The aim of accountability questions is to help you do what you say you want to do.
Decide what your goal is, and identify smaller steps to get there. Then identify the tangible things you will do to take those steps. Limit yourself to 5 things at a time that someone could ask you about and that you could answer with "yes/no" (I did it or didn't do it each day or week).
Find a partner or a group of people who trust each other and are willing to commit to checking in regularly to keep each other accountable.
Decide on frequency (weekly or other) and duration (initial 2 month commitment), how you'll connect (in person, phone, video chat (we use Google Hangouts), e-mail, etc.), then if you're meeting in person, where you'll meet, and what time. These check-ins could be as short as 2 minutes, however long it takes each person to be asked and answer their yes/no questions.
Give each other your questions, commit to the meeting pattern you have established, promise to keep discussions confidential, simply be the question giver for someone else without judgment, and start doing what you say you're going to do.
Pray for each other and for the things you want to do.
If someone in the group is answering "no" a lot of the time to what they say they want to do, follow up, ask if you're asking the right questions, and if they still have energy for those things, or if there is something else that is more important right now.
Accountability requires transparency, so this isn't really something for a brand new relationship, unless all parties are clearly comfortable being fully honest, trusting, and trustworthy. Try this one on one for a start, with a 2 month commitment. You can change the questions you want asked at any time. Make the first meeting in person, where you decide on the format and questions, and then go from there. Pray for each other immediately at the end of each meeting, and remember, it is vital that you ask each other the questions you agreed to ask every week. After the two months decide if you want to continue for another two month commitment, see if you both want to invite another to the group, or if you each have someone else in mind you could teach and learn accountability with.
Discovering and Overcoming Personal Resistance are steps developed by Lynn Schoener. Lynn works with leaders to develop coaching cultures, improve team performance, and engagement. Her coaching work with individuals is designed to help them through the challenging times that we all face in life from time to time. Learn about coaching here. Learn about Lynn Schoener here.
Anytime we set goals, or establish a benchmark in attitude or behavior, we can actually have habits, routines, thoughts, attitudes and expectations that get in the way. Sometimes we are aware of those things, but many times our personal resistance is unconscious. The key to overcoming resistance is recognizing and naming that resistance, and exploring the underlying beliefs we have about those things that are getting in the way. It requires willingness to be curious about and to test some of the underlying beliefs that may be informing your views and actions.
- What's your goal?
- What is or could get in your way of achieving that goal? (Habits, routines, thoughts, attitudes, and expectations…)
- What are your underlying beliefs about those things that are getting in the way?
- Do those beliefs have validity? What experiment are you willing to try to test those beliefs?
Do the experiment you said you were willing to try and see if those beliefs hold up.
Repeat the process until you reach your goal.
One of the better practices for missional living is to discover and overcome our own personal resistance to living missionally. Disciples can help each other by asking for help when they get stuck. As with Accountability, this relationship requires trust, no judgment, and confidentiality. If you already have an accountability partner, this is a perfect tool to ask them to use when you're stuck. If not, find someone you trust and feel safe being honest with. Or, at the Church, contact Amy Meyer to find a coach who can work with you through this resistance.
The 3Rs of prayer is a method of pRRRaying from God's Word in 5 simple steps. pRRRaying is a great way to be led by God's Word and thus God's desires as you pray, and to be in conversation with God as you read His Word. What would it look like for you today to let God shape and determine the content of your prayers?
Let whatever you are reading guide your prayers, so any few verses you are reading in your personal devotion time, verses from lifeGroup, verses from worship, or just open your Bible and read a few verses.
Then ask yourself:
How does this passage prompt me to Rejoice? Begin your prayer with praise of God and thankfulness.
How does this passage prompt me to Repent? Where do your attitudes and actions need to change? Confess and ask for forgiveness.
How does this passage prompt me to Request? Ask God for help in changing. Ask Him to bring about the future reality that God's Word moves you to hope for.