Dear St. Lukers,
Accountability. A word not often liked when paired with faith, and yet something John Wesley thought to be a foundation for building authentic community, and spiritual formation of holiness as a part of Methodism. After all, Wesley said there is no holiness not linked with social holiness. Our personal journey of discipleship is stretched, shaped, and tested in connection with a community of mutual accountability. Wesley offered 20+ personal accountability questions for self-reflection that were supposed to be shared with your band or class you met with weekly. Take a moment and read these questions (click here) to see the depth of accountability to personal growth required of Methodists.
John Wesley was following the level of accountability Jesus set up for the community of believers who wanted to be Kingdom people in the gospel of Matthew. Continuing to teach the disciples a new way of seeing community, in Matthew 18, Jesus gets pretty specific of what happens when conflict arises between people in the church. He called for accountable love to matter more than the fear of conflict within the body of Christ.
Brené Brown, Glennon Doyle, Parker Palmer, and Patrick Lencioni have made careers of helping us deal with conflict, shame, accountability, and reconciliation. We read the books, pour over the TED Talks and podcasts, and use these skills in our workplace or in our homes all the time. But the church? Sometimes it’s the people of the church that have the hardest time managing conflict with one another. Maybe John Wesley and Jesus were on to something when they called us to accountable love.
Join us on Sunday for worship as we talk about why accountable love makes love matter more than our fear of conflict. Why does Jesus call us to this difficult work of relationship and discipleship? How do we receive feedback without ending up in a shame spiral? In a world where everyone is constantly calling each other out, making us choose sides, boxes, and division, how do purple people, as royal children of God’s Kingdom, choose the harder work?
Grace and peace,