A bunch of you just assumed this is about accountability for closed-door meetings, how to counsel people who are the opposite sex, etc.
Okay, so when I was interning, each week we had a pastoral staff breakfast (really just a cover name for a meeting with food), followed by a full staff meeting, and then… the meetings beyond the french doors. The church’s offices were in a beautiful old home, and while much of it had been converted, the living room remained, and was used for smaller meetings or counseling appointments. The entry was a beautiful set of french doors.
Yes, they provided the “transparency” and accountability I mentioned above, but there was also a different type of accountability. Each week after the full staff meeting the pastoral team would then gather in the living room, behind closed doors, to discuss any sensitive pastoral information or set some goals together for the week ahead. However, it was common for the senior pastor to say, “Today I’m going to meet with you guys individually. I’ll start with ____.”
You might as well have been called into the principal’s office over the loud speaker, for the entire school to hear.
Everyone knew that whoever went first was probably going to have the most difficult conversation of the day with the senior pastor.
And everyone knew that at some point, that would be them.
But here is the important part – it wasn’t a threat, it wasn’t something to fear, it was simply accountability and hard, growing conversations. It was honesty from a leader who was completely invested and wanted his team to do the very best job they could at ministering to the people entrusted into their care.
I personally think there was a direct correlation between that type of leadership and the longevity of team members at that church. They stuck around – they grew, and they were sent out when they were ready to lead and dream and do other, great things for the Kingdom.
I thought about this the other day because my office is separated from the outer office by a set of beautiful french doors. And it’s my prayer that as I work with my team, as I lead them well and stay current with them, a conversation behind the french door is not feared, but is normalized.
We all need incredible amounts of encouragement to grow (I’m an affirmation junkie, so I know this more than most!), but we also need accountability.
What are some healthy versions of accountability you have experienced?