Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Beyond acountability: Editability

Amazing how we pastors (OK, me anyway) could lie straight-faced to each other..

...ironically and inevitably in response to the question:

"Have you just lied to me?"

In the early 1990s, "accountability groups" were popular; of course peaking with the peak of Promise Keepers.

God used these groups for many, including us. In fact, incarnations and spinoffs of these original groups are still active (Read about some of our history and misadventures here
Someday Kyle or Brian will tell the Ma and Pa Kettle story from the rally in England).

In all of them, though, the model has morphed and matured..

...and become more relational and organic..

Yes, that means we don't meet as often..

and we don't often ask "the questions."

Questions that are to be asked to the men (only!) in your weekly accountability group.

There have been endless variations of the list, but here is a typical version:

· Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?

· Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material?

Have you been seen with a woman in any way that might be seen as compromising?

· Have you spent adequate time in prayer and Bible Study?

· Have you given priority time to your family?

Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?

· Have you fulfilled the mandates of your calling?

· What have you done to reach out to the unsaved?

· Have you just lied to me?

Joseph Myers picks up here, "Organic Community," p.134, commenting on the model, and the list in particular:

"Wow! There is such an underlying expectation of failure phrased in a language of absolutes and either/ors. If you truthfully answer any of these questions with a less-than-perfect response, what happens?

'James' was looking for healthy alliances when he joined...but it seems Anthony and Bob were just waiting to catch James..

It would be nice if 'accountability' was 'simply being responsible for ones actions', but in reality, as it is implied by the (Promise Keepers) website's analogy with legal codes, accountanblity often amounts to a relaionship where one person holds another personal responsible
for his or her actions in a way that is hierarchical...abrasive...unhelpful... and harmful..

The spirit of organic community is grace, not law, 'editability,' not accountability....Paul's wife 'audited' him..She watched every purpose, monitored every phone call...An editor's function is very different from that of an accountant's training is looking for editor's passion is to help an author towards richer communication...Accountants keep records. Editors wipe away errors while keeping the voice of the author.

Good stuff...(though of course, the only thing worse than a bad accountant might be a bad editor). Now I know that my "accountabilty partner" has graduated (fired and rehired) and become my editor. Cool, we've been hanging together since last millenium (modernity, accountability) until today (we are now enlightened emergissional "edit-able" pomo mofos), it's time we shifted with the times.

Congrats, Don!

And can you get to work on editing my blog right away?
Everyone knows I need it.

Just don't ask me question #9, Ok?....

1 comment:

  1. Interesting article, but I liked being an accountant.

    OK< I'll be your editor.

    Let's get together soon



Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!