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Sheryl H. Boldt: How to start an accountability group

Sheryl H. Boldt: How to start an accountability group

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Sheryl H. Boldt: How to start an accountability group

Sheryl H. Boldt

Do you worry too much? Or have trouble controlling your temper? Do you struggle with an addiction?

Or maybe you’re frustrated because you consistently procrastinate, can’t stick to an exercise or diet plan or fail to have a regular quiet time.

If you struggle to obey Hebrews 12:1b (ESV): “Lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” you’re not alone. You probably encounter people every day who also fight discouragement and the inability to lay aside their clingy sin.

What would happen if you and others who share similar struggles met regularly for prayer and accountability? How powerful would it be to align yourself with a group of people who really want to do whatever it takes to know and obey God more – or at least move in that direction?

Would you consider starting an accountability group? If so, here are some guidelines I use for my groups:

Unless the group is specifically for couples (married or dating), it’s usually a good idea to gather members of the same gender.

Remind everyone to be honest about their struggles – without elaborating on their sins. We don’t want to glorify disobedience.

Don’t allow gossip to sneak into your conversations. We all share life with people who push our buttons. This makes it easy to blame them for our behavior, but if we want God to bless our time together, we must honor him in our discussions.

For example, if you want encouragement to be a respectful wife, don’t speak ill of your husband by saying something like, “I know I shouldn’t nag Ted so much. But it’s hard when he always (blah, blah, blah).” Rather, keep the focus on your own behavior by saying something like, “I would like prayer and accountability for the way I constantly nag Ted.”

Confidentiality is mandatory. Invite into your group only those you can trust not to gossip about your weaknesses.

Encourage members to choose someone from the group with similar struggles to be an accountability partner for extra support between meetings.

Before the group meeting ends, invite each member to commit to a goal until the next time you meet. The goal can be to meditate on a particular verse every day, call their accountability partner when needed, complete (or put another dent in) a task they’ve been putting off, or invest five minutes every day into a habit they want to establish.

End the group meeting by inviting people to pray.

Your time together will be rewarding as you cheer each other on every mile in “the race set before [you].”

Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, You can reach her at


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