5 Practical Ways to Increase Ministry Accountability

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Accountability is about ownership.  That's the bottom line.
Here are 5 practical ways to increase your ministry’s sense of ownership & accountability.

1.  Be aware of victim conversations.
Look for people (maybe you) who tend to focus on past failures.  Human nature leads us to blame external forces for those failures.  You need to be accountable in your conversations - you need to be the one who encourages others to take ownership of actions and results.  When you feel a conversation headed down the external blame road, try saying something like “I wonder what lessons we can learn about ourselves from that failure.”

2.  Communicate your vision often.
You (and your people) need to be reminded often about the importance of your vision.  Keeping the focus on the main thing should be inspiring to you and those you serve with.  Here are two great resources to get you started on this:
      Making Vision Stick - Andy Stanley 
      7 Ways to Help Others Understand Vision - Rick Warren

3.  Model Ownership
Your actions will speak louder than your words. 
By modeling expected behaviors, you make it safe and normal to embrace ownership and accountability.  If you are walking the walk, you have eliminated at least one excuse that others may use for not taking ownership.

4.  Clarify expectations using vision language.
Healthy accountability often begins with clear expectations.  Understanding what is expected is key to both individual and ministry-wide accountability.  Don’t make up random expectations that sound good.  Use the language that you already use to communicate your vision to set your expectations.
“We are making changes in our children’s ministry to better minister to the families in our community that we want to reach.”
“We are adding facility space to make room for the 1,000 people that we want to meet Jesus each week.”
"We need our volunteers to wear the same shirt because we want people to feel comfortable in our building.”

5.  Focus on the future.
True accountability is not about the consequences of the past.  Talking about past failures does little to motivate a sense of ownership and enables people who tend to blame external forces. Talking about the future can motivate ownership.  By its nature, the future is unwritten and is optimistic.  Cast a future vision that people want an ownership stake in.  

In what ways are you encouraging ownership and accountability in your ministry?  Let me know!

Bryan Blackford