a new road of accountability
Over the last 2 weeks, our small group hosted two dessert and awareness nights in order in two different locations with friends outside our small group invited.
We focused our efforts to support Opportunity International who works with people in developing countries to give microfinance loans. They give loans to people who are not typically good investments by banking institutions. The microloans are given to trust groups or villages where there is already a sense of community and accountability to one another. One person or family in the community uses the loan, repays it with interest to their trust group and then another uses it, repays it with a interest until the entire trust group benefits from the mircroloan. Because of an internal sense of accountability and commitment, there is over a 98% repayment rate of these microloans. This is in incredible repayment rate for people without identification and without equity. There is no institution or single person keeping the people accountable, they are accountable to one another.
Chris Crane, president and CEO of Opportunity International, says this about the trust group of their 1 millionth client, “Once a week they come together and they make their weekly loan payment, they pray together, they sing together, they have training together which could be on business, it could be on personal issues. And they hold each other accountable that each of their lives are being productive and fruitful every week.”
Something clicked for me last weekend as I was reflecting on this quote. For the last year, I have been wrestling with the topic of accountability and commitment in the context of our community of faith.
How do we recreate this sense of accountability and commitment to one another in the North American church? I think as we grapple with the reality that we have a sent God and as a result, we are sent people into our world, we need accountability to live with and pray for people outside the church. This sense of accountability found in developing countries and in communal cultures needs to be recreated in our urban/suburban middle to high income setting(s). What will we do to create this sense of accountability?