I am currently in the process of parenting a toddler. Toddlers are a bundle of activity without much rational. One of the main things we are trying to teach our little girl is the idea of accountability. You see part of raising adults out of kids is teaching them that they are responsible for their actions. Children come with a lot of things already hard wired into them; however responsibility is not one of them. We want to teach our little girl about accountability at an early age so she knows how to be a responsible adult. Here is the working definition I use when trying to teach her accountability:
Now the truth is right now my little girl is not accountable for much. You see she has very little responsibility, and there is a direct correlation between the amount of responsibility you carry and the degree to which you are accountable. Those with little authority and responsibility enjoy a lot of freedom. Those who carry a large amount of authority experience less freedom; they are highly accountable in their areas of influence.
When you become a volunteer you take on a level of authority – you become a representative of a team or organization. In that volunteer role, you are accountable for your words and actions. In fact, when you begin to volunteer I believe you automatically enter into 3 relationships where we are held accountable:
- You are Accountable to God – Wherever you are volunteering you are building something. For those of us who serve or volunteer in the church, we are building God’s Kingdom. Therefore, we must be aware of our accountability to God. He has entrusted you with responsibility and authority to do His will. For those of us who claim the name of Christ – We are accountable to God for engaging in His mission.
- You are Accountable to the Church – Whichever church or organization you serve under has entrusted you for a reason. You wear a badge, a shirt or a logo and carry the name of the church as you serve. You are accountable to the people in the church and the leaders – because the church exists with a purpose. If the church has a purpose, then there is a reason you have been entrusted with a role on the team. For whichever church you serve – You are accountable for carrying out their vision.
- You are Accountable to the Volunteers – the most tangible of the 3 accountability relationships is the one that exists shoulder to shoulder alongside other volunteers. When you become a volunteer you represent the team wherever you go. People identify you as a part of the team or church all throughout the week, not just when you serve. When a volunteer in the church acts contrary to the standards of a Christ-follower, it affects those they serve alongside. Serving alongside people means holding them accountable – You are accountable to your teammates for living above reproach.