Part 2

by MT Wilson—LPC, BCC

So where can a Christian leader find safe and healthy accountability?

In my previous article, we discussed the inherent difficulty Christian leaders have in finding safe, yet vulnerable, accountability. While it's not to say there wouldn't ever be a congregant or employee mature enough for such an undertaking, it's certainly not typical. As I've learned from working with hundreds of Christian leaders over the years, what follows are other considerations for finding mature Christians with whom to do vulnerable accountability, along with some benefits and drawbacks for each:

Peers within our organization or denomination. These individuals have more promise with regard to authentic accountable relationships, as they serve at a similar level to us. Such a relationship won't be encumbered by any chain of command hierarchy. They also will have similar perspectives regarding values and spiritual beliefs. For senior pastors and executive-level ministry directors, those in similar roles elsewhere may also work similarly. However, issues of pride and ego may have to be addressed, as a competitiveness often times exists among such relationships. One word of encouragement: if you are the "leader of greater means" (larger ministry, etc), you have the greater ability to set the tone by modeling humility and grace from the beginning of such a relationship. Steward your influence well so as to give the other the best chance for following your lead.

Those outside our organization with different theological perspectives. These relationships feel safer for some, because it removes the tendency towards competition and gossip that can arise from within the same circle of influence. While some theological differences are weightier than others, agreeing to disagree at the outset can be a good application of "good fences make good neighbors", redeeming a beneficial camaraderie that otherwise couldn't exist.

Neighbors, workout buddies, volunteer groups, etc. Anyone we enjoy and in whom we also see evidence of high trustworthiness in their personal interactions with us or with others should be given prayerful consideration. Of course, they may have to be educated about the unique stressors we face in ministry life, but that's worth the investment for one who's a mature believer otherwise.

But what should a Christian leader do when no safe person in these categories can be found? That's what we'll discuss in my final article next time.

Part 1

Michael Todd Wilson is a licensed mental health counselor, certified sex therapist and board certified coach. He currently provides leader coaching and sexual integrity coaching through

MT is also the author of: Unburdened Preventing Ministry Failure Soul Virgins
Posted: Feb 1, 2016,
Categories: Men, Women,
Comments: 0,
Author: MT WIlson
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