Week Eight: Easier to be Accountable Together
PRE-RUN INSPIRATION (3-5 MINUTES)
Group Leader Speaking to Entire Group
Thanks for joining us for our run today. Before we take off, let’s talk about another of the benefits we enjoy when we #runconnected. It’s the fact that it’s easier to be accountable when we run together. We’ve all found this to be true. When you’re running with a group, it’s easier to stick to a training plan, to run the scheduled distance, to show up regularly, and to have an appropriate pace. We can lose focus on the goal, or on the details, when we run alone, but being together helps us all keep our eye on the prize and follow the plan that will help us reach our goal.
Of course, the same is true in our lives. Diets work better with accountability—which is why programs like Weight Watchers have groups. The same is true for those in recovery from addictions—support groups are keys to success. When we need focus and discipline to accomplish something important, whatever it is, we find that focus and discipline more easily in a group of like-minded, motivated people. The apostle Paul realized this truth, and in his letter to the church at Philippi, he told them to join together and follow his example, so they could live like Jesus. He knew that people needed both mentors and fellow runners (so to speak) to truly achieve their goal of following Christ.
So today, as you run, think about how the people around you are helping you stay accountable to your running goals. And think about other areas in your life where having others around can help you be accountable. If you feel comfortable, talk with another runner about that, and see if that discussion helps you find accountability
[say a brief prayer. after you pray, share any administrative details like the signup sheet. Then start the run.]
ASSESSMENT TOOL GOAL: SUPPORT THE STRUGGLE
At the Run
- As relationships deepen, your runners may be willing to share places in their lives where they’re experiencing pain or struggle.
- These discussions may actually look like areas where they’re showing endurance or persistence, since those are positive expressions of dealing with struggle.
- When you hear these stories, use the opportunity to encourage runners in your group. Try to do sincerely in the moment. Say a quick prayer aloud as you run, or offer to help in some concrete way.
After the Run
- Add the following columns to your group’s Google doc:
- Week 8 notes - Use this column to add any other details you remember. Make sure to note each person’s attendance this week
- Help offered – Make a note of specific help you’ve offered any runner, and how the runner responded to the offer. This will help you know which runners are willing to connect deeper, and which you need to move slower with.
- Look for ways to connect runners who are struggling in a specific way to ministries or people in your church who can help. Ask the runner’s permission before making this connection.
CONNECTION STRATEGY TIPS
- Make a note of what runners say about accountability, either in your group’s Google doc or in another way.
- If you know of groups or individuals in your church or in your community that can help a runner find the accountability he or she is looking for, offer to make the connection. Make sure to do this in an invitational, non-threatening way.