Man Alone- The Need for Accountability GroupsJanuary 17, 2012
Have you ever felt this way? As a man, it seems we have become geared to be severed from others. Even if we are involved in sports, business groups, etc, we still seem to feel alone in the world. We are graded constantly by everyone on our job performance, performance as a father and husband, our income, ability to provide, likability, you name it. It never ends does it? There is an epidemic across the world of men, Christian men, feeling isolated, unable to connect with anyone and simply accepting it. This is not how God made us to be.
Thinking back to our image of the Christian Warrior, 300 style, there is a difference in the mentality of men. Those in the 300 were close on many levels. Why was that? Their life depended on it.
In previous posts like “The Traits of the Christian Warrior“, “Christian Sword Series” and others, we talked about the lessons we could learn from the Spartan 300. They were a fighting unit like no other. One of their most notable traits was their strategy of never fighting alone. Each Spartan would guard the back of their partner and the other would do the same. What happened to this? Look how successful the Spartans were and how long their legacy lived on. What legacy are we leaving? If we don’t change anything, we’re telling our sons to expect to be alone and to just learn to deal with it. Yeah, not so much.
Jesus had disciples and when he ascended into heaven, these disciples began traveling together spreading the Gospel. Paul spent most of his Christian life in relationship with other Christian men, living life on life. The books to Timothy show Paul’s dedications to not being alone. In one of his letters toward the end of his life, he asks Timothy to bring his favorite cloak. You cannot tell me he and Timothy were not close, thus, he helped to set the stage for what Christian men need to get back to today.
So what is an accountability group? Simply stated, it is a group of Christian men who get together to not only go through a bible study, but more importantly, take some time living life on life. Questions like, how’s the job going? What is going on in your marriage? How is your struggle with _____? These are the most important aspect of any Christian men’s group. I believe too many times, leaders of such groups spend more time on bible study than they do actually discipling. This is an art, an art we could look to Jesus to help us understand.
When going through the Gospels, we see Jesus actively seeking out disciples which was unheard of in his time as a rabbi, which is what many saw him as. Once they were in the fold, Jesus spent a lot of time with these guys living. They traveled together, ate together, went through trials together, and also ministered together. It was this life on life, daily discipling curriculum Christ used to prepare his disciples to go on in his absence. Along with the Holy Spirit, these men were able to continue doing what Christ had done with them with other men. We have got to get back to this model.
In the next post, we talk about what you should expect out of an accountability group.
What to look for in an accountability group.
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About the Writer:
Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.
As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses. This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.