The giant redwood trees that grow along the West Coast are the tallest living species on the Earth. They can exceed 300 feet in height, are very resilient and can live for hundreds and hundreds of years. The oldest recorded redwood lived more than 2,200 years.

Yet, the redwood’s roots are shallow. How can such a shallow root system support such a massive tree? Though the root system may only grow four to six feet deep, the roots will spread out as far as 125 feet. In doing so, the roots of one tree intertwine with the roots of other trees.

This commingling of the root systems provides strength and stability for all the trees. They are connected, stronger and “accountable” to each other during the worst of storms.

The higher a person rises, the more prominent they become, the more of a “high-payoff target” they are. Accountability becomes all the more valuable and critical.

One of the prominent, “high-payoff targets” from the past generation is Billy Graham.

Well known as an evangelist and advisor to presidents, he has preached to more than 214 million people in 185 countries around the world.

Graham and his main ministry assistants have intentionally kept high standards of accountability among themselves for their personal actions. They also belong to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Strengthened by their accountability, they have had many years of fruitful service.

The apostle Paul wrote of this same, interconnected strength among fellow believers: “…the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16)