Since we have explored the benefits, barriers, and the necessity of accountability relationships, I figure I would end the topic of accountability by describing some practical ideas to make accountability relationships a part of your life.
Pray for Your Accountability Relationship
If you do not currently have an accountability relationship, pray that God would lead you to someone to pursue accountability with. A good person for this relationship would be someone of the same gender who you interact with in everyday life who is seeking to follow Jesus Christ. This may be someone at church, school, or one of the people that you hang out with. After prayer, approach this person and ask questions about their relationship with Jesus Christ. You can then propose the idea of having accountability conversations to spur each other on after Jesus Christ.
If you have an accountability relationship, I would encourage you to make prayer an essential part of it. This is not just limited to prayers for the person in their absence but should also include prayers in person and over the phone. There is something powerful about hearing someone else pray for you. One practical thing that I do in my life is talk on the phone each day and pray for my accountability partner over the phone. This has become a treasured and sacred time of encouragement.
Build Safeguards Against Sin
Sin is deadly as we looked at earlier in the week. You need to be intentionally open with your accountability partner and help build safeguards against sin. This may mean giving your accountability partner username and password access to your emails. Facebook, and MySpace. Guys especially need to use their accountability partners as a safeguard against pornography online. The password swap is a good way to do this in addition to putting an internet filter on your computer. There is a free internet tracking software called X3 Watch that tracks all of the websites that you go to online and emails any questionable websites to the people you choose. This is a great tool in safeguarding against the temptation of lust online.
You and your accountability partner also need to pray and discuss practical ways to safeguard your lives from the temptations that frequently cause you to sin. This may be anything from discussing where you and your date went physically last Friday to posting verses on your mirror addressing the use of your mouth.
Make Your Time in the Word a Point of Discussion
The point of accountability first and foremost is to grow closer to Jesus Christ. You will grow closer to your accountability partner in the process, but this should never be the priority. We grow in Christ by spending time in the Word. This time should be something that is done not out of habit or obligation but for the purpose of learning more about Jesus to worship and adore Him more. The Bible is the core of the Christian faith and should also be the core of accountability relationships.
The Bible should be causing you to see Jesus Christ for who He is and to respond in worship to Him and desire to become more like Him. In reading scripture with this in mind, you open the door for a great discussion with your accountability partner. You should not be asking “Did you read your Bible today?” because this question communicates a view of the Bible as a spiritual box to check off. You should instead ask each other “What are you learning about Jesus Christ through your time in the Word?” or “What is God teaching you?” These questions open up the door for a discussion about your relationship with Jesus not merely the spiritual ritual that you practice.
Live Life Together
Accountability relationships should not be just about accountability talk time. You should hang out and live life with your accountability partner. In the context of real life is where your accountability relationship will grow toward each other. As you get to know each other better, you will become more open and willing to deal with real life issues.
Accountability should be a friendship that is focused on encouraging each other to seek after Jesus with everything! Do you have an accountability relationship in your life? If not, start praying for God to show you someone to seek after Jesus alongside.