In the movement associated with John Wesley, people met together in little communities to help hold each other accountable for their deepest values and most important decisions. Wesley had a beautiful phrase for this: he called it watching over one another in love. Before someone entered into this community, they would be asked a series of questions to see if they were serious about living in mutual accountability. Sometimes when I speak on community I'll read these to church leaders, and ask them to imagine these questions being posed to attenders at their churches: · Does any sin, inward or outward, have dominion over you? · Do you desire to be told of your faults? · Do you desire to be told of all your faults—and that plain and clear? (By this point, church leaders are inevitably laughing at even the idea of people putting up with such pointed questions.) · Consider! Do you desire that we should tell you whatsoever we think, whatsoever we fear, whatsoever we hear concerning you? · Do you desire that in doing this we should come as close as possible, that we should cut to the quick, and search your heart to the bottom? · Is it your desire and design to be on this and all other occasions entirely open, so as to speak everything that is in your heart, without exception, without disguise, and without reserve?

source: John Ortberg, Everybody's Normal Til You Get To Know Them tags: Community, Trust, Accountability, Small Groups