I don’t have to tell you that being a Christian in a post-Christian society can often be challenging. Add on trying to live like a minimalist– and it can be downright difficult.
But we also know that living as a Christian, and as a minimalist, is totally worth it. We know that following Jesus won’t always be easy (see Luke 9:23), and we know that as Christian minimalists we are living a lifestyle that is different than the dominant culture. But we also know that by pressing on, we are fulfilling our God-given calling (Philippians 3:14).
That’s why we need one another– specifically, someone to be our accountability partner. Anyone you know has the potential to be an accountability partner. My husband and I are accountability partners for one other, but it doesn’t have to be your spouse! You can find an accountability partner pretty much anywhere: at church, at school, at work, at home (roommate, etc.), in a social media group with like-minded people… as long as it’s someone you trust and can be real with, they can be your accountability partner.
Traveling this road with someone else makes the journey easier. We are much more likely to achieve our goals and continue the Christian Minimalism lifestyle when someone is holding us accountable.
Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another. (Proverbs 27:17)
When we actively keep one another accountable, we actually sharpen one another and become sharper– and better– followers of Jesus.
Here are 3 major reasons why having an accountability partner can help you on your Christian Minimalism journey:
An accountability partner offers support.
When we are embarking on a challenging journey, support is integral to our success. Your accountability partner doesn’t need to be a fellow Christian Minimalist– anyone you trust can support you in this lifestyle. But if your accountability partner IS on the same Christian Minimalism journey, you have the unique opportunity to be accountability partners for one another.
Support from an accountability partner can take many forms. Praying for and with you, sending you inspiring Scripture passages, offering you encouragement– any way to remind you that you are not alone and that someone has your back. This is especially important on those rough days that can and will happen; your accountability partner can be your personal cheerleader when you need it the most.
An accountability partner can help you achieve goals and get you back on track when you mess up.
Want to get rid of 50% of your stuff in 6 month? Go on a month-long shopping fast? Stop spending money on non-essentials? Set aside time at least once a week to hang out with family or friends? Your accountability partner can regularly check in to make sure you’re on track. And if both of you want to work toward the same goal together– even better!
It’s also important that your accountability partner be someone who will tell you like it is– without beating you up. If you are falling off the wagon, they are the one to tell you so and help you get back on board. Being held accountable makes it much more likely that we will follow through and do what we set out to do.
An accountability partner can make the journey fun.
Being a Christian Minimalist is NOT all work and no play– in fact, this lifestyle is about balance. Your accountability partner can check in to make sure that you’re getting Sabbath rest, fun time, and time with loved ones. In fact, you can schedule fun time with your accountability partner as well!
You can also make goals and benchmarks in the Christian Minimalism journey into a game to make them more fun (a technique called gamification). A great example of this is the 30-Day Minimalism Game created by The Minimalists. Imagine how fun it would be to play a game together in order to meet your minimalism goal(s)!
Your accountability partner can also help reward you when you meet a goal or benchmark in your journey. Celebrate your successes (both big and small) together!
We are stronger together!
Having an accountability partner on our Christian Minimalism journey means that we are stronger than we would be alone.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help… And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12)
This famous Bible passage reminds us that a threefold cord– 2 people and God– is much stronger than someone alone. With God and each other, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). When we work together with God’s help, we are stronger and not quickly broken.
So what are you waiting for? Go find your Christian Minimalism accountability partner and get started!