165433112At Brainerd Baptist Church we define disciple making as:

“Equipping believers with the Word of God through accountable relationships – empowered by the Holy Spirit – so that they can mature in their faith, and replicate the process.”

Believers throughout the church are meeting in gender sensitive accountability groups of 3-5, so they can become more Christlike and help others to do the same.

But what is accountability, and why is it so important?

  1. What is accountability?

According to Webster’s dictionary accountability is: “The obligation to report, explain, or justify; being responsible or answerable to someone.”

Practically speaking accountable relationships can happen when we give others the right to walk alongside us, observe our manner of life, and share with us those things that don’t measure up to Christ.

As Rod Hadley puts it – Accountability:

“Will not remove sin or keep you from sin, but it helps you become aware of your sin, and helps you focus your attention back on Christ.”

He goes on to say “Being accountable (to another person) takes honesty, and if it doesn’t exist, it will be a meaningless experience!”

You and I are living in a “fools” paradise if we think that we can live the Christ life alone. We need one another! This is especially true as we walk the path He has set before us!

I don’t know all of the struggles that women face, but I do know that as a man, we often struggle with such things as: power, position, prestige, job situations, and lust.

At this point, some may “push back” and say, “Why do we need others, we have the indwelling Christ living within?” And while that is true, it is easy for us to be deceived into thinking that all is well in our fellowship with God.

All of us have what some have called “blind spots.” All of us have talked ourselves into thinking all is well; yet all the while we have bad habits, destructive behaviors, and things in our lives that don’t honor God.

That being said; we desperately need accountability in our lives!

  1. Why is accountability so important?

We all need accountability! Consider four reasons why every believer must have accountability in their lives.

  • You battle against very real enemies.

As believers we battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world is the system that is in rebellion against Christ and the gospel. The flesh is the “old self” or “sin nature” that is at war with the Spirit. The devil is referred to in scripture as the “accuser of the brethren,” “the destroyer,” and the “tempter.” He tries to lead the believer astray from the path of God, which results in disobedience and rebellion against the will of God!

Through these accountable relationships we can encourage one another to fight the good fight, and persevere even in the midst of the battle!

Someone has said that the Christian life is not a playground it is a battleground! That being said, we desperately need to challenge and encourage one another to endure and persevere for the faith of the gospel.

  • Your testimony is at stake.

Our testimony not only involves what we say, but our whole manner of life! Paul prayed for the believers in Colossae.

So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10) ESV

When you are part of an accountability group, others earn the right to “call you out” when your life doesn’t line up with the Word of God. They can also “speak into your life” to encourage you to live a life that pleases God.

  • Desire to be right with God.

More than anything else in life, a believer should have a heartfelt desire to have an intimate growing relationship with Christ – not to just have union with Him, but to have communion with Him!

Through these accountable relationships there will come, with time, a growing transparency with your group members. There will be a freedom to be brutally honest with one another, which leads to confession and restoration. Notice how James describes this kind of interaction.

15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven15 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:15-16) ESV

  • Build others up.

Everyone needs encouragement! All of us need from time to time to be “coached up!” We have the opportunity in the body of Christ to give encouragement and receive encouragement from other believers. Notice what Hebrews 10:24-25 states.

24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25) ESV

Through these accountable relationships, we are not only encouraged and edified; we can minister to others as well!

If you want to grow spiritually the greatest thing you could do this year would be to get into a discipleship group at BBC! In a D group you can find the accountability we all need to grow and flourish spiritually!

No man is an island

No man stands alone.

Each man’s joy is joy to me,

Each man’s grief is my own.

We need one another,

So I will defend.

Each man as my brother,

Each man as my friend!

Folk Song

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