I first came across accountability groups with Neil Cole’s “Cultivating a Life for God”. Over the years I’ve been involved with many and have grown with each one.
Cultivating a Life for God are safe places to share your struggles with sin. The discussion in the group stays with the group. You’ll encourage and exhort each other.
On the rare occasion a leader needs to be included, all the members of the group need to be in agreement. If one member doesn’t agree, and they are the one who is unresponsive to the others ministry, the leaders can be approached to give advice, but should not be told details given in confidence.
It’s the Holy Spirit who convicts and the Holy Spirit who comforts. He’ll give you the wisdom how to proceed.
Accountability Groups will ideally be made up of 3 members. 2 people in a group can be too intense. More than three and someone can hide. Men will meet with men and women with women. Each gender has their unique struggles.
Accountability Groups will meet weekly for not more than 1 hour. Keeping the discussion to 1 hour keeps people on topic, but don’t let that guideline hinder the friendships that develop.
Accountability Groups are fluid and organic. Over time, people may want to start a new one with other people they can help mature in the kingdom. If you jump around to avoid people knowing who you really are, you’re not doing yourself or God any favours. If someone is habitually missing group meetings or church services, the others in the group need to spur them, in love, to meet.
Accountability Groups must be done in love. It is not a place to beat each other up, but a time for us to be real with our struggles, share are dreams and disappointments, and pray for each other as we step out in faith. The questions we ask each other I’ll include in the next post on this topic.
If you have experience with accountability groups, I’d love to hear about it. Give me your comments.