My accountability partners have fluctuated over the years but I’m always seeking new men to add. I have to be willing to take the risk of transparency first, and although sometimes it doesn’t work out, the rewards of developing deep and trusting relationships is worth any risk.
We’ve mentioned the value of starting with simple matters when we form an accountability group and growing from there as time and trust increase. We’ve also stated the importance of setting up guidelines early on which will ensure everyone involved knows what’s expected. There’s one more area worth mentioning:
Many churches or organizations publish a list of “tough questions” that are beneficial to establishing an accountability group, but I don’t see them as the crucial element in themselves. First, tough questions are only as effective as honest answers. Healing does not come through osmosis, nor does it come through BS.
Long term healing comes not through the asking of “tough questions” but instead through honest answers based in clear self-examination. The process I like to describe works in a cyclical manner, where we keep coming back to trust (defined by truth) and transparency. As our relationships grow we become more committed to the process. We see the values of it being a two way street, and out of that commitment come more challenging questions, which when answered deepen our relationship.