What do you all think about "accountability partners?"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by skypair, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. skypair

    skypair
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    To me...

    ...if you are married, you got one! There isn't anyone who should have a more personal, open relationship with you than him/her.

    Some ministries even print out wallet-size cards with 10 pointed questions you are going to ask each other at least once a week. Shoot! I would cringe everytime I had to ask another guy some of those questions! Would he tell me something I might someday be obliged to tell the church? or the police? Do I get "confessional privileges" cause I'm acting as his "priest??"

    Of maybe I would just know enough to "take the devil's seat" in becoming at some point an "accuser of the brethren."

    Sorry, but I don't even want to know about you the half of what your wife know! :tear:

    skypair
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I'm like skypair, my wife is my accountability partner. I don't know enough about the concept to be critical or supportive, but it does seem to be of recent vintage. Didn't this come along about the time Promise Keepers began to catch fire? Is this related to the PK teaching in some way?

    The idea sounds good, but so do many of the touchy-feely fads. Anybody want to explain and defend this concept?
     
  3. Beth

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    We disagree with the concept

    My husband and I disagree with the concept of accountability partners also.
     
  4. D28guy

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    I personally believe this "accountability partner" business that has been trendy for several years now is not a good idea at all, and I believe it is unbiblical.

    We are accountable to Almighty God...not man. The scripture tells us in Romans 14...

    ...yet we turn right around and invite a brother to be our judge, and take Gods place in this matter.

    Its just another form of legalism, only in this case self imposed.

    I've been involved in a couple of fellowships in the past where this was heavily promoted. I just let it all go in one ear and straight out the other one. I was never asked why I wasnt participating, but if I had been I'd have told them.

    God bless,

    Mike
     
  5. MNJacob

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    We don't accountability partners.

    Let's just forget James 5:16 and Ephesians 5:21.

    The concept of the priesthood of the believers is outdated anyway.
     
  6. skypair

    skypair
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    MN --- Ja 5:16 and Eph 5:21 regard you and whomever it is you have wronged or needs help. But A needn't confess to B how he lusts after C. That just gets B's "juices" going yet that is an example of the very private questions B is supposed to ask A regularly.

    By all means "wash ye one another's feet" -- whosoever it is that has offended you or whom you have offended lest you take communion unworthily.

    But I do know people that cannot keep secrets very long, too. And I do believe there is some informal operation of "accountability" wherein men spend after work hours at bars instead of with their wives.

    skypair
     
  7. chuck2336

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    Not being fully educated on the subject of accountability partners, I do not see where it could be a bad thing. You are not asking someone to judge you; you are seeking someone to hold you accountable for what you know to be right. Even Paul said he fought against doing what he did not want to do and doing what he knew he should do.

    When I left the church I had been serving at, I had been really hurt by the actions of a few people. I found that it was difficult to go to church and worship in the right spirit. The solution? Skip church, I just didn’t go. I have a friend that I told about my struggle and he was always checking to make sure I went. But more than that he prayed for me specifically in that area of concern. Things are fine now I no longer have this issue, but he still checks from time to time to make sure I am doing what I know to be right. No judging, just prayer and support.
     
  8. USN2Pulpit

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    Are you sure it's not scriptural?

    Consider Proverbs 27:17 - "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

    I believe the two men described in this verse hold each other accountable.
     
  9. skypair

    skypair
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    chuck2336,

    That's good stuff!

    What I'm talking about is the organized, "get in your head," 10 questions "ministry" called "accountability partners."

    Example: I knew quick enough if I spent time with my wife not to "notice" at other women! :laugh:

    What I think you might have in mind -- which I fully endorse -- is "DISCIPLESHIP," right? I don't think Jesus sat down with His disciples and held "confession," though. Do you?

    skypair
     
  10. ktn4eg

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    Suppose a person isn't married (i.e., a single adult), or suppose one's spouse isn't saved.

    In these cases, should that person seek out someone else to be an "accountability" / "discipleship" (or whatever else you want to call it) partner?

    If so, who would you suggest that partner be?
     
  11. David Lamb

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    This seems to be one of those things which has yet to cross the Atlantic in any big way. I did a Google search for "Accountability Partners", and got just 555 hits if I limited the results to UK sites, and most of those seem to have some kind of punctuation between "accountability" and "Partners". For instance, several were sites which words such as "Acountability: Partners must be.....", and "The Partnership Board and Management Group do not have specific executive powers and does not affect existing lines of accountability. Partners remain responsible and accountable to their own organisations." That is compared with 28,400 hits without restricting the search to UK sites.


    But if I undestand the term "Accountability Partner" correctly, then I agree with you that it could lead to all sorts of problems.
     
  12. just-want-peace

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    I am personally against such an arrangement, BUT I am a very private person by nature, so obviously this just "ain't my cup of tea"!

    However, I have had other men who seem to see me as their confessor(?) and will unload on me sometimes; totally unsolicited. I have no problem with this, in that I can keep their secrets very well,and have no desire to spread the "juicy gossip". Apparently in many instances it is just the fact of getting "IT" off their chest that creates the necessary healing/cleansing atmosphere to solve/minimize their problem(s).

    As with many things, this is, IMHO, a matter best left to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and not to be dictated by man.

    Way too many times one person will find "something" that really floats his boat, and condemn others who aren't so inclined, as just not being very spiritual.

    This one fact was one of my BIGGEST complaints against Promise Keepers - if you didn't get a spiritual high from the meetings, you were not in line with God's will!!!

    Maybe, maybe not, but I will not let other's experiences dictate my walk with Him!!!

    We should each do as we feel led by God, and let the other's walk be between him and God; (obvious rebellion against God excepted).
     
  13. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Oh wow, the accountability partners I have had and been are nothing like what you are talking about. I think skypair and some of the others here have no idea how this is supposed to work.

    The idea of an accountability partners is biblical. I think the best verse to support this is:
    Although Eph 5:21 and Prov 27:17 are also good

    I have to disagree with you skypair. None of these verses are dealing with a brother who has sinned against you in some way. Instead they are dealing with pain and sickness and sin in our lives.

    This is related to discipleship, but you are not disciples of each other but with each other. Joint disciples of Christ. To work effectively the accountability needs to work both ways. You do keep things to yourself as you hope your partner does.

    Your accountability partner is not your judge! This is most important. If you are a judgmental person or have any legalistic tendancies I do not want you to be my partner. Your partner is there for prayer and support but not to be a judge. Let me say that again in case you missed it, your partner is not to be your judge. If they are then you have destroyed the purpose for partners to start with.

    Many people on this board have no business being accountability partners. If you cannot love your partner without judging them for their sin it will not work. Before you enter into such a relationship make sure your ready. Most of the sin you are confessing is not your actions but your thoughts. If a brother comes to you and says the was tempted and thought about sinning but did not, will you still love and care for him. I am not talking about little temptations here but homosexuality, drug abuse, and pornography.

    No, your wife would not always make a good accountability partner. She is to close to you and is a woman. You need someone who will be tempted like you are and will understand you. If you tell your wife you were tempted to lust after another woman she may well be hurt. You did not have an affair, you did not go to a strip club, but you saw another woman and noticed her and had an impure thought. If there is a guy on earth who says he has not done this I will call him a liar now. Sometimes to overcome temptation we need the help, prayers, and support of a fellow Christian. On some issues you may be able to talk about temptation and sin openly with your wife, but on others, specifically temptations that are sexual in nature, you probably cannot.

    My experience with accountability partners started with AA. I needed a sponsor or partner who would understand when I needed to talk about how much I wanted a drink. I did not need to be judged, I knew what was wrong. What I needed was understanding and support. I needed a partner who had been where I was and suffered the same temptation.

    If you have never been tempted with thoughts of homosexual sin then you would make a bad partner for someone who has. I would not make a good partner for this person for I have not suffered the temptations they have. They need someone who will understand and love them and pray for them in their time of weakness.

    Everyone needs someone they can talk to about their specific temptations. Left on our own we will fail more often then if we have the support and love of other believers. That is what accountability is all about. I don’t answer to you for my sin, but you help me overcome it.
     
  14. exscentric

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    Always kind of wondered if the Holy Spirit can't keep you accountable how could a man. Silly me, what do I know. :laugh:
     
  15. MNJacob

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    There is no question that it is the Holy Spirit that holds an individual accountable. That is one of the reasons that any proposed accountability partner would also have to be a believer. The wonderful thing about the Holy Spirit is that He indwells every believer. He acts both individually and corporately. We have this tendency in the modern church to attempt to quench actions of the Holy Spirit that involve more than one person at a time.

    The most important thing that an accountability partner can do is to pray with and for his partner.

    Nathan is the original example of an accountability partner. He told his friend (who happened to be the King), "You are the man!"

    Joab didn't. He looked at David as the King, not just his friend.

    Who stuck with David all the way to the end. Nathan did. Joab was on David's side, but he put his own interests in front of his friend.

    Who held Peter accountable? Paul.
    Why did Paul write letters of instruction, correction and advise (let's say general accountability) to Timothy and Titus.

    The very teacher/disciple relationship, which is clearly modelled by Christ himself is the establishment of a one way accountability relationship.
     
  16. chuck2336

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    I knew that what I was thinking was not what you were talking about, but what I was talking about was not really discipleship either. my brother held me accountable for what I knew to be right.
     
  17. David Lamb

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    There is a big difference though, as I understand it. Did David decide it would be helpful to have an "accountability partner", and ask Nathan to fulfil that role? No - the Lord sent Nathan to David.


    Again, those New Testament examples are not the same as an acountability partner. I came across this definition for "accountability partner":
    Basically, it’s a person you give permission to ask you the hard question regarding your actions and holding you accountable to your word. It’s also a person you tell what your goals are and having that person available to talk with when you need encouragement.


    Where do we read of Peter, Titus or Timothy giving Paul their permission to ask them hard questions regarding their actions, and to hold them accountable to their word? And surely you are not saying that the disciples gave Jesus their permission to hold them accountable? Jesus is God, so they and we are accountable to Him anyway.
     
  18. North Carolina Tentmaker

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  19. skypair

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    First, let me say I am glad it worked for you. The church "rendition" seems to be matching 2 men who happen to be at the same meeting together or Sunday School, whatever -- a "forced" arrangement from the outset.

    Further, God's judgment of sin is integral and if you are denying that there is judgment involved by the other person, you are merely saying that they don't agree with God. But the emphasis is on edification, I know.

    And then I, of course, realize that you can't talk to your wife about going to a strip club. It's preciesly your accountability to her that should keep you out of such things! What makes you think that talking about the sin with another man won't throw both of you back into the same ditch again?! What would you put the odds of that at?

    I agree that a word to the wise ought to be sufficient. We ought to come along side one another in times of trial, for sure. And I'm not saying that we should be "enablers" as even a wife might be with some sins. In such cases, you may need to hold her more accountable. :saint: But thoughts and temptations are not sins and as soon as one turns again to sin, he/she will just have someone else to have to lie to.

    skypair
     
    #19 skypair, Mar 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2008
  20. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Well, since you used the word "silly," I have to agree. It is a great misunderstanding of the Bible to reject the idea of accountability partners. The Bible is replete with instruction about mutual encouragement and accountability. Heb 10:24 says we are to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. James 5 says to confess your faults ot one another. Eph 5 says we are to submit to one another. Gal 6 says we are to bear one another's burdens. And we could pile verses on top of verses.

    To set the work of the Holy Spirit in accountability against the work of other believers would be like saying "I don't need a preacher; the Holy Spirit will teach me." That's biblically naive. The HOly Spirit uses the work of other people in our lives to accomplish his work.

    Romans 14 was cited here completely out of context. That is not in the context of accountability but in the context of accepting brothers who, for reasons of conscience, differ from. We are not to judge them because they hold a higher standard. It in no way deals with sinful behavior, which is what accountability is designed to deal with.

    I have heard men say that they are accountable to God and their wife and no one else. That, quite frankly, is a naive idea, as well as a bad one. First, you are accountable to the church body whether you like it or not. You are also accountable to civil government and to your children. Furthermore, there is no way that a woman understands what it is like to be a man. I don't think that an accountability partner needs to have the same struggles (homosexuality was mentioned). In fact, putting two people together who have both struggled with the same thing is generally a bad idea. You need strength with weakness.

    So generally speaking, accountability partners is simply another step in the pursuit of biblical discipleship and encouragement of other believers. It is one of the ways that the Holy Spirit works.
     

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