ACCOUNTABILITY & How to Customize Small Group Questions to Meet Needs

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., 7/6/15.

Fostering accountability in small groups is important, but can be challenging.  We are so accustomed to putting up barriers, false facades, etc.

But, what if you customized a list of accountability questions relevant to your personal weaknesses and strengths?  These questions would be personalized to your situation and that of your accountability group.

My exercise to foster this includes just three steps…
Take a look over the following lists of accountability questions from influential Christian leaders.
Build your own list from the most germane questions below (or other lists you find),
Then, share your tailored list with your accountability group.

To help you create this list, I will reference (below) a list of accountability questions curated by my friend Ed Stetzer:

These lists are from Cultivating a Life for God (Church Smart Resources 1999 pp.125-131)

(retrieved from http://www.edstetzer.com/2009/07/accountability-groups.html)

Typically, these questions are asked in groups of 2-3, are specific to men or women, meets regularly, and hold each other accountable.

John Wesley’s Small Group Questions:

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I am? In other words, am I a hypocrite? 
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I confidentially pass onto another what was told me in confidence?
4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work , or habits?
5. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
6. Did the Bible live in me today?
7. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?
8. Am I enjoying prayer?
9. When did I last speak to someone about my faith?
10. Do I pray about the money I spend?
11. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
12. Do I disobey God in anything?
13. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
14. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
16. How do I spend my spare time?
17. Am I proud?
18. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisee who despised the publican?
19. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I going to do about it?
20. Do I grumble and complain constantly?
21. Is Christ real to me?

Wesley’s Band Meeting Questions:

1. What known sins have you committed since our last meeting? 
2. What temptations have you met with?
3. How were you delivered?
4. What have you thought, said, or done, of which you doubt whether it be sin or not?
5. Have you nothing you desire to keep secret?

Reference: John Wesley’s Class Meetings: a Model for Making Disciples, by D. Michael Henderson, Evangel Publishing House, 1997, pp. 118-9
Chuck Swindoll’s Pastoral Accountability Questions:

In his book, The Body, Chuck Colson lists the questions used by Chuck Swindoll.

1. Have you been with a woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising?
2. Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?
3. Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material?
4. Have you spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer?
5. Have you given priority time to your family?
6. Have you fulfilled the mandates of your calling?
7. Have you just lied to me?

Neil Cole:

1. What is the condition of your soul?
2. What sin do you need to confess?
3. What have you held back from God that you need to surrender?
4. Is there anything that has dampened your zeal for Christ?
5. Who have you talked with about Christ this week?

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The questions I (Ed) use are from these cards (http://www.cmaresources.org/ltg) from Church Multiplication Associates. I keep one in my Bible.

The ten questions are as follows:

1. Have you been a testimony this week to the greatness of Jesus Christ with both your words and actions? 
2. Have you been exposed to sexually alluring material or allowed your mind to entertain inappropriate thoughts about someone who is not your spouse this week?
3. Have you lacked any integrity in your financial dealings this week, or coveted something that does not belong to you?
4. Have you been honoring, understanding and generous in your important relationships this past week?
5. Have you damaged another person by your words, either behind their back or face-to-face?
6. Have you given in to an addictive behavior this week? Explain.
7. Have you continued to remain angry toward another?
8. Have you secretly wished for another’s misfortune so that you might excel?
9. Did you finish your reading this week and hear from the Lord? What are you going to do about it?
10. Have you been completely honest with me?