As a ministry leader, it is vital that we seek out sources of accountability for our ministry and our personal lives. Ultimately, we are accountable to Christ, and having accountability partners can help us to keep our lives in check before the Lord. Ministry comes with many struggles and temptations, and it is important to armor ourselves up and be prepared for whatever may come.
But what areas of a minister’s life need accountability? It will vary for every minister. But there are some areas that ministers should universally acknowledge when asking an accountability partner for guidance.
- Personal Sin
While there is no need to confess every wrongdoing to another, having accountability for the sin in our lives helps us to maintain a pure heart and spirit as we seek to serve the Lord. Leaders in the faith should be an example to those in their fold. While nobody is perfect, ministry leaders should seek to please Christ in every aspect of their lives. Their personal life is no exception.
- Prayer and Study
A minister should ask someone to hold them accountable for time spent in prayer and study of the Scripture, apart from the preparation for weekly services. Ministry presents a unique struggle in that things of the Spirit are also your job. Having a devotional time can feel like being at work. But it is crucial that ministers still read Scripture devotionally and come before the Lord each day. We must not neglect the One who calls us.
Ministry is a calling, but family still comes first. Many ministers struggle to prioritize family over the ministry. Putting your family ahead of your ministry does not mean that you are putting family before God. God loves families. A minister should ask to be held accountable to investing time and energy in their family. If a minister struggles to hold their family together, then they should attend to that before attending to the family of God.
- Church Relationships
Ministry is messy. It involves intense work with people of all kinds. Friendships will arise, as will animosities. Working in the church is working with humanity, and humanity is not always pleasant. Ministers should seek accountability regarding their attitudes and actions toward members of their church who are maybe not so easy to get along with. There is also a need for ministers to seek counsel and treat everyone equally and fairly.
A good leader is always seeking to grow. They understand that they do not have it all figured out. A good leader is humble and open to feedback and criticism. Accountability in leadership is being asked questions about what is working and what is not in your church. What mistakes have been made? What has been done well? Having someone to ask you these kinds of questions can help you become the servant leader Christ calls us all to be.
Accountability is a scary thing because it requires vulnerability. Thankfully, the love and grace of Christ mean that we are safe being vulnerable with Him. We as ministers should seek out those who imitate Christ to help guide us on our own ministry journey. We are Christians first, and all Christians fall. However, when we seek to be refined, Christ continues to mold and make us despite our failures and shortcomings.