I recently came across a definition of accountability that I found helpful. It is from Dr. James B. Scott and Dr. Molly Davis Scott’s book Kingdom People:
Accountability is not judgment, nor judgementalism. Accountability is an attitude of love and care about self and other people we love and trust. Accountability is the commitment to self and other loved ones to encourage, teach, build up, and sometimes to correct each other in order to be Kingdom People doing Kingdom Living. Accountability with this attitude and in this context is love assuring salvation. One tangible place where there needs to be accountability is in the finances, but the intangible areas, like connecting with God, must be held accountable also. Simultaneously evaluating every ministry of the Church tells us where we are succeeding and where we need to re-evaluate and improve.
This definition helps us to see that the central goal of accountability is to help each other grow in our faith. The goal is not to gleefully point fingers, but rather to help each other to take steps forward in faith. This kind of accountability, as Wesley put it, involves “watching over one another in love.”