I recently started seeing a Spiritual Accompanier. It’s one of those things that does exactly what it says on the tin – it is someone who walks alongside me to help me focus on my own spiritual health and my closeness to God. My own Spiritual Accompanier is from the Roman Catholic tradition, which was a deliberate decision for me. We all have particular strengths and weaknesses in each of our denominations, and my Accompanier approaches her faith in a different way to what I am used to. She also asks different (and sometimes difficult!) questions that cause me to think in a new way.
We all need people to hold us to account for our own spiritual health at times. Maybe especially those of us who are in ministry positions. It can be all too easy to let accountability slide over time and to think that we are somehow above any kind of external scrutiny. Sadly, we have seen far too many well-known Christian leaders abusing and misusing their positions of power in recent years. To a large extent, this is because they are no longer genuinely accountable to the people who they serve. I certainly never want to fall into that trap, and seeing a Spiritual Accompanier is one of the ways in which I can try to avoid it. Although I’m also conscious that we are all sinners and “there but for the grace of God go I”.
I wonder if you have someone who accompanies you on your own spiritual journey? Someone who is allowed to ask you difficult questions about your relationship with God and hold you to account for your spiritual health. I’m not suggesting we all need to take on a formal, paid arrangement. But if you want to take your faith seriously, it’s worth thinking about how you do this in your own life. Maybe you could join a homegroup here at St Andrew’s, or start a small prayer triplet with a couple of other people? We could all be a bit more intentional about asking the questions that really matter and holding each other to account.