Awhile back I wrote about accountability that isn’t working. I included 4 indicators:
1 – You aren’t confronted when you don’t keep your word
2 – You go A.W.O.L. and nobody confronts you about it
3 – Your first answer to probing questions is accepted
4 – You don’t have regular conversations about redemption
In this post I want to begin the conversation about what effective accountability looks like and how it works. The first key is about ownership and responsibility. Fundamentally, accountability is about giving an account for your life. The ownership and responsibility rests on our shoulders to be accountable rather than to be held accountable. Too often I hear guys blame their accountability partners after a fall and say they didn’t ask enough questions or didn’t call at a certain time, etc. Accountability is what you do, not what someone does to you.
Also important to clarify is that being accountable means giving an account. An account of what, you might ask? Specifically, your sexual integrity. That should always be a part of the conversation. But beyond that, we should be accountable for the things that contribute to sexual integrity, such as our boundaries, triggers, attitudes, emotions, thought patterns, relationships and walk with God. Accountability is something that encapsulates your whole life, not just one little slice of life. Sometimes guys think an accountability group is the place where they go talk about their sexual integrity. That is only partially true. The men in your accountability group should know about your whole life, because it all impacts or is impacted by your sexual integrity. For example, effective accountability means the guys in your group would know:
– any major life changes (i.e., new baby, new job, new house, moves)
– any relational issues (with boss, wife, kids, friends, family, neigbors)
– any health or medical issues
– any work or financial issues
– travel schedules
– major anniversaries (i.e., wedding, disclosure, divorce, vow renewal)
If you are in an accountability group and they don’t know these things, it is lacking effectiveness. There is ground to be gained by changing the way you do group and broadening the scope of how you are known. Remember, an accountability group is about relationships, relationships are about intimacy, and intimacy is about being known.