Home      SC Session Nots: Acctablty



1.        Based on the relevant Scriptures, develop a doctrinal statement for Accountability, including the following points:


Who needs to be accountable?

Answer: Unanimously, Every Pastor.



·         God is accountable to His own character, His Word and covenant;

·         Every pastor: (Matt. 8:9; Acts 13:1-4, 15:1, 21:11-25; Rom. 13:1; 1 Pet. 5:5; Heb. 13:17; 1 Cor. 11:1-3)

o         because he is a sinner;

o         he is without strength (Rom. 5:6; 1 Cor. 1:26).

o         needs it for his own protection;

o         for the truth’s sake – to keep him from leading others astray

o         With accountability comes credibility and spiritual authority (Mt. 8:9)

o         He is accountable to his congregation (2 Tim. 3:10-11). 

·         Every believer (Heb. 13:17; Acts 20:28-30; Eph. 5:21);

·         Anyone entrusted with responsibility (1 Cor. 4:1-2)

·         Everyone. (2 Cor. 5:10, Rom. 14:12; 1 Cor. 3:1-15)


Why do we need to be accountable?


·         It offers checks and balances (Eccl. 4:9-12)

·         Nature of man (Jere. 10:23; 17:9) – blind spots, old sin nature, wicked heart, etc.

·         Credibility of character

·         Test of integrity.

·         Stewards, not owners (1 Cor. 4:2)

·         Because of safety & security it produces in those that follow us.

·         It reveals motivation of our hearts when objectives can be the same.

·         Puts us all in the same place – humility.

·         To honor God; to be blameless; to protect others (Acts 20;28) – to guard the flock.

·         For personal edification. It results in a continued trust between believers.

·         That the ministry be not blamed (1 Cor. 6:3).

·         That the world or Satan could not blame us (Eph. 5:21).

·         To protect the pastor from being abused, or from abusing others

·         To give a pastor enforced accountability.

·         We are servant-leaders to the flock.

·         Gal. 6:1; 1 Pet. 5:2; 1 Cor. 4:15; 1 Cor. 6:1-8)


To whom should you be accountable?


·         To God (Roms. 14:12; 1 Peter 4:10);

·         The Word of God;

·         To other elders (1 Peter 5:5),

·         The local assembly

·         GGWO as a volunteer affiliate

·         To a spiritual mentor, a more mature man in the Lord.

·         To the ordination board that ordained him.  The board should provide a document to him, a uniform code of ordination to which he is accountable, at the time of ordination.

·         To the congregation (Eph. 5:21; 2 Tim. 3:10-11)

·         To our families

·         Secular government (Roms. 13:1)

·         To the world with our testimony (1 Tim. 3:7)

·         To ourselves and the convictions we have embraced (1 Tim. 1:19).

·         The Christian community

·         To leaders who invested in us.

·         To each other (Eph. 5:21)

·         To the degree we are accountable, God will give the greater blessing.

·         To the Body of Christ outside of GGWO.

·         To the grace message.

·         Accountable to the right vocabulary in this ministry.

·         Phil. 2:3; Rom. 14;12.


2.        Does a Pastor need to be accountable:


Primarily to God and His Word?

Answer: Unanimously, Yes. (1 Peter 5:1-10).


To other elders within the local assembly?

Answer: Unanimously, Yes



·         He still looks to spiritual men.

·         The Elders should not always be appointees of the Pastor.  It should be written down in the Bylaws.   Perhaps we all as GGWO pastors could have a council of affiliates that is separate from each indigenous church.  This council would govern our affairs of discipline without becoming a denomination.  Who are we accountable to as missionaries?   Missionary/pastoral gifts vary.


To an organization with which it is affiliated?

Answer: Unanimously, Yes.


3.        As a pastor grows in spiritual maturity and is entrusted with a greater degree of leadership, are they to be held to a different degree (more or less) of accountability because of their influence?  Can a pastor outgrow accountability to other people?


Answer: Pastors are held to the highest level of accountability and never outgrown the need to be accountable.



·         Yes, to a higher degree – a watchman is much more responsible (Ezek. 33:6).

·         Yes, accountable to the cloud of witnesses because of their sacrifice and legacy.

·         No, he cannot outgrow accountability to others.

·         The degree of accountability is in proportion to my responsibility.

·         Yes, a pastor is under a stricter accountability (James 3:1; Lk 12:48).

·         No change in degree of accountability because a pastor is already under the highest degree of accountability, therefore it can not increase.

·         There are greater degrees of leadership (1 Peter 5:2).

·         Double honor . . . but he is still accountable (1 Tim. 5:17).

·         Moses had greater responsibility but he had greater chastisement (James 1 &2).

·         Yes, he becomes more responsible as he is affecting more people (James 3:1).  For example, for the head of a worldwide ministry the CONSEQUENCES are greater, but he is no less ACCOUNTABLE.

·         With responsibility and greater authority, there is greater accountability.

·         Wisdom needed - You do not place a young pastor in a greater degree of responsibility.



4.        Can we derive from these Scriptures (II Sam. 12:13 “Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”; Ps. 51:4 “Against you, and you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.”; Rom. 14:4 “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?  To his own master he stands or falls.  And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”)  that a pastor (leader) does not need to account to anyone but God for known or even public sin?  If yes, please explain your answer.


Answer: Unanimously, No.  The scriptures can not be use to escape accountability.



·         David did not place himself under accountability and that brought great consequences. (Matt. 5;23; Matt. 18:15-18; 1 Peter 5:5).  Key – integrity of leadership; David’s confession did not weaken his leadership but strengthened it in the eyes of his followers. David was ultimately held accountable to God but through another man.  There are horizontal effects of sin.  David sinned against Bathsheeba, her family, her husband. 

·         Job 42 – Job had to pray for his 3 friends & afterwards he was blessed.

·         Zachias paid 4-fold for what he had stolen.

·         Matt. 5- Leave your sacrifice at the altar and get right with your brother first.

·         David’s leadership – public shame – the effects are obvious.



5.        Does anything such as spirituality, or new revelation, supersede accountability?


Answer: Unanimously, No.



·         The greater the spirituality, the greater the degree of accountability.  Example:  Paul in making himself accountable to (2 Cor 12:1-10; Acts 13:1, Acts 15; 1 Cor. 9:18-23) – made himself accountable to others and as a servant of all.


6.        How can we hold one another accountable and assure consistency throughout GGWO?


Answer: Need clear, simple written agreed system with definitions which should include strong encouragement for the local church to have its own government and constitution to deal with issues locally, internally. Need pre-determined steps to solve problems including arbitration.  Checks and balances needed. 



·         Local level –self-governing process of elders, bylaws, etc.

·         Voluntarily basis – accountable to homebase, mediation, doctrine, ordination – what are the rules that homebase can pull the ordination?

·         Need both internal and external accountability.

·         Need advanced plan before problems arise.

·         Pastor not left alone (Heb. 10;25) nationally or internationally – stay connected with conferences, etc.

·         Strengthen relationships with elders in the local church.

·         Open and honesty with others.

·         With congregation – regular disclosure of decisions and financial state of the church.

·         Should function from love.

·         Berean spirit – develop and apply a proper hermeneutic so we can teach proper types of accountability:  morality, integrity in finances, being transparent, proper interpretation and teaching of the Word of God.

·         We need to ensure consistency in this approach throughout GGWO.

·         We have a need to establish an agreed doctrine, policy, and ethics regarding accountability.

·         A written policy on the role and extent of pastoral leadership.

·         A written policy on how to deal with disagreement.

·         A written policy which enables pro-active not reactive in the nature of church discipline.  What do we do ahead of time?  Something objective dealing with failure of leadership and defined membership.



7.        All measurement requires an objective external standard (i.e., an inch, mile, time, the Word of God for the believer).  Does GGWO have such a standard with regard to accountability?  If yes, what is it?  If no, should one be developed?


Answer: GGWO does not have a complete written standard regarding accountability, but one is needed.



·         There is very much a standard of accountability but it is not in the objective (policy, etc.) but more subjective – accountable to the Holy Spirit who leads us in the truth.  The Word of God and the Body of Christ.  We have gone into most parts of the world with many people who are accountable.  They walk with God.  It is relational (Ps. 32).  Pastor Stevens and his preaching made us accountable to God in a deep way.  We do not underestimate the subjective power of the Holy Spirit we are under.

·         GGWO has a heartbeat for a standard that has kept us from problems, but the church is growing at a faster rate.  We need something more objective but we cannot lose the heartbeat.  Do not let form become function.

·         Church Leadership & Admin. is a guide.

·         Need uniform code and ordination board, but how can someone’s life be evaluated in a few hours?  We should improve on our current process, but it will take a great deal of labor and effort.

·         Who and how to develop it?

·         We don’t have an objective standard but it has been based upon a measure of great trust and personal communication that we got to where we are today.  The ordination process at Convention is for convenience for people around the world.  We have a few pastors willing to help with the ordination process but more commitment and willingness is needed.

·         Suggestions:  (1)  Where a brother hurts a brother and you are not supposed to go to court.  Now, nothing is done with that.  We need to institute an efficacious system (Mt. 18:15-17).  The church must get involved for the people.  (2)  You go to a higher level if a problem cannot be resolved.  Create a voluntary higher authority to resolve crisis situations.  If we had something set up, people would be much more accountable.

·         Relational – a challenge to be objective in correcting someone and not a respecter of persons.

·         There must be an objective source to determine if what we are doing is Biblical.  Jeremiah – when you have different ones who determine something, you tend to get subjective and compromise ethics and principles and your friendships go higher than Biblical truth.  (Matt. 4:4)

·         Relational Standards – There is a risk to compromise the truth to retain the level of the relationship.  We must not compromise truth to maintain a relationship.  Our challenge – can we distinguish between that and what is written?  Respect oral standards, but we need the Holy Spirit and Word of God.

·         Danger can come in through years of growth if I place the value of a relationship above a standard.  A standard always corrects relationships.  (1 Tim. 5:21).  A standard corrects us when we are blind to a problem or area.

·         The standard of accountability has to bring life, not death.


Can we define accountability?

·         Accountability = is there someone in your life who can tell you you are wrong?

·         Someone in my life who can tell me I am wrong.  I want to submit my ideas to someone who has flexibility and creativity as a covering so I can be free I Christ.

·         Dictionary – to give reasons and assign the causes, to explain being liable; answer to a superior.

·         Suggested Definition:  Subject to enforceable defined disciplinary process for violation of a known standard; the purpose being to restore the person back in to the practice of the standard.  (You should know the standard, they should have due process, there should be a prescribed process with the purpose to bring the person back to the fulfillment of the standard on a voluntary basis).

·         The problem is not that we do not have standards, but that it is not enforced.  We need the ability to correct and carry it through.  It must be subject to an enforceable standard, the purpose of which is to restore.

·         A measure of accountability is in direct portion to his relationship with God.  What Pastor Stevens has taught me I am accountable to—to what we have received and what we have freely given to others.  Writing it down will give us an objective document to deal with occasional failures.

·         Accountability does not necessarily need to restrict us in any way.  It is a safety net.  When we are obeying from the heart with the truth commended to our conscience, we do not need an external standard to govern us, but when we stray, we need the external standard to govern us.