Creating a Culture of Transparency and Accountability – Part 6
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and expose to the eyes of him to
whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13
For several weeks, I have been writing about the importance of creating a Christ-honoring church culture. I’ve written about a culture of evangelism and discipleship (Great Commission), a culture of prayer, a culture of grace and honoring others, a culture of servanthood, and a culture of excellence. This week I want us to consider the importance of transparency and accountability. I’ve heard of church cultures where there was little transparency or accountability and sinful/problematic behaviors went on for long periods of time without being detected. Often, when such issues are discovered, much harm has already been done and the church suffers because of it.
A church can have some amazing leaders and allow a lack of transparency and accountability to undermine all the good that is being accomplished. All of us have a sin nature that we must battle each and every day. We all need some accountability in our lives to help us when we start heading in the wrong direction. Ultimately, we know that God sees everything we do and we will ultimately have to answer to Him. As such, followers of Jesus should welcome accountability in their lives and most of us need accountability partners. If you see me doing something that you think is questionable, please come to me (preferably with a gracious heart) and ask me about it. If we love each another, we will watch out for each other.
I have found that the amount of conflict and disunity is greatly minimized by being transparent and effectively communicating with the church what is going on. If I am unable to communicate why I do what I am doing or why a certain change was made, maybe I shouldn’t be doing it. Now, that doesn’t mean that you will always agree with what or why we do something as a church but at least you should know the rationale behind the decision. Now, most of us are at least a little selfish (if we are honest about it) and sometimes our own selfish desires have more influence on our decisions than they should. I often have to ask the Lord to show me selfish motives and I don’t always like it when they are pointed out.
Over the years, I have found that church members give an amazing amount of grace if they trust their leadership and know that they are doing what they think is best for the church to reach people for Christ. Yes, trust takes some time to establish (yet can be lost quickly). I want to encourage each of us in leadership to lead with transparency. (I heard And, I want to encourage every church member to have some accountability in our lives. If you think you don’t need accountability, let me remind you of Paul’s warning in 1 Corinthians 10:12, “let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” The enemy wants us to think we are above falling. Let us not be so easily deceived. Instead, let us be accountable one to another and remember that “iron sharpens iron.”