Peer Accountability Guide
Simply stated it is allowing another person, that you know walks with God, into your private life to help you walk with God. You voluntarily ask someone to hold you accountable to walk with God and stay consistent in your spiritual disciplines. This is not an exercise in legalism where two people hold each other to a strict code to look and sound spiritual. It is a relationship where scripture, grace and trust are primary motivators toward a disciplined life with God.
You may allow yourself to skip days or weeks without having a time with God, but when you know that you will have to tell someone else that you are skipping your daily Bible study or when someone calls you and reminds you, it motivates you to pick up your Bible and spend time with God. Accountability will be very important to you in the areas where you want to grow and develop. In areas where you are strong, you do not need an outside motivation, but in areas that you are weak, outside motivation is good. Proverbs 27:17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
Forming a peer accountability relationship/group will better your chances of following through with any spiritual commitments that you make.
“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if somebody overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Entering into and maintaining an accountability relationship can be exciting and beneficial, but it can also be a little uncomfortable at times. Never enter into such a relationship lightly, but stay focused on the goal of pushing one another farther in your relationships to God.
1. Find an accountability partner(s) that you can trust. They should be in roughly the same stage of life as you so that you can keep one another strong as you find your way through similar experiences. They must be of the same gender so that feelings of spiritual connection are not misread as romantic interest.
2. Find a time to meet on a consistent, regular weekly basis. Try to find a time that is unlikely to change.
3. Agree to a topical meeting outline of areas in which you want/need to be held accountable. A possible outline is included below.
4. Agree to the corrective measures to be taken when one of you becomes spiritually lazy or complacent. The discipline should have “bite” to it so that you don’t get into the habit of accepting sin.
If a sin problem continues, you may consider doing any of the following:
A. Bring in another, older source of accountability on a regular basis to provide new perspective and a deeper level of accountability on a consistent basis and keep family informed. Protecting a friend in their sin is not friendship. (Proverbs 27:6, Proverbs 15:5)
B. Go to someone who is older in the faith and older than you or your peer accountability partner in age to get involved on a “as needed only” basis to correct specific sin issues.
C. Develop a plan to dissolve the accountability relationship if the problem continues.
Always seek help from a qualified spiritual leader when addressing serious issues that may require more formalized help. (For instance: addictions, eating disorders, destructive habits, legal issues, etcÂ…)
1. Pray that God would guide you in your accountability time and that He would sharpen both of you through your time together.
2. Go through a regular list of questions that you have compiled together. A possible list of questions is included below.
3. Pray through “hitch points” or specific, reoccurring spiritual difficulties that you may be experiencing. (For example, specific situations in your lives, areas of morality (purity), spiritual disciplines, initiative (self-starting), scripture memory, service, your personal “witness,” or relationship issues.)
5 Minutes – Catch up on last week
15 Minutes – Talk through reading materials and accountability questions
5 Minutes – Memory verse
5 Minutes – Prayer requests / Pray
It is important to remain flexible in order to meet the needs of each accountability partners. The schedule is simply an example of how a meeting might occur.
- Keep meetings short. If possible, less than thirty minutes.
- Point each other to scripture, not just your opinions.
- Speak truth in love.
- Be reliable.
- Be honest.
- Maintain confidences.
- Be consistent.
- Be encouraging.
- Make the most of your meeting time, saving “chit chat” for another time.
Decide which questions below are the most essential, then plan to ask those questions each week. You may select other questions to ask only occasionally. Of course, you may also add any other questions you create, depending on the needs and issues that one of you face. Try to simplify your list to around ten questions for each person.
1. Have you been engaged this week in the basic spiritual disciplines like daily time in God’s Word and in prayer? Describe.
- Have you memorized any scripture this week?
- How many days this week have you had a daily time with God?
- What is something you have learned in church, Bible study, or your private worship time this week?
- How have you made your faith known this week?
- What are you praying about currently?
2. Have you given your time and resources to God as you should?
3. Do you have any unconfessed sin in your life?
4. Have you had any flirtatious actions, lustful attitudes or exposed yourself to any explicit materials such as internet, television, movies, music, etc. that would not glorify God?
5. Have you struggled with lust, envy or gossip (or other common hitch points)?
6. What is a high risk sin area in your life? How are you staying safe in that area?
7. Are you holding onto a relationship that is interfering with your relationship with God?
8. Have you been respectful to and obeyed authority?
9. Have you spent quality time in your relationships this week?
- Have you honored your mother and father?
- Have you been a good friend?
- Have your remained pure in your dating relationships?
10. Have you allowed any person or circumstances to rob you of your joy or have you been angry or arrogant with anyone this week?
11. What are you doing to pursue God’s call on your life?
12. Have you done your 100% best in your job, school, etc?
13. Have you told any half-truths or outright lies, putting yourself in a better light to those around you?
14. Have you modeled lifestyle evangelism this week?
15. Have you kept your tongue in check this week? (i.e. cussing, gossip, making fun of someone, etc.)
16. What do you need to change before our next meeting?
17. Is there anything that you want me to ask you at our next meeting?
18. Have you answered every question I asked you today completely and honestly?