Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 244: Accountability Partners?

One of the topics I struggle with in some men’s groups, women’s groups, midweek small groups is the topic of “the need to find an accountability partner.” I thought I would just talk about this for a little bit because I really don’t think it is that easy to just “find an accountability partner”. This always has been something that rubbed me the wrong way. From youth group on into our adult life we are constantly reminded about the importance of this. The problem I find is that we are a society that does not trust people to often. This trickles down from politics into our daily lives. If you have been hurt once…it is easy to forgive and move on. The sad part is when it happens again and now trusting people becomes very difficult. I know many people who are involved in some great small groups but still would consider it no place to have an “accountability partner.”

I think to have an accountability partner comes from being friends with someone for some time. To just show up to a small group (as great as it may be) and expect to have an accountability seems to be a bit unrealistic. If I am struggling with a deep issue, I probably won’t find the person I need to talk to in a group of other guys I just decided to join. Perhaps over a year or so I will become a good friend with someone in that group and will feel I can pour my heart out to him but it is something that won’t happen after one or two meetings.

Is accountability important? I think so. But I think it is only going to come out of a relationship with someone who earns your trust and likewise. It may even come out of a group that you hang out with often. The sad part is that many churches want to see great small groups develop but when a group of friends are always doing something together and don’t let anyone else in, the church will try to dissolve it when in fact this is a great thing. There are some cliques that form that truly are a non-healthy situation but a group that just enjoys each others fellowship all the time is a healthy clique and quite possibly a strong organically grown “small group” with great accountability.


  1. I feel in my own experience my accountability partner found me. After a long time being friends, we just gravitated into deeper issues and struggles and openly shared them in trust...and as far as the church clique goes.. the very first small group I was in with 5 other couples, was basically forced to break up so we could morph into MORE small groups ..I think numbers were more important than deepening relationships!

  2. Accountability partners (or can we just call them a very good friend?) are not a bad thing. Especially when it happens naturally. The part I find worrisome is the idea that you MUST have one. This seems to be a big thing in a lot of men's groups.

  3. Every time I tried to have an AP they let me down. They didn't take it seriously and I needed them to. So I had to ditch that idea and just BE accountable myself. :)