Ministry Monday: Pastor Accountability Importance & A Short Accountability Questions List
Written By: Glenn C. Stewart
Have you ever read Edgar Guest’s poem, “Am I True to Myself?”
“I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as days go by,
always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
and hate myself for the things I have done.
I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
a lot of secrets about myself
and fool myself as I come and go
into thinking no one else will ever know
the kind of person I really am,
I don’t want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
but here in the struggle for fame and wealth
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to look at myself and know that
I am bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself and so,
whatever happens I want to be
self-respecting and conscience free.”1
Can you relate to those words? How does one become self-respecting? A key aspect of spiritual growth (for anyone, including pastors) is accountability. Accountability is simply answering for all areas of your life to another person. It’s not policing, its helping.
“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken,” (Ecclesiastes 4:12, ESV).
For several years, I met nearly every Friday afternoon with a friend as we finished our work days. We were accountability partners. We prayed for each other, hung out with each other, and asked each other the tough questions. We were both committed to maintaining our integrity. The following series of questions are some that we asked each other (these are also great to share with your congregation).
Sample Accountability Partner Questions:
- Have you read God’s word daily this past week?
- Have you spent daily time in prayer?
- How is it going with your wife and with your kids?
- What are you wrestling with in your thought life?
- Have you been completely above reproach in all your financial dealings?
- Have you told the full transparent truth about these topics we’ve discussed?
And many more that we would ask in more detail as we developed our relationship.
Accountability is a guard for our hearts. It is part of good company instead of bad company. It is a great check-point to help us be who we want to be. Guarding, truth-telling, and being accountable are key practices to help us live lives of integrity. And it is truly up to us. It is under our control. No one else can do it for us. It’s what we choose. President George Washington said that “few men have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” Determine that your integrity won’t be bought by money, pleasure, success, recognition, or anything else. Commit to live for God’s purpose. Then follow-through by staying accountable.
- Edgar Albert Guest, “Myself,” All Poetry, accessed September 04, 2017, https://allpoetry.com/poem/8471343-Myself-by-Edgar-Albert-Guest.