Moses found himself so engaged in ministry that he abdicated responsibility for his family. His wife and kids were living with his father-in-law. The fact that he was called to be a leader did not negate his responsibility to be a husband and father. What Moses was doing was good but it violated Gods command that a man look after his wife and children. Many times the marriages and homes of clergy suffer as the clergy member attends to all of the needs and pressures that come with the calling. A good accountability team will insist on balance in the lives of their leader. The accountability team should be composed of people who love you and understand your short comings as well as your potential. The accountability team should be composed of three to five people who meet with the leader regularly (and often) in person on through technological media.
An accountability team should never be confused with a crisis team. Accountability should not begin once something has gone horribly wrong in the life of the leader or the entity they lead. Being accountable is also an exercise in personal integrity. In order to be a good Christian leader one must submit to the accountability team. One must also be willing to tell the truth—the whole truth—in order to be held in the standard of accountability. Note the relationship between King David and the prophet, Nathan:
The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. 4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” 5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” 7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ (2 Samuel 12:1-10 NIV)
One can be certain that Nathan’s prophetic illustration did not feel good to David. Likewise, we can only imagine the sense of shame, guilt, and remorse David suffered while processing his sin. While being firm and forth right could not have been easy for the prophet and well could have cost him his life, he made the decision to hold David accountable so that his behavior could be corrected and not abort his divine destiny. Had David’s behavior gone unchecked it is likely that his behavior would have further deteriorated. Sinful behavior rarely self-corrects. Sin requires a head on look at the root, the effects and the ultimate solution in order to be remedied. Every leader needs to have someone who cares enough to tell them the truth and whom they trust enough to reveal the truth to no matter how devastating that truth is.
What do you feel is God’s plan for your life?
What are you currently doing to line up with that plan?
In the next 6 months to a year what do you need to do to align yourself with the will of God?
What stumbling blocks prevent, or threaten to prevent your success?
Do you have a crisis issue that needs to be attended to? (i.e. addiction, mental health challenges or marital concerns) If so, how can we be or provide assistance.
How is your spouse dealing with the ministry to which you are called and the accompanying responsibilities?
How do you ensure that the dreams, vision and passions of your spouse are met so that they feel that complete and fulfilled in their own life, calling or ministry.
Are you honoring your respective Sabbath and if so, on what day so that we can make sure church needs are redirected?
How are you actively attending to your health?
What are your strengths, weaknesses, and spiritual gifts and how is God calling you to use them in this season of your life?
In what areas are you most tempted?
What is the specific function of each member of the accountability team? Will they work together as a group or will each have a “specialty” as it relates to your life and ministry?
What does your actualized success look like as a Christian leader?
What are your own (non ministry) dreams and desires and how will you handle the acquisition, delay or denial of these dreams and desires?
Which of these might you have to sacrifice in order to accomplish the will of God for your life?
How are you handling the stress of your current position or the current project?
Are you reaching out to your resources when you become stressed?