Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Super Servant - Areon Kelvington!

I could maybe rename this blog entry to "Super Leader," although service is certainly a part of what AK is doing with this new men's group.
Areon sent me a document today that was describing what the men's accountability group is all about. I'm going to post it all below, if you'd like to read it. But if you don't take the time to read this, then just know that all guys would benefit from this group! I believe that one of the best ways to call TF to becoming a church that lives out God's best is by calling the men of the church to live out God's best. And Aaron is doing exactly that with this men's group.

If you'd like to join this group, send Aaron an email at areonk@hotmail.com.

Here's what the men's group will be discussing:

Accountability Groups: Men Helping Men in Their Walk with God ~ by Randy Alcorn
Foundational Scriptures:
"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." (Prov. 27:17)
"Carry each others' burdens . . . and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Gal. 6:2)
"Be very careful, then, how you live . . ." (Eph. 5:15)
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Heb. 11:24-25)
To experience true accountability, we have both the right but the responsibility to ask each other hard and to-the-point questions. Our goal must be not just to help each other feel good, but to help each other be good. The following questions are only suggestions. You may add and subtract as you wish. The point is not legalism, but checking in with each other in a meaningful way.

Questions to Ask Initially--And Come Back To Periodically
l. What are the biggest barriers to your relationship with God?

2. What are the biggest barriers to your relationship with your wife?

3. What are the most serious temptations you face at home? At work? Elsewhere?

4. If Satan were to wage an all-out attack on your life, what area(s) would he focus on? (What are your greatest points of vulnerability? For example, sexual impurity, financial irresponsibility, dishonesty, greed, pride, etc.)

5. How can your brothers help you and pray for you?
Questions to Ask Each Other Regularly
1. What have you learned or memorized this week from God's Word? (Share a specific passage.)

2. What happened this week that put you to the test? How did you respond?

3. How are you doing in your relationship with God? (Be specific--time in the Word, prayer, sense of dependence on the Lord, etc.)

4. How are you doing in your relationship with your wife? (Be specific--communication, spiritual sharing, conflict resolution, etc.)

5. How are you doing in your relationships with your children? Or parents? Other key people?

6. How are you doing in your relationships at work or school?

7. How are you doing with your thought life? This week did you consistently keep your thoughts and actions pure before God? (If the answer is "yes", ask "Are you lying?")

8. What kind of a ministry did you have this week? Whom did you share Christ with, either directly or indirectly? Or, how did you use your gifts and resources to help the needy?

9. How can the others pray specifically for you this week?

10. Anything else you'd like to share? (Questions or issues you're dealing with?)

Select the questions you want to be asked in your next meeting by your "accountant." Beyond these, he or she may ask any others which may be productive for your spiritual growth.I. 75 Specific Accountability Questions. ___1. Have you had daily Time Alone with God since we last met? ___2. How many Days Alone with God have you taken? ___3. Have your thoughts been pure and free from lust? ___4. Have you dated your spouse every week? ___5. Have you taken a day off each week? ___6. Have you had a daily debriefing time with your spouse? ___7. Is there anyone against whom you are holding a grudge? ___8. Is there any emotional attachment with someone of the opposite sex which could develop dangerously? ___9. With whom could such an attachment develop in the future? ___10. Have you given unselfishly to your mate's needs? ___11. Are there any unresolved conflicts with your mate? ___13. How often have you had family altar since we last met? ___14. How often have you shared your faith? When? What happened? ___15. How much time have you spent with your children? Doing what? ___16. Have you spread falsehoods about another -- slander? ___17. Have you hurtful truth about another --gossip? ___18. Do you have any unmade restitutions? ___19. Are you disciplining you child? Mate? How? When? ___20. Is your practice of journaling up to date? ___21. How much have you fasted since we last met? ___22. Have you had nightly prayers with your spouse? ___23. Report on your memorizing & meditating on scripture. ___24. How are you improving in your relationship with your mate? ___25. Is there a brother you should try to restore from sin? ___26. When did you last give a thoughtful gift to your mate? ___27. In what ways have you been tempted to be proud? ___28. How have you given to the needy since we last met? ___39. How much time have you wasted watching TV? ___30. What about questionable movies, magazines, or videos? ___31. Are you completely out of installment debt? ___32. How are you avoiding materialism? ___33. Have you exaggerated or lied since we last met? ___34. Have you been able to ignore carnal, complaining, petty people? ___35. What spiritual growth books have you read since we met? ___36. Of what are you afraid? How will you defy this fear? ___37. How have you played "Team Ball" with others since we last met? ___38. Have you had a critical spirit since we last met? ___39. In what special ways have you shown love to your mate? ___40. Have you been fully submissive to authority? ___41. Who is it that you are tempted to envy, or be jealous of? ___42. Is there any believer with whom you are out of harmony? ___43. Who are you disciplining and mentoring? How? ___44. Was there a time when your love for God was hotter? ___45. How have you attempted to make peace between others? ___46. Have you taken anything not belonging to you, large or small? ___47. What sexual sin have you been most tempted to commit? ___48. Have you a practice which may be a stumbling block to others? ___49. Have you avoided outbursts of anger or rage? ___50. About what have you been inclined to boast? ___51. Have you been tempted to give up? How? Why? ___52. How have you clarified your life's mission since we last met? ___53. Have you avoided fighting, quarreling, dissension, and factions? ___54. How have you shown enduring patience since we last met? ___55. Have you avoided obscenity, foolish talk, and course jokes? ___56. In what ways have you been tempted to greed? ___57. Have you selfish ambition? How pure is your desire to achieve? ___58. Is there hate, malice, or ill will in your heart for anyone? ___59. Is there any sin, inward or outward, which has dominion over you so that you are habitually falling in this area? ___60. How have you expressed thanksgiving to God and others? ___61. How have you shown submission and respect to your husband? ___62. How have you shown love and tenderness to your wife? ___63. Have you frivolously wasted words since we last met? ___64. Have you participated in fruitless arguments? ___65. Do you have you a teachable spirit? ___66. Have you shown favoritism toward the rich or powerful? How? ___67. In what way have you launched out in faith since we last met? ___68. Have you abused your power over others? How? ___69. Have you deceitfully manipulated people for your own benefit? ___70. Have you been guilty of worry, anxiety, or distrust of God? ___71. In what ways have you shown brotherly kindness? ___72. Is there any sin of another which you have come to tolerate? ___73. How have you sought opportunities to serve, listen, and help? ___74. How have you cared for the needy since we last met? ___75. To whom did you show Christ's love since we last met? How?
II. John Wesley's "Four Questions" for weekly class meetings.
___A. What known sins have you committed since we last met? If there is such, what shall we do about it? ___B. What temptations have you faced? ___C. How were you delivered from these temptations? ___D. What have you thought, said or done, of which you are uncertain whether it was sin or not?
III. GOALS -- To be held accountable for.

The Weekly One-Hour Accountability Check-up
Accountability is to be regularly answerable for each of the key areas of our lives to qualified people.
Suggested Guidelines:
Try to ensure that each person gets equal "air time." However, if one of you has a particularly hard struggle one week, be flexible enough to focus on that issue even if it takes the entire hour.
Let each person work through a section at a time, and then let the other(s) answer. This will keep things moving better.
Don't neglect the prayer time.
Try one-on-one. Small groups of 3 to 5 men can also work well if everyone speaks succinctly (one hour will go by very quickly).
Re-read the chapter, Accountability: The Missing Link, at least once every year and discuss the questions at the end of the chapter. You will be surprised how your understanding of accountability will change over the years.
Stick it out. You will want to quit, perhaps often. Ask God to strengthen you when you want to give up.
Hold each other accountable for the goals you each set for yourselves and to the standards of God's Word.
Never forget the purpose of accountability: To each day become more Christ-like in all of your ways. Remember it is Jesus who is the object of our search, our devotion, our sacrifice, and our affection. Anything less than intimacy with the living Lord will be a pallid achievement of your time together. Finally, if you are uncomfortable with the format feel free to alter these questions and type up your own accountability checklist. The substance is more important than the form. You may want to divide the key areas among more than one accountability partner.
Questions to Start off the Meeting:
How has God blessed you this week? (What went right?)
What problem has consumed your thoughts this week? (What went wrong?)
Spiritual Life:
Have you read God's Word daily? (How long? Why not? Will you next week?)
Describe your prayers? (for yourself, for others, praise, confession, gratitude)
How is your relationship with Christ changing?
How have you been tempted this week? How did you respond?
Do you have any unconfessed sin in your life?
Are you walking in the Spirit?
Did you worship in church this week? (Was your faith in Jesus strengthened? Was He honored?)
Have you shared your faith? In what ways? How can you improve?

Home Life:
How is it going with your wife? (attitudes, time, irritations, disappointments, progress, her relationship with Christ)
How is it going with the kids? (quantity and quality of time, values and beliefs, education, spiritual welfare)
How are your finances doing? (debts, sharing, saving, stewardship)
Work Life:
1. How are things going on the job? (Career progress, relationships, temptations, work load, stress problems, working too much)
Critical Concerns:
Do you feel in the center of God's will? Do you sense His peace?
What are you wrestling with in your thought life?
What have you done for someone else this week? (the poor, encouragement, service)
Are your priorities in the right order?
Is your moral and ethical behavior what it should be?
How are you doing in your personal high-risk area?
Is the "visible" you and the "real" you consistent in this relationship?
1. Close the one-hour accountability check-up with ten to fifteen minutes of prayer. Focus on concerns of the week. [1]

What is the best way to guard ourselves against these and other sins that can wreck a ministry or render us relatively ineffective in ministry? Scripture indicates that personal accountability is important to this process.
Ultimately, of course, we are accountable to God. This is a doctrine that is often neglected today in light of God's grace and forgiveness, but one which the scriptures emphasize. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10; cf. Rom. 14:2). In the judgment we will give an account for every careless word (Matt. 12:36), God will bring to light the things hidden in the darkness, our secrets, and will disclose the motives of our hearts (Rom. 2:16; 1 Cor. 4:5). Even our ministries will be tested as to how well we have built God's temple, and we will be rewarded or suffer loss accordingly (1 Cor. 3:10-15).
If we realize the full impact of our ultimate accountability to God, how much more zealous we should be to establish earthly accountabilities with fellow believers to help us develop the discipline we need to live a life that will honor and please God! Of course, we must never attempt to transfer personal responsibility for our life to any group, but God may use such relationships to assist us with our own personal responsibility.
God knows our frame that we are but dust. He knows our hearts are deceitful and wicked. He never intended for Christianity to be an individualistic, do-it-yourself religion. That is why he gave us such commands as: love one another (John 13:34); confess your sins to one another (James 5:16); pray for one another (James 5:16); look out for the interest of others (Philippians 2:4); encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24); stimulate one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:23); if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; and bear one another's burdens (Gal. 6:1-2).

No comments: