One of the main ways “accountability” occurs in the modern church is through “small groups.” Huge churches have smaller meetings where about 10 people get together in someone’s house and discuss issues.
I’ve always had a problem with dividing churches into small groups. It’s fine if you don’t, I do. You keep small grouping all you want. But here are some issues I have with them:
1) They are not scriptural. I know Jesus had 12 disciples, but that’s not what any small group I’ve seen is doing. Which of your small group members is the treasurer? Which is the Messiah?
2) It’s a worldly system borrowed by the world. I’ll let Malcolm Gladwell, in an article on Saddleback Church, explain. “The small group as an instrument of community is initially how Communism spread, and in the postwar years Alcoholics Anonymous and its twelve-step progeny perfected the small-group technique.”
3) They are prone to cliqueshness and some lead to church splits. Once a group of people isolates themselves they begin to think they are right. People who think they are right usually aren’t, but will act as if they are. Look out church unity.
4) They are not scriptural. I know the early church met in houses, but in the early church, usually each town had one church, not what modern small groups are.
5) James says, “Let not many be teachers among you.” In my humble, yet true to life, experience, most small group leaders are folks who desire “to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.”
6) They are not Scriptural.
This all leads me to believe that small groups are a human-wisdom invention applied to the church. I know many people say they benefit from them. That’s fine. Many people say they have benefited from Islam, too.
Small groups are one branch of “church accountability” that smacks more of humanly divised psychology than Scriptural obedience. But that’s just my opinion, which is worth as much as a feather at a chicken kicking festival.