‘Three students walk into a coffee shop . . .’
It sounds like the start of a joke but could actually be the start of an accountability group. Either would work, but in this case we’ll talk about the latter.
Accountability groups have been part of the culture at STC Sheffield for a number of years, they are groups of two to three friends of the same gender meeting regularly to challenge and encourage each other. Accountability is just simply being real and honest with people who you trust, it’s where you find people who you can have fun and celebrate with but who are also willing to tell you when you step out of line.
Ultimately the vision statement of an accountability group is “to encourage each other to be more like Jesus”. It reminds me of a quote I heard Carl Lentz, who leads Hillsong New York, once say:
“Jesus invites you to come as you are knowing that he loves you too much to leave you that way”
It’s important to remember that there’s grace and it says in Romans 8:1 “There’s no condemnation in Christ Jesus” so you should never come away feeling ashamed. You should feel inspired to make a change for the better and to become more and more like Jesus (after all he was a pretty swell guy).
At STC Sheffield we have gatherings, clusters and cells which are all great to meet friends, get to know God deeper and live a missional lifestyle but it’s also good to have an even more transparent level where we can share the best and worse parts of our lives with close friends. This is where accountability fits in. It is something we find really helps us as we seek to become more and more like Jesus.
So if you’re up for it here’s how you can go about starting an accountability group, have a chat with James, Rich or Phoebe if you need help or clarification at any point.
5 Practical Steps to starting an Accountability Group
One // Have a think about which friends you’d like to be in an accountable relationship with
Two // Ask your friends
Three // Start to meet together at least twice a month
Four // Pick up an accountability booklet from one of the team or download it here
Five // Review how it’s going with your cluster leader or a member of the student team
We have also made an STC Students Accountability Booklet which details “What is Accountability”, “How to do Accountability” and has useful “Tools for Accountability” pick one up from the Student Team or view and download it here