Your discipleship group has a couple of meetings under its belt at this point, which means that you’re well on your way to building the kind of rapport with one another that will accelerate your spiritual development.
This leads us to one of the most important parts of your discipleship journey: accountability. We’re going to make a strong statement here: Apart from Scripture, accountability is the most important aspect of your discipleship group.
What is Accountability?
Scripture never mentions accountability specifically, but that doesn’t mean it’s silent on the matter.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 paints the picture of accountability. Proverbs 27:17 explains that people are to sharpen each other. Hebrews 10:24-25 encourages us to spur one another on. James 5:16 urges us to confess our sins to one another. Galatians 6:2 shows us that our brothers and sisters help us carry our burdens.
The thing is—none of this is possible without accountability. Accountable relationships foster openness, honesty, and transparency so we can grow into the image of Christ.
In your group, accountability means that you give each other the right to ask the tough questions. Questions about your inner life, about your walk with the Lord, about your struggles and your joys, and even about your relationships.
How Can I Foster Accountability in My Group?
If you want to have this kind of relationship with the people in your discipleship group, you must adopt the following leadership qualities:
- Lead by Example. When you set the tone by being open and transparent, it will signal to your group that it is safe for them to open up as well.
- Lead with Understanding. Accountability is not an excuse to be judge, jury, and executioner. Show the people in your group the kind of grace you’d hope they would show you.
- Lead through Encouragement. The point of accountability is not just exposing the bad but uplifting the good. When you see someone crushing it, let them know.
Accountability is the vehicle through which spiritual growth will come most easily. Hold each other to your commitment to the spiritual disciplines and watch the dynamic of your group – and your spiritual growth – bloom.
If you haven’t already, try having each person in your discipleship group sign a group covenant. This is one of the best ways to set a culture for accountability early on. You can find a sample one here.
If you want access to more materials to help your discipleship group grow, check out our free resources at replicate.org/dgroup.