Has anyone ever invited you to start an accountability group? Here’s my advice if they do: Run!
OK, I’m kidding…sort of. I just don’t think you can’t start an accountability group. You can only become one. Why? Because accountability without relationship is legalism.
Accountability without relationship is legalism.
Men need to be in relationship with each other for a while before they can become truly accountable. Unless they’re in therapy, most guys aren’t going to be open and honest about the tough things with someone they don’t know very well. You need to have been through some trials together. If you share out of obligation or guilt, you’ll probably hold something back.
Proverbs 18:24 reminds us that “a man of many companions comes to ruin, but there is a friend closer than a brother.” In other words, a lot of shallow relationships aren't helpful. You need someone who knows you even better than your own brother.
When I was a younger man, I had a terrible sin that was tearing me up. So I took a brother from my small group to dinner and spilled my guts. He walked beside me in my repentance, encouraging me, exhorting me and holding me accountable to help safeguard me. How did I overcome my guilt and fear of rejection to tell him? We had been friends long enough that I trusted him.
Do you have a man like that in your life? Take the time to develop that level of trust. Someday, you’ll need it.
Brett Clemmer is our VP of Leadership Development, training, speaking and writing on behalf of the ministry. He joined Man in the Mirror in 2000 after a career in business and human services. Along with Patrick Morley and David Delk, Brett is the co-author of No Man Left Behind. Brett married Kimberly in 1991, and they have a daughter and son, both in college.