Leadership Means Establishing Responsibility and Accountability

Responsibility and accountability. These are both spiritual formation values and leadership essentials.

One of the organizations I work with has developed a system of diffused responsibility and accountability. When there is no one person responsible for a function, that task will be undone and the function will not grow and prosper.

Think about Jesus. He made people responsible for themselves and for certain roles. His last instructions to his followers we call the “Great Commission.” He did not give the instruction to an organization. He gave it to those who follow him.

Then he told stories, such as that of the talents. The servants were given responsibility to make the most of the money the master entrusted them with. But then the master returned and held each accountable.

As a leader or part of the ruling board or committee, the essential task prior to oversight is to establish clear responsibilities and accountability. Do not put two different committees or point leaders in charge of the same thing. Now no one is accountable.

Establish point leaders for each important function that must be done. Start with the overall manager and then each functional area. There are certain things that must be done if the organization is to succeed. Assure that these are defined.

Just so in personal development. We are each responsible for our spiritual formation. No one will do it for us. We can search out guides and mentors. In the end, we are each responsible for what we did in response to Jesus’ commando–“Go into all the world and make disciples…” We are each responsible for deciding to be a follower and developing and using our gifts in the service to God and to all other people.

We cannot escape being held accountable for how well we accomplished our responsibilities in life. As Paul laid out in Romans, life in the spirit begins with faith and completes with how well we lived.

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