Unlock the Power of Friendly Accountability
Disciple making is the core mission of Christianity. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to make disciples of all nations. However, disciple making is not always easy, both in the frontiers where the Gospel is new and in North America. In both of these contexts, it is important to have accountability structures in place to ensure that discipleship is happening effectively. In this article, we will explore the power of accountability in disciple making movements (DMM), and how friendly accountability can lead to obedience-based disciple making while avoiding legalism.
What is a Disciple Making Movement?
A Disciple Making Movement (DMM) is a grassroots movement of multiplying disciples, groups, and churches that spread rapidly through relational networks.
DMM is characterized by a focus on the lost, obedience-based discipleship, and an emphasis on multiplication rather than addition. In DMM, the goal is not just to make disciples, but to make disciples who make disciples, resulting in a movement that can spread rapidly.
Why is Accountability Important in Disciple Making?
Accountability is essential in disciple making for several reasons.
Accountability Helps Disciples Grow
First, accountability ensures that discipleship is happening effectively. In DMM, the focus is on obedience-based discipleship, where new believers are encouraged to obey God’s Word and share it with others.
Without accountability, it is easy for new believers to fall back into old habits and fail to make progress in their walk with God.
Accountability Leads to Support
Second, accountability provides encouragement and support for disciple makers.
Making disciples can be challenging, and it is important to have others who can provide encouragement, guidance, and prayer support. When disciple makers are held accountable, they are more likely to persevere through difficult times and continue to make progress in their own walk with God.
Accountability Prevents Legalism
Finally, accountability helps to prevent legalism in disciple making.
Legalism occurs when there is an excessive focus on rules and regulations rather than on the heart of the Gospel. In DMM, the focus is on obedience-based discipleship, where new believers are encouraged to obey God’s Word out of love for Him rather than out of a sense of obligation.
Friendly accountability can help ensure that this balance is maintained, and that disciple making remains focused on the heart of the Gospel.
How Can Accountability be Implemented in Disciple Making?
There are several ways that accountability can be implemented in disciple making.
One way is through regular meetings with other disciple makers.
Key Practice: Meet Regularly
These meetings can provide a space for sharing successes, challenges, and prayer requests. They can also be an opportunity for accountability, where disciple makers can ask one another about their progress in making disciples and provide encouragement and support.
Key Practice: Use Accountability Tools
Another way to implement accountability is through the use of accountability tools.
For example, some disciple makers use the Three Thirds process that includes in the meeting format a simple way to empower friendly accountability. Regular feedback and encouragement is built in that empowers disciples to grow in both “following Jesus” and “fishing for other.”
Key Practice: Coaching And Mentoring
Finally, accountability can be implemented through the use of coaching and mentoring relationships.
A coach or mentor can provide guidance, support, and accountability to a disciple maker, helping them to stay on track and make progress in their walk with God.
The Power of Friendly Accountability
While accountability is essential in disciple making, it is important to approach it in a way that is friendly and supportive rather than harsh and legalistic. Friendly accountability creates a safe space where disciple makers can be honest about their struggles and receive encouragement and support from others.
This type of accountability is focused on building relationships and helping one another grow in obedience-based discipleship, rather than on enforcing rules and regulations.
Building a Culture of Grace
One way to ensure that accountability remains friendly is to focus on building a culture of grace.
This means emphasizing that disciple making is not about perfection, but about progress. When disciple makers feel safe to share their struggles, they are more likely to make progress and experience transformation.
Focus on The Heart Not The Behavior
Another way to maintain friendly accountability is to focus on the heart rather than the behavior.
In DMM, obedience-based discipleship is not about following rules, but about cultivating a heart of love for God and a desire to obey Him. When accountability focuses on the heart, disciple makers are more likely to experience transformation from the inside out, rather than simply modifying their behavior.
Encouragement and Insights for Disciple Makers
For those pursuing disciple making movements in the frontiers, accountability is critical for success. Here are some encouragement and insights for disciple makers:
1. Emphasize the heart: In obedience-based discipleship, the focus should always be on the heart rather than the behavior. When disciple makers focus on cultivating a heart of love for God and obedience to His Word, rather than simply following rules, they are more likely to experience lasting transformation.
2. Build relationships: Disciple making is relational, and accountability is no exception. By building relationships with other disciple makers, you can create a safe space where you can be honest about your struggles and receive encouragement and support.
3. Prioritize grace: Disciple making is not about perfection, but progress. When you prioritize grace and create a culture where it is safe to share struggles and failures, you create an environment where transformation can happen.
4. Use accountability tools: Accountability tools and processes such as the Three Thirds can be a helpful way to track progress and receive feedback from others.
5. Seek coaching and mentoring: Coaching and mentoring relationships can provide guidance, support, and accountability to help you stay on track and make progress in your walk with God.
In conclusion, accountability is essential in disciple making movements.
It ensures that discipleship is happening effectively, provides encouragement and support for disciple makers, and helps to prevent legalism. By implementing friendly accountability, disciple makers can build relationships, prioritize grace, and focus on the heart of obedience-based discipleship.
With these tools and insights, those pursuing disciple making movements in every people and place can experience lasting transformation and create movements that spread rapidly through relational networks.
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