Coaches: Leader Accountability
I recently had a conversation with a friend and mentor whom I haven’t spoken with in some time. He’s the kind of person who, regardless of what the conversation was initially about, deeply spiritual subjects consistently arise from what he is saying. Do you know someone like that?
In this conversation we quickly made our way to the topic of accountability, and the impact that accountability (or the lack thereof) has on marriages, families, the church, and our country. Together we lamented the state of many families and churches where deep relationships marked by genuine accountability have been tossed aside in favor of a safer, less-intrusive ‘co-existence’ that keeps us minimally engaged and completely vulnerable to the influences of our culture.
I could write a whole series of posts on this subject alone. Perhaps I will.
But I want to bring this into focus as it relates to our Groups. Accountability is a critical component for healthy, life-changing groups. Without accountability, small groups are reduced to nothing more than social gatherings where masks remain afixed and the Spirit remains squelched. Conversely, when healthy accountability is present within a small group, strongholds are broken down and growth begins to take hold.
As with any other small group characteristic, accountability begins with the leaders. If group members are to experience the benefits of accountability within a group, its leaders must walk the path of accountability themselves, modeling openness and submission. As a coach, you and your huddle group play a key role in encouraging accountability among our leaders.
Here are some things to consider in creating an environment of accountability within your coaching huddle:
Prayerfully consider what God would have you hold leaders accountable to. Generally speaking, spiritual growth and discipleship are at the core of our Groups. As we’ve said before, our leaders must be committed to their own growth if their members are going to experience it themselves. So a common accountability point for all Group leaders is their own ongoing growth. But also keep in mind that, as your relationship deepens with each leader, unique accountability points will surface. Be sensitive to those as well.
Talk openly with the group about accountability. Accountability isn’t something you can claim, it must be earned. Rather than announcing “I will now be holding you accountable to…”, take some time to discuss accountability with your leaders. Pray about it together and ask God to develop the right environment and opportunities for your huddle group to experience accountability.
Ask leaders how they want to experience accountability. Don’t assume that you’ll interact with everyone in the same way. While some leaders may be comfortable discussing accountability issues with the whole group, others may prefer to have individual follow up. Don’t guess; just ask.
Make plans to celebrate. Accountability isn’t just about being around when someone is slacking off. Its just as critical that we celebrate victories, even the smallest once. Learn a bit about the ‘love languages’ of those you are coaching and celebrate in ways that validate them and their efforts.
What are your thoughts and ideas regarding accountability?