It may be that you truly have a clear, well-defined accountability role with a person exhibiting SBCMB. In this case, you need to take your role seriously. If the person is involved in Christian ministry or training for such ministry, pay close attention to the Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus), and any relevant codes of conduct (e.g. for Australian Anglicans, the document Faithfulness in Service).
Ask questions about these things, and don’t accept vague answers. If you notice inconsistencies, don’t just paper over them, but drill down to ask why a person said one thing in one place, and another in another place. Don’t allow yourself to be indulgent towards seemingly “small” breaches. Christian leadership is a serious undertaking, and accordingly, those in Christian leadership need to be held to a higher standard of conduct. Don’t overlook behaviour such as failure to keep promises, or a demonstrable lack of empathy towards others, just because you think they have a special personality and are effective ministers or gifted evangelists who have achieved great results. There is too much at stake: and by this we don’t mean the reputation of the ministry or the institution, but the sheep who belong to the Lord Jesus himself.
Furthermore, you need to ensure that there actually is an explicit, well-defined accountability role spelled out in a document and clearly available to others. Don’t accept a verbal agreement or a vague role description that can be represented in different ways to different people. You, and the person, and others, need to be very clear on the scope and limits of the role.
Read the next section: If you find yourself in a quasi-accountability role
Copyright © 2021 Lionel and Bronwyn Windsor
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