According to Scripture every Christian should be under some form of accountability. Ultimately, the final accountability is God. However, this lofty form of accountability needs to be more measurable.

  1. For a lead pastor that accountability is usually a governance Board.
  2. For a staff member it is usually the lead pastor or an executive pastor or another member of the leadership/management team.
  3. For a lay person it is usually the lead pastor, a staff member, or another lay person of that person choice or ministry affiliation.

My role is to be the coach that holds you accountable to playing the game in a way that your church goes to the next level.

For accountability to be effective two things must always be present:

  1. A clearly defined path of accountability- everyone knows who is holding them accountable.
  2. A clearly defined set of expectations agreed upon by both parties- for paid staff these expectations are set by whomever the person is reporting to. For some lay people these expectations are set more by the one being held accountable.

You will notice there are two forms of accountability- formal and informal. Staff accountability is always formal and somewhat hierarchical although any good accountability system should have some form of 360 evaluation process.  For our purposes, formal accountability is our only concern.

It is true that formal, effective accountability is mostly hierarchical. Even in a team setting, where give and take is encouraged, the “buck has to stop” somewhere. To change a system that has been functioning one way for years, even for people who embrace the change intellectually, demands accountability to make sure the change is being implemented.  This accountability must be done with some objective measurement in mind in order to clearly demonstrate that people are either practicing the change or ignoring it or avoiding it. 

Therefore we must express what change looks like and what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.  Then we articulate some form of measurement to determine whether change is occurring.  If change is not occurring then we must adopt new behaviors, attitudes, strategies and tactics to achieve transformation. 

When people do not do what they say they will do or when they break a clearly defined expectation or biblical principle, they need to be held accountable. That type of accountability is always hierarchical to some degree. The only reason churches have gotten into the behavioral mess most churches are in today is because over decades no one was held responsible for their inappropriate behavior.

Mutual trust is essential for accountability to be seen as an essential healthy tool for personal growth rather than a sledge hammer held over someone’s head. Remember, Scripture abounds with accountability stories from Ananias and Sapphira to Paul’s dismissal of Mark.  The more wishy washy accountability is in a church the less likely that church is to grow.

But what about the emphasis on Permission-Giving? How does that square with accountability? No problem. Permission-giving is not permissiveness.  Permission-giving happens within clearly defined objectives and goals.  Permission-giving can’t violate the mission and values of a church. So even in a permission-giving environment, accountability is essential for effective and faithful ministry to happen.

I am accountable to ________________________________________

The Program Staff is accountable to

                List each person and who holds them accountable

Support Staff is accountable to

                List each person and who holds them accountable

When you have completed these two lists make sure every staff person understands the line of accountability.

We will decide later what it is that you and each of your staff will be held accountable for.

Remember to email Bill the final copy at