Posted by: DVULI | June 27, 2023
By Jordan Francis (Phoenix 2018)
If you want to go fast, go alone…
We’ve all heard that African proverb, right?
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
That is such a powerful statement. But what does it mean to go “together?” People in our lives come and go. People are a part of organizations all the time, and as fast as they come together, they fall apart.
Often, those people didn’t know each other as well as they thought they did, or someone was allowed to get away with things they shouldn’t have, and it backfired. Organizations and people need standards and values that can be held to by people in the organization’s inner circle.
We need accountability.
“Godly leaders know the importance of regularly seeking feedback and guidance from trusted sources. The core value of accountability stresses the importance of honest introspection, the prayerful search for wisdom, and the development of accountability relationships. Such relationships are characterized by a mutual commitment to seek and tell the truth concerning each other’s thoughts and actions.” –DVULI NC1 Pre-assignment
Three takeaways from DVULI’s definition:
We must reflect on our decisions to discern whether they align with scripture, our values, and the vision we believe God has given us. If you are unwilling to hold yourself accountable, nobody else can.
We should persistently ask God for the wisdom necessary to make decisions that benefit the kingdom. He will grant it and put people around us who can give it.
We need people we can trust to hold us accountable. They believe in what we do and love us as people. When they point out blind spots to use or challenge us on our decisions, we can trust their understanding and care for us.
This is essential for success.
Here are four things I’ve learned about accountability since making it a core value:
Everybody can’t hold you accountable.
Finding the right person(s) to hold you accountable is essential. You need trustworthy people who genuinely have your best interests at heart. This isn’t a fast process. It takes time to find these people and build relational equity.
Usually, when we get to the place where we feel like God is calling us to start or join something, this doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Looking closely, you may find one or two people around you who can be that support and protection.
If you are having trouble finding those people, ask yourself who is doing similar work in your community and cares about the same things. Can you create relationships with them?
And don’t forget you can always check out if there’s any DVULI alum close by!
NOTE: I also would recommend having someone older than you to go to for hard decisions. If they’ve walked a similar path to you, it’s even better. They may be able to spot things on the path that save you some trouble.
Accountability is essential to longevity and success.
I love the proverbs here. They get straight to the point.
“Plans are established by seeking advice; so, if you wage war, obtain guidance.”
Proverbs 20:18 (NIV)
Doing ministry is going to war. Seek advice.
“For lack of guidance, a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.”
Proverbs 11:14 (NIV)
You can save yourself a lot of heartache by seeking advice from someone who has already made the mistake you are about to. The correct decision might be the one you’ve already made, but you can have much more confidence when people you trust sign off on it.
Whoever you’re accountable to should not be impressed by you.
Those who hold you accountable do not need to be yes people. You need someone who loves you but isn’t swayed by your achievements or gifts. If you spoke in front of thousands, raised a million dollars, or became well-known in your community, how they treated you would not change.
I’ve always found it helpful to have someone in my ear who I know will disagree with me. It has made me more thoughtful in my decision-making because I tend to be rash, quick, and not think through all the consequences.
Those you are accountable to need to have veto power.
This takes trust on your part. Those you are accountable to should be able to tell you no, and you trust them, even if you disagree. Ultimately you are trusting they see something you don’t. Often, time brings clarity, and you will know if the decision is correct.
Accountability is hard.
But remember: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”