Failure of Accountability Groups
I believe that this accountability phenomenon is a compartmentalization of the Christian life. I work here. I pray here. I go to bible study here. I confess sins here. I worship here. I could go on.
What Accountability Groups are Missing
Accountability at its essence is part of any discipleship relationship. Community is crucial and Loren is living it out in his life! Sounds like a relationship built on mutual trust and love and encouragement with real action points and a weekly challenge to be transformed to the character of Christ. This is a good thing, but it seems to be missing a critical element.
Without a consistent, weekly opportunity of being transformed power of God revealed through Scripture, it falls short in my mind. If part of the process of a transformed life is accomplished through a growing understanding of who God is and see it applied to our lives (2Peter 1:2-3 James 1:21-25) it would seem that the greatest place to get a greater knowledge of God is found in the words he has chosen to give us.
This isn’t Bible Study.
What I am talking about isn’t Bible study. Bible study is the other extreme of the accountability spectrum. That is the essence of James 1. Loren just wrote a post about it here. If you are simply a hearer aka bible study and aren’t walking away changed you’re missing it, but if you “look into the perfect law” and are moved to be a doer you are blessed!
So How “DO” you do accountability?
Don’t miss the “accountability” or community aspect of meeting with someone and challenging them to pursue holiness and righteousness and a daily transformation to Christ. However, you cannot miss the part of digging into the text either. When your times only consist of community life on life “accountability group” style meetings, it could lead us to lean more on our own ability to sanctify ourselves. It also leads to making small sins looking big because we have a small view of God. In order to make small sins look small we need to increase our view of God and make God the big and glorious God he is. How is this accomplished? Again, I don’t want a compartmentalized life, but I want to make God look like he is, BIG, by looking into His perfect law and continually being amazed at who God is.