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Love One Another...Accountability in Groups

Jesus said in John 13, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, by how you love one another."

Love for one another is not meant to be a cliche or a catch phrase that we put on a t-shirt. It is meant to be a lifestyle.

Have you noticed that our culture has tried to define love today?  I am not only talking about a political agenda, but to dig deeper, it seems that there are constraints that we have put on love, even within the church.

We have tried to disconnect love and accountability in our churches.  We have people that will come and sit through our services on Sunday mornings, they will even attend Life Groups, but when you try to hold them accountable in love, they run away.

Love to them is abstract.  It is not a lifestyle, it's a task.

They also try to confine their love to only those that surround them, instead of reaching out to love someone else even within the same body of believers.  The church will always have a hindrance to growing this love, until people can be truly transparent with one another and open up to receive the gift of accountability.  Why?  Because until that happens our love will only be surface level.  With surface level love I believe we have surface level members and then surface level groups.

I have started to be able to sniff out surface level groups.  Groups that just go through the motions, they meet but they don't engage.  They attend but they don't contribute, not just to the church, but to one another.

So how do we build accountability in groups?

1. Be consistent.  If you are going to ask where someone was the week they missed, then be prepared to not do it just because the minister of ed asked you to that week, be prepared to ask the question each week.

2. Be organized.  One of the benefits of having other group leaders besides the teachers is that it helps to keep more people accountable.  This will help when you have a larger group.  The more people that are on your ministry list (roll), the more that you have to be organized to make sure each person is contacting who they are supposed to.  There will be some that may shy away from organization in their groups and do not want the accountability.  Be prepared to have those conversations that this is what we do in our group.

3. Be small.  Now I am not saying that we want to have fewer people in groups.  No I am saying, act as a small group, even if you are in a large group.  If you feel that the group is getting too large to minister effectively to everyone in the group and accountability is easily waning, then create a new group.  This is a need to recognize.  If you are a part of a large group, then, connecting back to point 2, be organized with smaller accountability groups.

4. Be intentional.  I think it is wise for men and women to separate and get together or a scheduled basis intentionally for accountability.  Find that time when you can interact with one another and take down the masks of church, that shouldn't be there anyways, and build accountability.  Now be intentional in that you schedule it around a fun activity, but also be intentional that you have a time to stop and ask the tough questions.

Accountability is tough but it builds commitment and guards against apathy.  What better characteristics to be evident among our groups!


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