Article By: Doug Garasic / Exponential.org
Read the original article HERE.
We’d probably all agree that accountability is good and even necessary, yet sometimes when people reach a certain level of leadership, they can fall into the trap of believing they don’t need to be accountable to anyone anymore. They stop doing the very things that got them to the position they currently hold. Unfortunately, the accountability that started their growth is the same accountability that will sustain their growth. There is no other way around it; accountability is essential to leadership.
When we think about following Jesus in his Luke 19:10 mission “to seek and save the lost,” the importance of accountability becomes even more clear. If we’re called to follow his lead (and we pair this with the Great Commission directive to go make disciples), we need to develop accountability relationships and structures that hold us to the dual commitments of evangelism and discipleship.
Because being accountable is so important, let’s define it.
Accountable | ə’koun(t)əb(ə)l | adjective (of a person, organization, or institution) required or expected to justify actions or decisions; responsible
Let’s expound on that definition in a leadership context:
Being accountable means you don’t just talk like a leader but also walk like a leader.
Being accountable means you practice what you preach.
Being accountable means you lead by example.
Last but not least, here’s the big kahuna. If you don’t remember any other descriptions of accountability, remember this one:
Being accountable means you do the very things that you ask others around you to do.
Leaders often carry a heavy weight of responsibility. It’s human nature to cope with that pressure by slipping in accountability. It’s easy to feel like you’re above doing the little things that everyone else does because you’re dealing with much more important issues. However, when you stop needing to account for your actions or decisions as a leader, you might not do it intentionally or maliciously but, the effect on your team will be damaging. So, how do you stay as accountable as you ask your team to be? There are really only two options.
You match the accountability of your team either by lowering your expectations or by raising your example.
People never rise to the level of your vision; they fall to the level of your example. Encouraging speeches, inspiring preaches, and motivational meetings will only take you so far. At some point, your team wants to know that their leaders walk their walk.
What does this mean for evangelism?
If you want to develop a culture in which people share the gospel and reach out to the lost, you need to make sure you 1. Know how to share the gospel yourself, and 2. Know how to train your church members how to share the gospel with others.
Sharing the gospel is not an inherited capability – it’s a learned skill. One that improves with practice.
As pastors and leaders, we need our people to see us out front leading in the work of evangelism.
At the church I pastor (rustcity.church) it can be very easy to hide under the cloak of busyness. We have a healthy size staff and lots of people in church so people can understand that I create opportunities for them to participate not for me. But i realized that if I don’t DO the very things I invite others to do my words and actions aren’t aligning. So when we created our midweek outreach, every Wednesday at 6:00 PM, giving out free food to the community, I knew I needed to jump in. I can’t serve every week but I can commit on my calendar to be there monthly (12x per year) and that does two things for me: 1) I just get to be the hands and feet of Jesus and serve 2) it allows me to inspect what I expect from people. I realized, very quickly, that they needed more support and my opportunity to do it with them revealed that. Plus what we celebrate replicates within our culture. I’ve noticed when I talk about it, from the pulpit, more people engage with it the next week.
I’ve done some deep leadership reflection on my end. Now it’s time for you to reflect on your own leadership:
What evangelism values do you preach to your team but not practice yourself?
Do you believe in the expectations that you give your community enough to hold yourself accountable to the same expectations?
What areas of your outreach and evangelism ministries are currently slipping? Are you going into battle to fix them, or are you just barking orders from a distance?
Engaging in the work of faithful accountability will pay dividends for you, your church, and your community. Keep at it, trust the process, and watch your ability to make an impact grow!
Content adapted with permission from Becoming the Leader You’d Follow by Doug Garsic.
Doug Garasic is the author of several books, including Becoming the Leader You’d Follow and is the Founding Pastor of Rust City Church, located in Northeast Ohio. Since 2011, Doug and his team have launched campuses, developed a ministry training school, and impacted thousands of lives in the heart of the Rust Belt. Not only does Doug love his hometown, he also loves helping churches and coaching pastors all over the United States.
Article Submitted By: Jonathan Hill
Resident Director of Evangelism Ministries
Cornerstone Conference IPHC