Listen to Nancy answer the question on Moody Radio with Kelli and Steve.
Researchers who are studying trends in today’s church most would all agree they are in trouble. Not only have they yielded to the pressures of the godless culture, but many have stopped teaching the truth of the Scriptures, especially the life and death of Jesus Christ. A therapeutic gospel coupled with self-help messages has caused many to leave the church and their faith. How did this happen? Many believe that the primary reason for the drift from truth is the lack of accountability in the church and the Christian community.
Today’s statistics of adult Christians prove the point: (Barna and Brannon Howse)
2 % of self-identified Christians can defend their faith.
4-6% are living out their faith\9% believe in moral absolutes.
63% do not believe Jesus is the Son of the one true God.
51% do not believe Jesus rose from the dead.
Accountability is simply being responsible for one’s actions. The dictionary defines accountability as being subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; being responsible; answerable. Why do we all need accountability? Because we are all sinners by nature. As humans, unless the spirit of God leads us, we will seek to please ourselves and let pride and selfishness reign in our lives. We walk away from our call to go into the world and disciple others, and instead, we live tending to our own wants and desires. Pastors, seemingly, have forgotten their call and now preach what the attendees want to hear. They stay away from those truths of the scriptures that might upset or offend the listeners.
For many, the idea of accountability is about our personal lives being invaded by judgmental Christians whose desire is to judge rather than to listen and encourage. Pastor Don Keathley counters such an idea. He says, “By accountability, we are not talking about coercive tactics, the invasion of privacy, or bringing others under the weight of someone’s manipulative or dominating tactics. Instead, by accountability, we mean developing relationships with other Christians that help to promote spiritual reality, honesty, obedience to God, and genuine evaluations of one’s walk and relationship with God and others.
We are talking about relationships that help believers change by the Spirit of God and the truth of the Word of God through inward spiritual conviction and faith. So, what do we mean by accountability? It is about teaching, exhorting, supporting, and encouraging one another in such a way that it promotes accountability to Christ and to others in the body of Christ, but never by manipulation or domination.”
Scripture is filled with exhortations of Christians coming together to have fellowship and help one another live lives to glorify God and love one another well.God’s design for the church is to love and serve one another as a group and then in our private lives to help others be more like Christ in our daily lives. Accountability is a necessary tool for reaching the world for Christ. We are called to serve “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2–3).
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1-2).
Accountability, when practiced in a spirit of love, will: Serve as a check and balance of our lives and faith to those who want to live Godly lives, but struggle to see what is causing others to stumble by their behavior. It will promote servant leadership encourage us and encourage one another to live out Christ in all of life.
Biblical accountability is essential for all of us who value spiritual, mental, and emotional health in our own lives and those in the church. Becoming humble and transparent Christian men and women are what the church needs now, more than ever before. God has given us voices to use to support and, at times, confront friends as well as those in church leadership. We must all fight against intimidation and fear of persecution within our churches to say and do the right things so God will be glorified.
We are all created in God’s image to be light in our dark and sick culture. Yes, there will be critics, but the only one that we need to give an account to is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He will be the one that will ask all of us to provide an accounting of what we did with the life He gave us. Did we live our lives as a mirror of the culture or did we choose to live our lives loving God and loving others? May we all live our lives boldly with joy and thanksgiving for all that He has done for us! When this life, we are now living, comes to an end, I pray we will all hear those beautiful words: “Well done, thy good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:23).