1 Timothy 4:16, Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
This was Paul’s advice to the young pastor Timothy. Thus, this applies to pastors everywhere, as well as other teachers of the faith. Pastors and teachers, keep a close watch on your behaviour, way of living, and teaching, lest you lead your flock astray. This command to Timothy comes directly after the qualifications for pastors and other leaders of the church. Beyond these qualifications, pastors and teachers are to watch themselves and their teachings. This means to keep oneself from hypocrisy, heresy, and false doctrine.
One cannot do this alone; it is best to have accountability partners in your ministry. If my accountability partner were only me, myself, and I, I would most certainly fall into sin, hypocrisy, and heresy. That is, I would begin living a life contrary to God’s Word (e.g. homosexual and women “pastors”) and preaching something that is not the Gospel (e.g. Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Paul Washer). Instead, I have brothers and sisters who hold me accountable to God’s Word not merely as a future pastor, but also as a fellow Christian.
Thus, not only are pastors and teachers to have friends and colleagues who hold them accountable to God’s Word, but all Christians also must have brethren to keep them accountable to God’s Word. If you do not take it from me, at least take it from Christ (cf. Matthew 18:15-20). The Devil loves to throw distractions at us, leading us to live a licentious, hypocritical life with all sorts of heretical and heterodox fallacies. Therefore, listen to your brothers and sisters who hold you accountable, and pray the Holy Spirit lead you into what is good, acceptable, and perfect to God (Romans 12:1-2).