After 40+ years of pastoring I have seen many people grow steadily and never falter not even a little bit, and then there are others that take off with a bang, but then they back-slide, and then grow a little bit and then go backwards again , over and over again that happens, and then there are those who fall away and never return. It is a sad thing to see for me, people I have prayed over for hours, taught, counseled, and coached, who began well, but then boom, they are gone.
What would it take to keep people from Drifting away from their faith in the Lord? Why does it happen anyway? How I wish there was some kind of anti-backsliding pill that I could give out each Sunday as people left church. There is an activity that is as close to being a guarantee of steady, upward growth that there is. This activity is the ultimate act of humility, and there is the reason why few will become involved in it, their pride keeps them from it. This activity is to be in an accountability group, a small group of all men or all woman who meet regularly together. The most basic of the activities that they do together is to share honestly how they are doing in life. Choosing to be in a group is giving those in it permission to ask you specific questions about your life and to give you advice on how to improve. It is the exact opposite of being the person who says,”I don’t need you, I can do fine by myself”.
At first, being part of an accountability group, doesn’t seem to make that much difference, but it is one of those spiritual disciplines that starts slow, but after a time of faithful participation there is an exponential growth of influence and impact in a person’s life. Because at the first the impact is low and the cost is high it is hard to get people to remain faithful in their involvement in a group, but those who stay together for some time become close friends and become increasingly effective at being a conduit of God’s grace, strength, encouragement, reproof, and correction in each other’s life. I wish I had the money to pay people to stay in a group long enough to begin to experience the life changing power of true communitee.