Leadership accountability is becoming a more important issue with every pastor, politician, and leader in the limelight who has a moral failure. Personal accountability has always been important, but now people are beginning to realize it.
Good intentions aren’t enough. You need prayer, worship, and a steady diet of Scripture to stay focused. And for good measure, I also recommend using accountability questions and Internet accountability software.
15 Accountability Questions
Having an accountability partner is only successful if you consistently meet, are brutally honest, and ask the right questions. Ed Stetzer has compiled a list of 48 accountability questions used by leaders such as John Wesley, Chuck Swindoll, Neil Cole, and Church Multiplication Associates. For my own use, I’ve adapted these questions into my top 15 personal accountability questions.
- #1 – Did the Bible live in you this week?
- #2 – Do you give it time to speak to you everyday?
- #3 – Are you enjoying prayer?
- #4 – Do you trust God?
- #5 – When did you last speak to someone about your faith?
- #6 – Have you been honoring, understanding, and generous to your family and important relationships?
- #7 – Have you damaged another person by your words, either behind their back or face-to-face?
Lust of the Eyes (Generosity)
- #8 – Have you been materialistic or too focused on having something?
- #9 – Have you been generous?
Pride of Life (Humility)
- #10 – Have you been proud or too focused on being something?
- #11 – Are you giving God the glory?
Lust of the Flesh (Integrity)
- #12 – Is God honored in the way you eat and drink?
- #13 – Are you improving your health through nutrition and exercise?
- #14 – Have you been exposed to sexually alluring material or allowed your mind to entertain inappropriate thoughts about someone who is not your spouse this week?
- #15 – Have you been with a woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising?
These questions don’t cover everything, but they are manageable and help keep a broad scope of lifestyle goals in the forefront of your mind throughout the week.
Internet Accountability Software
According to a March 2002 Pastors.com survey, 54% of pastors had viewed Internet pornography within the previous year, and 30% of those pastors had visited within the previous 30 days. Keep in mind that those statistics do not include any inappropriate content often found on news sites, online ads, and countless other non-ponographic sites.
Good Internet accountability software helps keep leaders above reproach. I recommend and use Covenant Eyes because of its highly thorough monitoring and customization. I tested a free Internet accountability program but was disappointed by its inability to report questionable non-pornographic content.
Covenant Eyes allows users to add accountability partners who receive regular reports detailing and labeling Internet usage in order of maturity – highly mature (porn), mature (smut), mature teen, and teen. It also charts the average Internet usage for each hour of the day.
The content labels and customized reports are convenient, but the real value is in its detailed tracking. Covenant Eyes analyzes the URLs of all photos, stories, ads, and more on each Web page that is viewed. If there is any potentially questionable content on a page, Covenant Eyes usually catches it.
Good Internet accountability software is not just about porn. It tracks sexual content, violence, crude humor, and vulgarity. That scope makes it a great tool for quick and easy discussions between accountability partners about what types of media they let themselves consume on a regular basis.
Special thanks to Covenant Eyes for a complimentary review subscription of their Internet accountability software.