It was around 1985 when I was working in management at a local restaurant, after the evening shift a lot of the guys would sit around in the parking lot and drink beer. There was this one guy who would never drink alcohol but he would go buy chocolate milk and sit with the group and then invite us to go to church.
One day I decided to go with him, it had been a long time since I had made the profession of faith in the IBC. We went the following Sunday and I have been in church since that time. To be honest I can count on my hands and toes the number of services I have missed in the past 23 years. If you heard Johnny V’s Domino sermon then I guess you could say this young man was a domino in my life. The bad news is that I don’t believe he ever went back to church with me but his brother started going and we built a great friendship of accountability and we took many opportunities to study the scripture. We didn’t call it accountability but that is exactly what it was. It reminds me of John Wesley and the Holy Club, not that we were so holy but in the Holy Club they would ask each other every time they met how it was going in their Spiritual life.
Here are 22 questions they would ask of themselves and each other.
These are 22 questions the members of John Wesley’s Holy Club asked themselves every day in their private devotions over 200 years ago.
- Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
- Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
- Do I confidentially pass on to another what was told to me in confidence?
- Can I be trusted?
- Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?
- Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
- Did the Bible live in me today?
- Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?
- Am I enjoying prayer?
- When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?
- Do I pray about the money I spend?
- Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
- Do I disobey God in anything?
- Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
- Am I defeated in any part of my life?
- Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?
- How do I spend my spare time?
- Am I proud?
- Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
- Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
- Do I grumble or complain constantly?
- Is Christ real to me?
We all need accountability partner’s!
Anyway, it was through the SBC that I fell in love with God or at least I started to do so. I was in this church for about 3 years before there was a disagreement within the church body and the church split. I didn’t feel that I was mature enough to even know who was right and who was wrong so I chose to leave the church with a group of more than 100 people.
Many people ask how it is possible that God could receive Glory from a church split but I can look back now and see that many preachers have come from that split, including myself. I look back and we were so satisfied that we would have stayed there forever, kind of reminds me of the “Tower of Babel”. God didn’t cause the split but he certainly allowed it to happen and he used it for His glory.
I am thankful for the Southern Baptist Church, they taught me to be an Evangelist.