In this video, Randy Alcorn, author of The Purity Principle, talks about what real accountability looks like.
Alcorn’s perspective here is very refreshing. It wasn’t some major moral failure that brought his accountability group together. It is simply a way for him to pay attention to the condition of his heart—because he knows his heart is the spring of all his thoughts and actions.
How to start an accountability friendship…
1. Make a list of your friends serious about their faith – Christian family members, church friends, or old Christian friends from the past (high school, college, etc.)
2. Narrow the list to those you genuinely like to talk to – Who do you “click” with?
3. Talk to one or two of your top picks about meeting together for prayer and Bible study – This doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated. It can be as simple as meeting to talk about what each of you are learning about God. You can choose to study the same book of the Bible (or a Christian book) and come together to discuss what you’re learning about it. The goal is to start a regular (weekly) rhythm of discussion about the things of God.
4. As you meet, be intentional about confession – After you start meeting, intentionally bring up the subject of confession. If you want to avoid the word “accountability” in order to avoid a negative stigma, do that. Tell your friend, “I would like us to be intentionally about checking in with each other, really talking about the struggles we’ve had or the temptations we’ve faced.” Then do it. Be ruthless about not crowding out that check-in time with chit chat or even good spiritual discussion.
5. Give the gift of “going second” – It’s hard to go first when it comes to talking about your sin. So give your partner the gift of going second—throw yourself on the honesty grenade and talk about something you’re truly not proud of. Resist the urge to only share your socially acceptable sins (like not reading your Bible enough). When you talk about something really ugly—when you set the bar of honesty really high—you set a tone that invites your partner to really share his or her heart.