Everyone is accountable to someone. As individuals, as church members, as pastors and leaders, husbands and wives. All of us.
One of the hardest aspects of leadership is being accountable. Leaders by nature tend to be entrepreneurial, push the status quo type people. This pushback against accountability though comes from more than just leader types. It is also something men push against. Men do not like to be accountable to anyone, under anyone. One of the biggest road blocks to the gospel in our culture is the anti-authority feeling many people try to define their lives with.
If you are a follower of Jesus, who are you accountable to? Who can you call you on the carpet (lovingly) for sin in your life?
For years, as a leader I pushed against this. I started a church, who was going to hold me accountable?
The other question a leader has about accountability has to do with letting people in. This is a very real concern. Like most leaders, I’ve been stabbed in the back by other leaders and followers. People I was supposed to trust used what I shared with them against me. Concerns and prayer requests I shared in private became public knowledge. You must be wise in who you let in to hold you accountable.
A few ideas on picking someone:
- Do they love Jesus? They must love Jesus first and foremost.
- Do they love and care for you and your family? Someone cannot hold you accountable if they do not have a deep, genuine love for you and your family.
- Do they understand your role? There is truth to the statement, “Only lead pastors understand what lead pastors feel.” The same goes for the wife of a lead pastor. Find someone who understands and can relate.
Most leaders will tell you to find someone who does not attend your church. This isn’t a requirement, but might be a necessity. This is where I was for years. Not until recently did I begin allowing people close to me, who attended my church to hold me accountable personally. Trust has to be built, a relationship deepened, and that takes some time.
Bottom line on this, don’t walk alone. Lone rangers do not survive in leadership and ministry.