Throughout the discipleship process, we want to help Christians grow into a deeper relationship with Christ. One way to help you and those you are discipling grow and stay on track is through accountability.
What is accountability in discipleship? Accountability in discipleship helps us as Christians stay on track with our personal and spiritual life by confiding in other Christians for encouragement and direction. One way to have accountability in your discipleship is to meet regularly with the person you are discipling. In this meeting, you find out where they are at spiritually and follow-up on how they are doing with past sin struggles.
Accountability in discipleship is a very important component for discipling effectively. Without creating a personal connection through accountability it can be hard to understand what those you are discipling are going through and how you can help them. Incorporating accountability in your discipleship may look like modeling it in your own life, or taking extra time to build a relationship with those you disciple.
5 Active Steps to Include Accountability
Here are 5 action steps you can include to have accountability in your discipleship. First, pick a consistent time to meet. It will be easier to guarantee times to meet up and talk if it’s the same every week/ every other week.
Incorporate encouragement into your accountability within discipleship. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing
As it says in James 5:16, prayer is important. We want to communicate with God. We also ask for his help as we grow in our relationship with him. Praying for others is powerful and helps create accountability.
1. Confess Sins
In order to have accountability in your discipleship, the person you are discipling will need to feel safe to confess their sins to you. It may help at the beginning of the discipling for you to open up about your past struggles. Then, the person you are discipling can see how you are walking in freedom from sin.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.James 5:16
You can share this verse with the person you are discipling and tell them how God is faithful to forgive us when we confess. By confessing sins to one another, we can hold one another accountability to walk in freedom or seek forgiveness when we fall.
2. Model Accountability
You can’t expect to ask others to keep accountable if you yourself are not willing to keep accountable.
Accountability will help us keep on track as Christians and therefore set a good example of the Christian life. This shows a willingness to grow in your relationship with Christ.
An accountability partner can be a pastor, mentor, or an older person from your church. Your accountability partner should be rooted in God’s Word and is willing to encourage you and reprove you.
Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity.Titus 2:7
3. Turn Learning to Living
Discipling someone is more than just teaching someone about Jesus. We want to help those we disciple turn what they are learning in the Scripture and apply it to their life.
Helping those you disciple apply God’s word with into their life will help them grow in their relationship with the Lord.
One way you can include applying Scripture into your accountability is to ask how they will live out what they are learning.
In turn, they will be encouraged to truly complete what they as they know you will be following up with them.
Without a system, in place to help encourage action, it can be much harder to live out what you learn. Learning how to apply God’s word will help them mature in their faith.
4. Build a Relationship
Relationships take time and energy but making connections when you are discipling is important. Once you have a relationship, you have established trust between each other.
Christians are called to love one another, and one way we show this is through relationships.
If there is no relationship to build on or none is created, it is harder to create a space where honesty occurs. Without honesty, there is little conversation leaving to have accountability on.
When you are able to converse with those you are discipling about what they are learning you can also understand exactly where they struggle in. You can also discover what they are learning or trying to accomplish. This gives you the opportunity to help them encourage them and push them to grow.
Accountability and relationship go both ways in discipleship. When you have a relationship you will have a much easier time with accountability. If you have accountability with little to no relationship, there will be plenty of room to grow a relationship through accountability.
5. Sustaining Commitment
Discipling others is an amazing way for us as Christians to pass on the knowledge we have learned to those who are new in the faith. When we bring accountability into the equation we create a stronger deeper relationship, and with a deeper relationship, it can help them stay committed even when hard times come.
Without relationship and accountability, it is much easier to walk away from either church or their walk with Christ. If there is someone they are accountable to, they may have the chance to be encouraged and to stick through the hard times.
Keeping accountability in discipleship is important long term. Accountability helps us grow our relationship with God. Without accountability, it becomes easy to go off track. Accountability helps us to stay centered on Christ and what He says.
Being accountable to others will help create areas of encouragement and direction. This will help people to stay the course by learning from those with more wisdom and experience.
Being a Christian and discipling others is what Jesus has called us to as Christians. We also have amazing instructions in the Bible on how to go about discipling others. There are other areas of discipleship besides just accountability that will help us disciple others more effectively.
Including accountability into the equation of discipleship may seem more complicated, but by building a relationship with those you are discipling, it is easier to help others grow. Remember the goal of discipleship is to come closer to Jesus.