As a leader, one thing I’ve learned is that I can fall just as easily as the next person. The day I think I am immune to sin and failure, I am about to fall big time. Ultimately we are accountable to God for our lives (see Romans 14:12), but we need someone to walk with us and help us as we navigate life and leadership.
Lesson 5 is that we must have an accountability relationship with another woman to help us be the leaders God desires. Who is that for you? Who asks you the hard questions? Who pulls you back if you begin to spin off in a direction that is not beneficial to you, your relationships and the ministry God has called you to? Who asks you, “What’s God teaching you this week?” and “What Scripture are you memorizing and why?”
One time I read that we need a Barnabas: someone who loves us but is not impressed by us! We must be personally accountable to someone who is not afraid to love us through the hard times and to call us on the carpet when we need it! When we know someone is going to ask, we make the extra effort to spend time on the spiritual disciplines that not only help us grow spiritually, but also allow us to serve as a model for the women we are leading.
I have a friend like that. She and I struggle to find time to be together for Bible study and prayer, sharing our hearts and lives with each other. At times it’s on the phone, but we stay connected in a variety of ways, always moving toward the face to face time that we cherish when we can make it happen. Right now we are studying Scouting the Divine by Margaret Feinberg.
We discuss elements that speak to us and share the memory verse for the week. Do we always do well and get it right? No, but we do the best we can each week and we challenge each other continually. We pray for each other daily.
Scripture shows us the importance of this kind of a friend…friends to whom we can confess even our dirt. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful.” (James 5:16 HCSB)
We need the kind of friend who helps you do battle with the enemy. “And if somebody overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” (Eccl 4:12) More than once I’ve called this accountability partner when I knew without a doubt the devil was in my face and she has prayed for and with me for victory. It truly made a difference in my perspective and my willingness to stand firm.
Pray for God to send you a friend who will be your accountability partner even as you serve as hers. If you want to learn more about forming that kind of relationship (and even helping the women in your ministry develop these partnerships) check out Heart Friends: Beginning and Maintaining a Small Accountability Group.
Here are other articles that will help strengthen your accountability ministry.
Also read the blog post from 3/31 10 Questions to ask to find an Accountability Partner