Post 8 of the series “What It Means to Be Organic” exploring Organic Community by Joseph Myers. The first post is here.
Mechanical Order Holds Participants Accountable
The seventh organizational tool that can be used mechanically or organically is PARTNERS. In mechanical order, partnerships operate by accountability. Accountability is a huge buzzword in Christian circles. When someone gets into trouble or “falls” into a sin, you routinely hear others claim that a likely reason was that no one was holding that person accountable.
If you look up accounting in the dictionary, you’ll find that it is a system involved in recording, analyzing and reporting results. This system is essential and works great when applied to business organizations (inanimate objects), but isn’t healthy when applied to relationships.
Why? Holding someone accountable doesn't lead to change. This is because when it’s applied to relationships, all it does is keep a record of actual behavior versus desired behavior, without encouraging or training in spiritual development (discipleship). Typical accountability exercises are simply exercises in reporting. What’s the point of reporting our behavior if we’re not participating in healing activities? After all, changed behavior is not really what we're after. Behavior is simply a symptom. Disciples are after a healed soul. Regretfully, many mistakenly think that accountability and discipleship are the same thing.
The typical accountability group gets together and asks each other the “hard questions” like “What sins did you commit this week? Was your thought life pure? Did you give money to the Lord’s work?” Being an accountant is totally ineffective in relationships. The only way that we are transformed into the image of Christ is to eat and drink of Him. All that an accountant does is reconcile to rules without providing any insight or path to wholeness.
Organic Order Helps Participants Get Healthier
In organic order, participants act like editors instead of accountants. An editor helps to progress toward healthier results by reconciling to oneself, community and God. In writing, an editor's job is not to take the author's work and correct it by showing them all the mistakes they've made. Instead, they are to help the writer more clearly and concisely express what it is they are attempting to communicate.
In community, “editors” collaborate to work toward a healthier life rather than ask the person to cooperate with a standard. True organic community works by edit-ability, not accountability. People don’t audit other people’s behavior and condition, but rather help them to health along the journey with a generous spirit of grace.
As we eat and drink of Christ, we are transformed into His image as His life becomes our life. His life works through each participant in the community to “edit” all that partake.
In the next post, we'll talk about the eighth organization tool of LANGUAGE.
Your turn…What do you think? Anything to add? Questions? What was your experience with accountability groups? How do your edit-ability relationships work?
The first post in this series is here. The next post is here.
(Disclaimer: The content of this post is the post author’s perspective on the book selection’s content and not necessarily the opinion of the post author. To purchase the book, use the link below)
Organic Community by Joseph Myers
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