July 4, 2018

There are at least three ways to study the Bible: 1. Personal study, 2. Group study, and 3. One-on-one study. I’ve been thinking about the ways to study the Bible, and conclude that all three of these approaches to study the Bible have their strengths and weaknesses.  By popularity, I think that the order would be: group, personal, and one-on-one. By spiritual impact, I believe the order is one-on-one, personal, and group.

God always wants to put you in a situation where you will spiritually succeed.  One of the best situations is to partner with another individual and hold each accountable for your spiritual goals. The writer of Ecclesiastes states, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10).

You would think it would be easy to find a study partner, but it isn’t. What you look for is an accountability partner who is a trusted friend and fellow Believer to help broaden and deepen your relationship with God. A partner is someone you trust, who will keep you encouraged, challenged, and hold you accountable for reaching your goals.

Set up a regular check-up time (this may be a phone call, email, a text message, or personal meeting) to discuss each other’s’ progress or lack thereof. The Bible states, “Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment” (Amos 3:3)? The goal is to hold each other responsible for staying on track. In the end, don’t forget, you are responsible for your success.

In addition to a willingness to be accountable to each other, the criteria for a successful Spiritual Accountability Partnership include:

  • Partners look for progress, not perfection.
  • Partners encourage, support, and provide honest feedback
  • Partners tap into one another’s experiences and strengths.
  • Partners have a set of shared core values but are not clones.
  • Partners have a high level of communication, trust, and mutual respect for each other.
  • Partners have definite plans for measuring themselves and each other.
  • Partners help you stay the course.