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Who Needs Accountability?


However, we’ve really messed up this concept. We don’t hold people accountable in ways we should, and hold people “accountable” in counterproductive ways.

Here are six ways to ensure accountability is a blessing rather than too sparse or merely a different word for control.

1. Recognize the “intrinsic” accountability already present—and align ministry there.

For instance, when hiring a new staff member, there is intrinsic accountability built into the results of the hire that insure the “hirer” will do a thorough job—if the “hirer” is the senior pastor.

They will need to work with that person on a daily basis, manage them and be responsible for transitioning that person if they don’t work out. Any egg on the face will be theirs.

They will have to do with fewer financial resources because of the hire. So, there are a lot of built in reasons for them to do a thorough job with the hire. Accountability is intrinsic.

Not so with a committee. They have no stake at all in the hire, and tend to underestimate the true damage a bad hire can cause because they’ve never suffered the results first hand.

This is why, in my opinion, committees are helpful in an advisory capacity, but not a “voting” capacity in the hiring process. They aren’t accountable, and have no real skin in the hire. Ministry hires are nuanced in ways business hires aren’t—and vice versa.

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Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California--a fast-growing plant launched in 2011. Tim is also the purveyor of New Vintage Leadership - a blog offering cutting edge insights on leadership and theology and the author of numerous articles and one book: Jesus, the Powerful Servant.