I found support in an accountability group.
We were a diverse group of guys, but we were like a family. I recall those candid conversations in our offices, at the beach, in the mountains, in our church auditoriums, outside, at ball games, in restaurants, and in so many other places. Our blunt and humorous and transparent and confronting and casual and ferocious exchanges were not debates about who had the best congregations or marriages or who could preach the best sermons or who could lure the largest offerings.
They stood beside me when I felt alone. They grabbed me and pulled me up when I could not stand any longer in ministry myself. They held me, my family, and our church together when encephalitis almost ended my life on earth and epilepsy changed my whole personality.
We chose to do ministry together, though pastoring different churches.
We talked about goals and weaknesses, time management and fears, past pain and future dreams. We wept together, laughed together, cheered for sports teams together, traveled together, and ate together—often. We prayed together.
But we were not clones. Different ages and different talents. Different churches in sizes and traditions and cultures and buildings. Different preferences in music and authors—and meals. Different methods of time management and personal schedules.
We were diverse though together.
And we refused to leave each other alone.
Love got in the way of our pastoral busyness and church marketing. We cared enough to experience the Book of Acts type of relationships with each other.
What about you? Have you found a few friends who are different from you but willing to embrace you and your distinctiveness?
If not, why not? Have past friendships hurt you too deeply?
What would it take to lure you toward accountability partners again?