Zack Nielsen: "Accountability partners usually don’t work."

Zach Nielsen at Vitamin Z has this to say about Accountability Partners:

Probably with the rise of men’s movements like PromiseKeepers and others like it, the idea of an “accountability partner” has become common practice for many Christian men. Usually what this means is that you have a partner of mutual age and trust that you meet with one on one once a week or so and just check in about how life is going. Sometimes you agree to ask each other hard questions about sexual purity or some other specific sin issue. The intent of this relational structure is to provide a context for deterring sin since each person knows that there will be questions probing into conduct and thought life as it pertains to the past week. I have been in many one on one groups and small groups like this in the past and I would submit to you that they usually don’t work. Why would I say this? Well, I believe it’s due to the fact that there is no real consequence. Is your buddy going to shame you or rebuke you? Probably not. The other problem with this picture is that the person that you are accountability partners with is usually not someone who sees you day in and day out and really know the real you apart from your deep conversation had once a week over your warm frothy beverage at Starbucks. Thus you are the one who decides what you share and what you don’t and there are most likely many sins that you are completely unaware of that need to be addressed. I know there is great benefit from bringing sin into the light (John 3:20-22) and we are called to “confess our sins, one to another” but I think there might be a better way. How is this to be done

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Read the whole article here.

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