Accountability

Teaching in Indiana, Karen and I encouraged pastors and church leaders to hold each other accountable. For instance, at the conclusion of a Bible Study class, take notice of what class members missed that session, and ask for a volunteer to call just to say "we missed you at Bible study." One pastor said "been there, done that, it doesn't work. The volunteer never makes that phone call."

I was surprised and asked "Why did the volunteer not make the phone call?"

The answer? "I don't know, I did not ask."

We know there are many jobs in the local church. We have plenty of folks who volunteer for these jobs but end up dropping the ball. The job never gets done. That is a familiar story. But what needs to happen next is someone must call the one who volunteered and ask "why didn't you make the phone call?"

Are they too busy? Do they promise with their heart, not their head? Did they forget? Did time slip away? Did some emergency come up which prevented them from the simple follow up phone call to say "We missed you at Bible Study."

Leaders need to lead others. If someone volunteers to do a task, any task, and fails to do the task in a timely fashion, then leaders need to follow up with a phone call. (at least an email or text reminder) Upon learning about failure to 'follow through' then the leader MUST ask "How come?"

If leaders fail to follow through then the volunteer may think what they volunteered to do is not very important to the local church. The volunteer may think "we said we wanted to check on absentees but it really doesn't make much difference if I check on them or not."

If I volunteer for something and I know a leader or another class member is going to hold me accountable then I am more likely to make the phone call. If I make the phone call then the one who was absent last week is more likely to feel missed, more likely to attend next class session. It is not about shaming and blaming anyone for not doing what they said they would do. It is about staying in touch, keeping the doors open for a relationship, and being accountable to one another and to God. Hold each other accountable. Isn't that what it means to live together in covenant?