This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing. Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:8-12
Whenever we emphasize accountability and vital relationships with other men, we need to provide some information and assistance for those who are interested. I am convinced that many men are not in an accountability relationship either because they don't understand what it is, or because they do not know how to get started. Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll be better equipped to begin, maintain and ultimately benefit from having vital relationships with a few other men.
WHAT IS ACCOUNTABILITY?
There is a song I remember I don’t know what the title was but I can’t forget the words; I used to call it the accountability song, the lyrics were:
Face to face, brother to brother. . . Face to face, one friend to another. . .
Man to man, shoulder to shoulder. . . Man to man, serving each other. . .
Brother to brother we'll strengthen each other. . . Working together, we're building the Kingdom of God!
This song really hits it outta the ballpark on some key points of accountability:
- "Face to face. . ." Being accountable to someone means you sit face to face, look that person in the eye and honestly, openly discuss what is going on in your lives.
- "Shoulder to Shoulder. . ." Accountability means standing by your brother's side through thick and thin. One is not above the other; both are equal.
- "We'll Strengthen each other. . ." Through vital relationships, we become stronger, as we help each other through struggles, temptations and shortfalls, and as we encourage one another towards spiritual growth.
Let me talk about what accountability is NOT: It is not guys getting together and talking about how often they have sex with their wives. It is not guys sitting around naked beating drums. It is not guys getting in touch with their "inner child." It is not simply another support group or Bible Study. It is not getting together and whining about how unfair life is. It is not men sitting around bashing women.
Having said that, then what IS accountability? Well, I’m glad you asked… (HA!)
Accountability is about a few men getting together to share their lives. I think two is good and three is ideal (based on the scripture above) and four starts to be too big. Accountability is guys getting to know each other beyond the casual and superficial; beyond "sports and the weather." Accountability is about Christian brothers allowing themselves to be challenged, and held to a higher standard than the world would dictate. It’s where Christian men get truthful with each other about their motives, struggles and shortfalls. It’s where Christian guys pray together, and for each other; brothers growing together toward Christlikeness, reaching their full potential as sons/men of God. And all of this takes place in an atmosphere of love and acceptance, without judgment.
-- Pastor Marty --