As we noted in our last Letter, a godly leader will choose accountability. Healthy leaders will be accountable ones!
However, in certain cultures it is very difficult for the “top” leader in an organization to be accountable to someone else within his own organization. A top leader who does not presently have a relationship of accountability built into the system of his community should seek an outside relationship of accountability. The actual process of doing this could look something like the following:
- Prayerfully, find a person to whom you can be accountable. This person must be:
- Trusted by you and by your spiritual community.
- Knowledgeable about your life and ministry environment.
- Of stature in your eyes (not someone you can intimidate) and in the eyes of your community (their trust for him will bring stability and strength to the community).
- Accessible both to you and to other leaders in your community.
- Ask the person to pray about entering into this relationship with you. You will probably need to ask him several times. A worthy person will likely not quickly enter into such a relationship without being assured of your genuine desire for it and your willingness to submit to the guidelines.
- When he positively responds, meet with him to establish guidelines for the relationship:
- How often you will meet and where.
- The content of your meetings.
- Who else from your community should have access to him and how that should happen.
- On what conditions the relationship should be ended.
- How often the guidelines should be revisited for relevancy and suitability.
Mutual expectations should be made very clear up-front.
- Once the guidelines for the relationship are agreed upon and formally established between you, then the relationship should be presented to your community. The knowledge that their top leader is in a genuinely accountable relationship will bring peace and stability to the community.
- The guidelines for the relationship should then be maintained – if well-designed, they will form the basis for a healthy and fruitful friendship.
- Periodically, the person you’re accountable to should meet with your community or with its main leaders to give them an opportunity to talk to him and maintain their relationships with him.
A leader with godly character will not fear accountability but will rather choose it. Where there is unaccountability and independence in a leader’s life, there will be trouble – sooner or later!
Next Letter: Self-Giving Leadership