A good accountability partner also needs to be someone who can be firm with you when needed.
Here are some important considerations that will help you in the process of identifying and getting the best AP. You are encouraged to seek the advice of your therapist (and hopefully the affirmation of close family members—spouse or parents depending on your situation) in this selection process.
- Be clear on why you want an AP (refer to part 1 for the importance of having an AP).
- Think of your personality and communication style. What kind of AP would best fit for you?
- When first asking someone to be your AP, explain specifically why you’ve picked them and what you’d expect out of the relationship. Don’t be afraid to offer a compliment (e.g. “I’m asking you because I have such respect for you”).
- An AP can be a powerful role model or positive influencer. Consider someone who has the kind of life and work you respect.
- Look to older friends, neighbors, work associates, guys at church, or spiritual leaders. It would be best (but it’s not necessary) to ask someone in person that lives close enough that you can have face-to-face meetings. Also, give them time to consider the request before giving an answer.
- Find a sponsor that you consider (or could consider) to be a great friend. A sponsor should not be misconstrued as a parent or authoritative figure. This is someone only giving back the help they once received.
- Keep in mind that mentoring takes place in many forms. We suggest that the meetings occur often; especially at first, and that they last for at least one year. It is best if it can be face-to-face at a specified time and place. However, it can work if occasionally it is a phone call, e-mail, or through Skype.
- Show gratitude and appreciation. If your AP suggested something that really worked out for you, report back. If your AP is offering needed help, let them know. People love to hear how they are making a positive difference!
- Finally, if you ask someone to be your AP and that person refuses, don’t be hurt or offended. This is not personal! Potential APs are very busy people. Thank him for the consideration, and ask the next person on your prospect list.
After reading this list, does someone come to mind? Take some time to write down the names of people that you think would be a good accountability partner for you.
Now it’s time to write down questions you would like your accountability partner to ask you during your time together. Here are a few examples to help get you started:
- Have you been praying daily and reading God’s Word? Tell me about it.
- Has there been a slip or a fall with pornography since our last meeting?
- Are you being honest with your family, your mentor, and others?
- Have you been looking at others with lust?
- Have your thoughts been free of lust and pure?
- Have you spent quality time in your relationships this week?
- What is God trying to teach you?
- What have you done recently to show kindness toward others?
- How have you been aware of God’s love for you?
- Have you been putting on the full armor of God?