Hopefully you were able to be fairly easily convinced that you need accountability and fellowship in your life. That is the easy part—putting it into practice is where it gets a bit tricky.
The obvious place to start is by finding people to be accountability partners. First, though, we have to understand just what it looks like to have an accountability partner. The hardest part about this is that it will look different for everyone; there is not one set way to have an accountability partner. However, here is what I have outlined on some general tips on finding and interacting with an accountability partner. Please keep in mind that this is not a “thus saith the Lord”, but rather what I have found in the past few years to be helpful. I am not a wise person, but this is what I have found from reading Scripture and trying to find my own accountability partner.
…that you trust. In order for us to have iron-sharpening-iron relationship, we must be able to trust them. Conversely, they need to be able to trust us as well. An accountability relationship is not a mentor-student relationship—you are keeping them accountable too.
…that is around your same maturity spiritually and similar in age. This is not imperative, but it can be very helpful. If we view accountability as helping each other along in a race—the race of faith—then how will it be helpful if our accountability partner is far ahead of us in the race? They can give plenty of advice to us and they absolutely play a very important role, but that role is not necessarily accountability.
…that you can communicate with on a regular basis. I live in a place where I don’t have close friends around that I could be accountability partners with. Your accountability partners will not always be the people at church, school, or wherever else—they may be long-distance, as mine are. Just so long as you can communicate with them on a regular basis (every single day can be too intensive for some, so I would suggest getting together or calling each other maybe once a week).
…that will love you in spite of your failures. Obviously as Christians we should love everyone in spite of their failures. This is not the kind of love where we just say, “we all mess up, it’s all good.” This is the love that forgives and is not judgmental but also pushes the other person to be more like Christ. As my dad says, “It’s okay to not be okay, but it’s not okay to be okay with not being okay.”
Again, this is not an intensive or God-given list by any means. It is just some tips that come from my limited experience, reading the writings of others, and most importantly, reading the Word of God. I hope and pray that as you read this you thought of someone or two or three people that would make good accountability partners. Pray about it, ask them what they think, and then work out an accountability program that will help you grow spiritually.