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So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. 1 Kings 19:21

Read: 1 Kings 19:19-21
Listen: 1 Kings 19


Elisha hosts a barbecue. It’s a party, but it’s more than a party. It’s a way to say goodbye and make a statement that something different is happening. Elisha is publicly declaring a change of direction. He’s letting his community know he’s no longer a farmer but instead is going with Elijah. He can’t show up next spring and start farming again. If he returns to the fields, they will hold him accountable.

Accountability is crucial for spiritual growth. God created us for community and is one reason for the church. We can’t follow Jesus alone. The church community is meant to encourage, challenge and hold us accountable. Baptism is one step we take in community to signify our acceptance of Jesus’s gift. It’s a public declaration and celebration, similar to Elisha’s barbecue. But it also invites accountability. If we stop following Jesus, our community should hold us accountable. That’s how God intended for the church to work. Participating in a small group can also help us keep growing, hold us accountable and encourage us to follow Jesus.

TODAY: Consider whether you have real community—a place of authentic accountability. If you lack that kind of community, a great place to start is with a small group. You can find more information and sign up HERE. New groups launch in January. If you are currently in a small group, lean into it. Consider taking the next step of vulnerability to reveal where God is challenging you or something you’re struggling with this season.


Read Luke 4. Highlight anything that refers to the Old Testament and how Jesus fulfills it. Look up the Old Testament passages Jesus quotes. Note the length of time and location of Jesus’s temptation and how that points back to Old Testament stories.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.