If you think about it too long, it can be depressing. Mark Sauder. Tiger Woods. Mark Sanford. John Kerry. John Ensign. Ted Haggard. The list of celebrities, politicians, Christian leaders, and others whose names have filled tabloids and hit headlines is only representative of the moral destruction that wreaks havoc on the church and tears apart Christian families.
To provide a three-step plan to prevent moral failure would be facile and deceptive. A deep and committed relationship with God is the only right starting point. Yet there is another helpful way that men can learn to fight temptation, gain encouragement, and grow stronger. It’s called a men’s accountability group.
A men’s accountability group is not just about maintaining marital fidelity. A men’s accountability group is form of focused fellowship with the goal of encouraging one another to greater Christlikeness. Studying a book of the Bible, memorizing Scripture, working through a Christian book together, and keeping one another accountable in other areas is a great way for men to improve their relationship with God.
Men are considered less social than women. The non-social, tough-guy ideal can morph into an unhealthy privation from any close friendships with men. The erroneous idea that any close male friendship has homosexual undercurrents is damaging true, biblical, male friendships. There are patterns of male friendships throughout the Bible—David and Jonathan, the twelve disciples, Paul and Silas—which assume the existence of strong friendships between men.
Friendship should not turn into a crutch, a confession session, or a replacement for a relationship with God, or simply a talk about sports or business. It should, however, focus on God, target Christlikeness, and include generous amounts of prayer and Bible.
The men’s accountability group is a powerful preventative for moral failure. If you are not involved in some level of accountability with other men, it’s time to start. Whether it’s a church program or a personal friendship, you can take your spiritual growth to the next level and benefit from greater protection from a more serious fall. As a pastor, you may be interested in beginning a men’s group. A membership with Sharefaith will allow you access any of the media for men’s ministries.