There is very little accountability among Christians in the
U.S., a new survey found.
Only 5 percent of Christian adults
indicated that their church does anything to hold them accountable for
integrating biblical beliefs and principles into their life, according to the
Evangelicals were most likely to
have some form of church-centered accountability.
George Barna, director of the
survey, stressed that mutual accountability is one of the cornerstones of the
biblical concept of community.
“But Americans these days
cherish privacy and freedom to the extent that the very idea of being held
accountable by others—even those with their best interests in mind, or who have
a legal or spiritual authority to do so—is considered inappropriate, antiquated
and rigid,” he said.
“With a large majority of
Christian churches proclaiming that people should know, trust and obey all of
the behavioral principles taught in the Bible, overlooking a principle as
foundational as accountability breeds even more public confusion about
scriptural authority and faith-based community, as well as personal behavioral
The Barna Group, a research firm
based in Ventura, Calif., surveyed 1,000 adults from across the country in
August. The latest report is based on data from the 889 adults who identified
as Christians and who reported attending a Christian church.
The most common form of
accountability cited by the 5 percent who said their church holds them
accountable was small groups. Around one-third said they are kept accountable
through small groups.
Twenty-one percent said their
churches limit or revoke membership for those who do not meet specific
standards. Nineteen percent said they are being held accountable to individuals
they’re acquainted with in their congregation, and 16 percent said leaders
follow up with them on activities assigned to them.
Additionally, 10 percent said they
have personal accountability to the pastor or someone else on the pastoral
staff; 8 percent said they answer directly to the congregation for questionable
activities that are identified; and 6 percent said they have regularly
scheduled reviews with church leaders. –source: