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Media is replete with the desperate stories of debunked businesses, splintered churches, fractured homes and fallen leadership. CEO’s, pastors, fathers, mothers and leadership in general appear to be forsaking morals and absolutes at “mach speed” today. If you are like me, the stories evoke an ambient fear reminding me that none of us are strong, godly or mature enough to be proud.

Is there an answer to this epidemic? Is there a deterrent that can counteract the forces influencing normally linear thinking people to make destructive decisions? I believe the answer is yes! No, I do not believe there is a “magic cure-all” for the problem. I do, however, believe there is a practice that can create a safety zone within our lives.

I am talking about accountability, a word frequently discussed but often loosely defined. Many today speak of it in disparaging terms as if it were a symbol of shame, inferiority or lack of maturity. I have found the converse to be true as I interact with some of the nation’s top youth ministry leaders. These men and women embrace true biblical accountability and I view them as some of the most mature leaders in their field.

Wise leaders not only believe accountability is important but they practice and teach it. I want to give you four reasons why wise leaders embrace accountability.

  1. They know they have something to hide but they do not want to hide it. They are willing to be truthful with themselves and others about their own sinful nature. Wise leaders are transparent with their accountability partners.
  2. They know they have something that can control them but they do not want to be controlled by it. All of us usually struggle with that one besetting sin. Wise leaders admit it to their accountability partners and are willing to be held accountable.
  3. They know they have weaknesses but they do not want to make excuses for them. Wise leader are constantly growing and learning. They identify their weaknesses and then formulate plans for strengthening those areas. They are willing to be held accountable for this process.
  4. They know they have strengths but they do not want to become overly confident in them. Let’s face it: all of us are good at something but from time to time we need an honest friend to remind us that this is a gift for which we need to be thankful, not proud.

Wise leaders do not shrink from accountability; they embrace it. They are not afraid of the truth and they know the value of having someone share it with them. I don’t know about you but I am always a little skeptical of anyone in leadership who has not placed himself/herself into an accountability relationship. Wise leaders know too much to ignore the biblical model of accountability.

Accountability is an issue that has been on my heart and in my mind quite a bit over the last few months. I plan to write a series of articles on the subject, and hope you will join me in studying this often neglected topic.

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