Get Ready. It occurs to me that, as we keep emphasizing accountability and vital relationships with other men, we need to provide some information and assistance for those who are interested. I am convinced that many men are not in an accountability relationship either because they don't understand what it is, or because they do not know how to get started. Hopefully, through a series of articles, you will be better equipped to begin, maintain and ultimately benefit from having vital relationships with a few other men.
Play Ball. "Okay. I've found a guy, or couple of guys, that have (reluctantly) agreed to try this `accountability thing.' What do we do now?" Let me remind you, right off the bat, that accountability does not just happen. And it may not come quickly or easily. It takes time, often a long time, to develop the relationship necessary for meaningful accountability. You may want to phase it in as you build the trust, and as you get comfortable opening up to each other. For instance, you may start by being accountable in "safe" areas, such as prayer and Bible study. More serious issues will come out as you get to know each other.
Heading for Home. "The highest proof of true friendship is the intimacy that holds nothing back and admits the friend to share our inmost secrets." -- Andrew Murray. At this point, I will assume that you have one or more guys interested in some level of accountability, and hopefully you are getting comfortable with each other. As I mentioned in Part Two, the best thing you can do in the beginning is just get together and "hang out." Spend some time together. Talk. While that may seem simplistic, my experience has been that even just talking doesn't necessarily come naturally to us men. Get to know each other's backgrounds. Share some "history" with each other. I think you'll be surprised at the similarities in many areas, and you will begin to see that you are not alone in many areas of your life.