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“Do we need accountable relationships?”

“Do we need accountable relationships?”

MAY 13, 2022

/ Programs / Key Life / “Do we need accountable relationships?”

Steve Brown:
Do we need accountable relationships? The answer to that and other questions, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
If you think laughter isn’t spiritual or that faithfulness to God means conformity to Christian stereotypes, then this program probably isn’t for you, but if you’re looking for honest, Biblical answers to honest questions, welcome to Key Life. Here’s our host, author and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hey Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey, I’m here to hold you accountable.

Steve Brown:
I know. You do. Go swim. I know. Don’t even say it.

Pete Alwinson:
Keep that heart ticking baby.

Steve Brown:
Every time it’s cold and I’m thinking about getting in that swimming pool and I think, nah, I’m going to go do something else. I remember your voice. Swim. Swim.

Pete Alwinson:
Oh, I love it. I love it. I love it.

Steve Brown:
That’s Pete Alwinson by the way. And if you’re not familiar with Forge, you ought to, especially if you’re a guy. I think if you’re the female person, they wouldn’t turn you away, but you will be uncomfortable. But they, they’re three groups that meet in Central Florida. And if you’re in Central Florida, you ought to check it out. Go to ForgeTruth.com. And we’re going to talk about relationships and how important they are and that’s what’s happening at Forge. Guys are bonding together in an amazing way and making a difference in our culture. So check it out. It’s ForgeTruth.com and you can get some times and some places. And if you’re in Central Florida, you might want to check that out and be a part of it. And if you really like what you see there, they could get in touch with you. And maybe you could franchise this thing all over the country.

Pete Alwinson:
There you go.

Steve Brown:
Hey listen, we love getting your questions. And we like these Friday times when we sit down and talk about questions that you have asked. You can go 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7, record a question. You can send it to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

If you’re in Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

or you can e-mail us at [email protected] And I promise we’ll take your questions seriously. And if you can help us financially, those are good places to start. And by the way, if you are going to give a gift to Key Life, you can text Key Life at 28950. That’s 28950 and just follow instructions. And we’re quite aware that not everybody is called to support this ministry. And that some of you simply can’t financial. But if you can, pray about it and I promise we’ll be faithful with your gift. We’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. Pete, lead us in prayer and we’ll get to some questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright, let’s do it. Father, we thank you, as we come into your presence right now at the end of this week, Lord, that we can come to you. Thank you, that we can come right to you, the God who is, who was, and who always will be. The God who is sovereign, the God who is mighty, the God who is loving and merciful and gracious. And we have experienced your grace as your Spirit has shown us your love and the provision for us to get right with you through Jesus. However you communicated that to us, Lord, you did. And you did it in a powerful way. And we remember today that where your deeply beloved and redeemed sons and daughters. And so, now Lord, we pray that you continue to meet us and work in our lives. And Lord, take the issues of this week. We give them to you and we pray that you would turn them for good and that you would use, even our preachers, pastors, teachers, priests, our worship directors, Lord use all of those who are working so hard, even as we speak to get Sunday ready for us, the week-end worship prepared for it. And we ask that you would use them in a powerful way, that we would hear your gospel and be unleashed by your incredible grace. And now be with Steve and the Q&A time that we have here. We thank you for this ministry. Thank you for our supporters and pray that you’d bless them in a powerful way, as we do this time now. In Jesus name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Pete, this person writes, I’ve heard you speak often of becoming accountable to someone. By the way, I’ve changed my mind. Unless you’re accountable, as I am, to Eddie Waxer. Eddie Waxer travels the world, so he’s gone all the time and that’s the best person to be accountable to.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. Somebody who’s never here.

Steve Brown:
Never around. That’s right. And I have a friend who says I’ve never been in an accountable group, when I sinned, that I didn’t lie. Well, we’ll talk about it, we’ll get into that. And this is a wonderful statement. My desire is to have this in my life. How exactly does it work? How would such a relationship differ from a covenant relationship, I have with my wife? That’s a good question.

Pete Alwinson:
Boy, it really is. You want to expand a little bit more about why accountability doesn’t speak to you.

Steve Brown:
Accountability has a manipulative side to it. You know, I know of accountable groups where they have a series of 10 questions, that they ask each other. And then they have to respond honestly to it. And then if you answer it wrong, then they’re all over you, like ugly on an ape. And so, all of a sudden you got this manipulated bunch of legalists, who are trying to be mothers to each other and they’re not called to be that. And so, yeah, I like the idea of what that means, which is what you do and what you and I do. And those kinds of relationships are important, because we, what do you say about iron?

Pete Alwinson:
Iron sharpens iron.

Steve Brown:
It really does. And we need those relationships. And yes, that’s different than one’s wife. There are all kinds of emotional, social, relational things going on in a marriage that make that a different kind of, an important, far more than any other relationship we have, but different in terms of accountability. I mean, our wives obviously speak truth into our lives. But if we had a fight the night before, they’re going to take delight in speaking truth into our lives and telling us where we did it wrong. See marriages are different. The dynamics are different, but having a relationship with others, both men and women, generally it’s better women with women and men with men, but even sometimes as in C.S. Lewis and the nun to whom he wrote most of his life, sometimes that crosses that, but we need each other, don’t we?

Pete Alwinson:
You know, that’s a great way of putting it. And how, oftentimes as Americans, we think that discipleship and growth in Christ is all alone, where it was never meant to be alone.

Steve Brown:
No. It never was.

Pete Alwinson:
And so, with guys, and I agree with you, by the way, on the, on the model, I think we see in Titus 2 and I Timothy, is the older guys mentoring younger guys, and older women and younger women, but also we need, you know, that whole idea of the Barnabas, a friend, a Paul who’s older, maybe spiritually, and then a Timothy, somebody we’re pouring into. However, what we like to look at Forge, we like to talk about how we need a fire team. We kind of use that military term. That we’re, a fire team is two to four guys that are fighting for each other, while they’re on mission. And so, they’re on the bigger platoon’s mission, whatever that mission is. But these two to four guys are watching out for each other, and they’re protecting each other. They’re fighting for those two to four guys as they’re together on mission. And I think that’s gospel.

Steve Brown:
I do too.

Pete Alwinson:
I think it’s the way the gospel is. We’re on mission, and we need to have some people that we’re close to that love us enough to fight for us and risk their neck for us. Sometimes it’s telling some things

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Speaking truth. That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
we don’t want to hear, but a lot of times it’s, Hey, how you doing? It’s just listening. And I’m going to pray for you and being there. And, did you see this happening behind your back? This, I’ve gotta get your back. So, it’s much more of a dynamic thing.

Steve Brown:
And you know, one of the very wonderful things that Forge does is that it creates and provides a place for those kinds of relationships, but there are others.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
This writer said, you know, I want that in my life.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
Find a small group.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
If you’re a guy and I don’t know whether you’re a guy or a lady, but if you’re a guy, find some guys that meet and study the Bible. Often those small groups become exactly that.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And those kinds of relationships form naturally.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. Naturally. And then accountability is natural because if you love somebody and you tell them, you know, I just am so undisciplined at reading the Bible. Well, okay. You know, I’ll pray for you on that. And then can I hold you accountable a little bit on that? I mean, you get their permission. Yeah. Would you? That’d be great.

Steve Brown:
And that is what it’s, that’s different than the idea of a manipulative kind, and part of this is that we’re sinners, fellowshipping with other sinners.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And so, we don’t have to hide anything, that goes without saying, so you don’t hear in the right kind of relationship that we’re describing words like, how could you, or after old Jesus has done for you and you did that? You’re probably not even, you don’t care that kind of thing. It’s not that.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
It’s, you know, in John’s third letter and it’s different. Well, Jesus did it in John 13 or 15, or one of those, where he said.

Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

And you’re my friends. And then John says, and it’s unusual for the letters in the New Testament. At the end, he says.

Greet the friends by name.

And he doesn’t say brothers and sisters or family or members of the church. He says friends.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And so, what we’re talking about is real friendship.

Pete Alwinson:
And I love that concept, because I was just reading in a book. This dad gets a phone call and he goes, I’ve got to answer it. And his son said, okay. So after he got done, he said, well, what kind of friend was that? Was it a deal friend or a real friend?

Steve Brown:
Good statement.

Pete Alwinson:
Good statement.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, it really is.

Pete Alwinson:
So, we have a lot of deal friends, but not a lot of real friends

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
who we’re letting in. And I think it starts, but you have to be discerning to develop, to find out who can you trust?

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
And that takes time.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, it does. We’ve been spending what almost 30 years doing that.

Pete Alwinson:
Amazing. Crazy. Crazy.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. I’ve never liked you though Pete. It’s been hard. Actually, it hasn’t been hard. It’s been a major gift in my life. You’ve been there in so many situations. You were even my pastor.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, and you have been just a great mentor and a friend and support to me too, in so many ways.

Steve Brown:
You know, that doesn’t always work out with pastoral parishioner, but it’s worked out with us.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s worked out. I just confess your sins in front of everybody, said it was ok.

Steve Brown:
That’s right. And that was not good advice. We’ve got to go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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