Accountability in the Church

Something I have heard often recently is that what we need in the church is more accountability. I often find myself wondering what people who say this really mean. It seems to me that what they want is something like priesthood leaders forcing people to do what they should. Or else final judgment now.

Accountability in the workplace is fairly easy as far as I am concerned. You agree to do a certain job for a certain wage. If you do well you may get a raise, or a promotion, or more interesting work assignments, or keep your job, etc. If you do not do well you will not get a raise, nor a promotion, nor more interesting tasks, and you may lose your job.

But what of accountability in the church?

Some people appear to want priesthood leaders to be much tougher on members of the church. But is this what they should do?

I feel that the only real accountability within the church should be between the individual and the Lord – not between an individual and a priesthood leader. Now I know that priesthood leaders represent the Lord – but what should they really do to people who appear not to be performing as well as someone thinks they should.

If you do well, the Lord will bless your life. He can send callings your way that will help you become the type of person you need to be. He can bless your life in a number of ways, and ultimately grant you eternal life if He sees fit.

I read in the Melchizadek Priesthood manual B in a chapter on conducting priesthood interviews that the only evaluation that is done in the church is self evaluation. This seems proper to me. So, what (if anything) constitutes proper accountability within the church – specifically in our relationships to each other?

2 Responses to “Accountability in the Church”

  1. 1 sean p. December 13, 2005 at 8:41 pm

    I agree. We hold ourselves accountable. And often, we don’t do a very good job with it. In reality, we are only accountable to God, and he’s a far better judge than we are on ourselves.

    The Spirit is the tell-tale of our spiritual vital signs. We can easily take our pulse and temperature by the strength of the influence of the Spirit in our lives. We can know from day to day whether we are living in offence towards God, or in his good graces. The same thing can be applied with volunteer church service (and I emphasize the word volunteer). It is part of our agency to either magnify our callings or not. We will be blessed accordingly.

    I believe it is completely inappropriate for a priesthood leader to use any kind of manipulative technique to compel others to do the “right thing”. Rather, they should uplift and inspire. Let the spirit do the rest.

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