Am I alone in thinking commitment and accountability is seriously lacking in many contemporary Christian communities?
I’ve been thinking, in many ways the Reformation was an attempt to make the clergy accountable to the Christian community. And, given the rampant corruption of the time, I reckon the protest that gave rise to Protestantism was well and truly justified. Clergy should be accountable to the communities they’re appointed to represent.
But have we thrown the baby out with the bath water? What about the accountability of the laity to the Christian community? In these days of rampant consumerism, people swap churches like worn out socks. What we seem to have produced with our church growth strategies is an unaccountable laity. There’s little discipline. There’s little discipleship.
Now, lest I be misunderstood, I want to be clear about the difference between discipline and abuse. Discipline is about training, about constructive correction, and ultimately, about empowering people. There is no place for abuse in authentic discipline.
And I also want to be clear about the difference between accountability to a community, including the clergy, and accountability to clergy acting alone. I’m advocating the former, not the latter.
No, what I am suggesting is the more ancient and authentic model is mutual accountability, where everyone in the community, including the leadership, is committed to one another, and has made a commitment to be accountable to one another. What’s missing? I think TRUST.