Saturday, August 13, 2011

Are We Only in (or Out of) Church Because of Friends? PART II.

About a month ago, I blogged about the correlation of friends and church and how they are linked. At the end of that post I said the following, "What I'm saying is friendships are an integral part of our worship experience and spiritual walk, but they should not be our main motive." The part that I will address in this second part is how friendships are an integral part of our worship experience.

As you probably know, for almost 2 years now, my husband and I switched from attending a Spanish speaking church to an American, English speaking church called Restoration Praise Center (which I highly recommend you visit one day). When we arrived, we were introduced to many new aspects of worship, the christian walk, spiritual growth, ministries, you name it. And one of those things was that I noticed many members had accountability partners. When I looked up the definition of an accountability partner it stated that it is a person who coaches another person in terms of helping the other person keep a commitment. The term is often used by Christians where the accountability partner helps a person adhere to a moral commitment. Interesting, eh? So, back to what I was saying, I noticed that many members in my church had an accountability partner (aside from their best friends, husbands, wives, and family). I personally do not have one, but I've heard that they pray with each other on the phone once a week (or more)...also, they check in to see how their partner is doing spiritually and to motivate each other in their walk with God. Doesn't that sound phenomenal?

I know a couple of you might be thinking, "Hmmm, isn't that what friends are for?" The answer is, YES, but the reality is it doesn't always happen so frequently within our friendships. I think the role of the accountability partner is more spiritually centered. That's not to say friendships aren't, but it's like that saying, there are friends for everything... There are those friends whom you run to when you need a shoulder to cry on, there is that friend you run to when you've found the most awesome sale on those pair of shoes, there is that friend you tell about your crisis at work, there is that friend you ask for advice, there is that friend you call just to get some serious laughs, I could go on for days... So, while we can talk about God to all those friends (including the one you run to when you've found a good deal on shoes), the truth of the matter is not everyone is interested in being "accountable" or being an accountability partner.

I've heard our Senior Pastor, Pr. Paul Graham, speak about his accountability partner and how blessed he is to have him. Another pastor, Pr. Joey Pollom, came to our church not too long ago and briefly spoke about the accountability partner he has had for over 10 years (!!) and how much of a blessing that has become in his life. (Btw, if you want to hear an amazing sermon right now by Pr. Joey Pollom, click here). This concept of accountability partner is so amazing to me and while I've had the blessing of having great family and friends who do care about my spiritual welfare (and likewise), I haven't had an accountability partner (outside of my marriage). It's something I am praying about because I believe when two or three come in Jesus' name, miraculous things occur. 

I was googling accountability partner to see what I could find and I came across this article written by Dr. Jon Alfredsson and while it's not based on the spiritual accountability partner, it definitely has lots of information that correlates beautifully to what spiritual partners can do for each other with God's help:::

Accountability Partner – 5 Reasons Why do you need one?

There are not many things that can increase productivity and motivate you in such a drastic way than having an accountability partner. It is probably one of the single most effective ways to become more productive. No matter what you do, get one!

Here I will give you five reasons why you want one:::
  • How Getting an Accountability Partner Increases Your Productivity …You cannot rationalize and make excuses if your accountability partner stands firm and won't let you get away with those weak excuses. And eventually, you WILL feel guilty if you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing. …
  • Your Best Business Asset: An Accountability PartnerAn accountability partner is someone who can help you stay on track toward reaching your goals and creating a life and business by design rather than default. January marks three years that my accountability partner and I have been …
  • Breaking Free » Choosing a Good Accountability PartnerAccountability partners are fellow strugglers, not moral giants. They need to be able to sympathize with the struggle, either because they have struggled through it themselves or because they have successfully counseled those who have. …
  • The Single Most Significant Element in MLM Success | Bicycle BikesAnd then there comes that encouraging hand, and we are back in the game. The Accountability Partner. Encouragement is great but there is something else that is often more important than that: accountability. This is where you agree to …
  • Who is your Accountability Partner?Define and implement some guidelines for what accountability looks like and have your partner check in with you on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Take these reasons to your heart and get an accountability partner NOW if you don’t have one! If you get one, you WILL be much more likely to succeed in whatever you are doing! To your Success, Dr. Jon
Great little piece by Dr. Alfredsson, right? Makes me think more about having a spiritual accountability partner. Again, friends shouldn't be the ONLY basis of why we are in church, but remember friends and fellow brother and sisters in Christ ARE an essential part of our walk with God.

I know some of you reading this have an accountability partner and perhaps you would like to share how it's impacted your life (please do share). Or maybe this is the first time you've heard of this concept, what are your views on this? Or maybe you are like me, you've heard of this amazing partnership and have been praying about choosing the correct accountability partner... Whatever your stance on it, please share, I'd love to hear!

Blessings!

XoXo,

Nissy

P.S. I will continue to pray for my future accountability partner and will let you know how it has changed my life (because I know it will).




2 comments:

  1. The concept of an accountability partner has intrigued me. After listening to sermons and hearing about people's experiences it is easy to long for an accountability partner, but it is also scary. Are we really ready to be vulnerable to another person? Can we really let them into our lives, so much so that we are willing to share our struggles? If so, we cannot put ourselves on a self proclaimed pedestal. We will no longer be able to hold our heads higher than others and walk around proudly. We will be humbled, humbled before God and men, which may be easier for us to write about then to actually live. I wish you the best in your Christian walk. May God lead you and me to an accountability partner that will be a true Christian who will be committed to righteousness more than making a name for him or herself in this world. All the best!

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  2. Community is fundamental to our essence as human beings, because as 'image-bearers' we reflect the community of God that is found in his essence...except our society has caught itself within its own train of thought. Business driven, money making minds have 'excluded' the individual...letting them get categorized as 'somebodies,' rather than human beings.

    Accountability partners recognize a 'holistic' view of the individual. In doing so, the partners attempt not only to 'help the person adhere to a moral committment' but fundamentally, exemplify the love and power of God they have come to know. Who ever believes in 'making it on your own'will not last very long in this journey.

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