Recently I have been thinking a lot about accountability and how people are caring for one another. It is vital that all Christians are holding one another accountable for what they profess, and are allowing others to hold them accountable as well. I’ve seen many models for accountability groups, but one that I came across last Fall that are gospel-centered are what is called Fight Clubs. In Gospel-Centered Discipleship, Johnathan Dodson writes, “Fight clubs are small, simple groups of two to three men or women who meet regularly to help one another beat up the flesh and believe the gospel of grace” (121).
Today, I’ve found that most accountability groups focus on the sin instead of the cross. Understanding and being honest of our sins is important, but focusing on the sin places our emphasis in the wrong place. Dodson explains that what sets a fight club aside from the rest is its focus on the gospel and Christ’s work for us. He explains there are three elements to a fight club:
1. Know Your Sin
By asking ourselves What, When, and Why? we can begin to identify and remove the sinful patterns from our lives. We must first know what sins are currently present in our lives. Then we can focus on when we are most tempted. Lastly and most importantly is knowing why we are motivated to sin, and address the heart issue. If we don’t treat the heart we are just treating the issue superficially.
2. Fight Your Sin
Once the sinful pattern(s) are identified, we can work on removing them. We can fight the sin by looking to who we are in Christ. We are restored and new creations. We must put our sinful patterns of old to death permanently. This battle may take a lifetime, but fight clubs are focused on life and not death by focusing on the gospel and not in our own abilities to leave our sins.
3. Trust Your Savior
Discipleship is about a relationship with Jesus and understanding the gospel. We must focus on our Savior, and not on the rules that we place on ourselves. When we become too focused on what we can do we begin to remove the gospel in our lives. Allow the gospel to displace these rules from your life and be in the center.
If you want to start growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ, it is vital that you are in some form of an accountability relationship with someone else. We cannot do it on our own, and loving one another is a command from Jesus. As we walk alongside one another, we can help each other to grow closer to Christ by placing the gospel at the center of our lives. I encourage you to go start a fight club with another Christ-follower and get fighting.