Sons and Hirelings

Browsing through some files the other day, I found a small study I once took on ‘sons and hirelings’. I just thought I’d put them together and post it today so that you can peruse and be blessed. You will have to put your own ‘meat’ on these points. All this comes out of our own lives and the lessons we have learned along the way.

So here goes…

Sons have a different heart.  It is for the people/Father

1.  A son treats the success of the Father’s work as his own

  • A Hireling serves another, as long as it serves his own agenda
  • A son will give himself to the interest of the Father – a Hireling has self interest  central of all he does
  • A son thinks in terms of responsibility, a Hireling in terms of rights.  They will apply pressure to get what is theirs.

2 Kings 26, 27 (Gehazi) Elisha asks…Is it now the time to receive?  They are not prepared to wait, will engage in ministry prematurely and then act independently.

A son has a longing to see his calling fulfilled, but will do it out of serving.

2.  A son thinks in terms of we, ours, us

He thinks corporately – his identity  is in the whole picture.

The Hireling thinks in terms of me, mine, what he deserves – self – his success/ministry.

3.  Sons honour Fathers and cover their nakedness

They do not like to expose.  If you have found someone who likes to discuss the faults and weakness of a leader, you have found a hireling.

Gen 9.   Noah found naked – but his sons cover him!

“Sons do not pretend weakness is not there – but they discuss, address – and not discredit”

4.  Sons honour chains of command

Like a good soldier – he takes command from any officer.  This is essential if we are  not building on one man.

A Hireling is selective about who they submit to.

– they submit/respond to those who fulfil their agenda

– they side step others going to the top

Their response can be destructive undermining other levels of authority.

A son will seek to work with all levels of authority.

5.  A son focuses on relationship – OTHERS

  • A Hireling focuses on what he has done – what points to him.
  • Behind a Hireling’s concept of serving is what he can achieve, what position he can obtain and privileges that go with what he has done

Eg. When such people break away from you they always point back to what they have done – rather than the relational side of things

Hireling does things for promotion, a son for God. A son does things out of the joy of working together


6.  Sons share their inner conversation (what goes on within)

They will talk to you about their doubts, fears, insecurities.

Hirelings will only share what they want you to see, know.  They are concerned

with the right image – they need to be seen as strong not weak

Sons are ‘self revealing’ – they are not out to hide or keep secrets from you – or toshare weakness.  They know they will grow through sharing, and that they will not   be shot down.   Hirelings hide weaknesses and agendas.

N.B. Such relationships take time to develop

7.  Sons hear the voice of the Father

They catch things quick because they are out to understand you.

Hirelings tend to get confused.  No matter how much you explain, give time to them and explain, they never seem to understand – because they don’t have your heart.

They are not listening to your heart, but trying to fit things into their agenda. They never arrive at a place of understanding.  “The penny never seems to drop”.

8.  Sons have a generational vision

They look to the next generation to help carry the vision and build on

Hirelings are thinking of themselves, they are not looking for others to carry what

they carry.

Sons look beyond themselves

9.  Sons lead new and weak people into the wider body …

Hirelings bond new/weak to themselves because they make them secure and build their ministry – validates them.

House churches – are part of the development of sons, leadership.  They are promoted through the way they serve.

Hireling will build to himself to aid his progress and promotion.

Should things go wrong he will take others with him.  For they have been build into him.

Look at the way people build – to the whole/body or to themselves.  It could save you a lot of heartache.

10.  Sons focus on the well-being of the people – what is in their interest

Hirelings are interested in appearance, success – what makes them look good

So they will work the people hard … demand unreal commitment: more meetings,

more prayer, high attendance – a good show.

Sons consider the peoples well-being not how good the people make them look.

11.  Sons receive correction and respond to discipline

‘They are always looking to improve their serve”

You will never see a son stay in a place of ‘offence’ for long – they must get it into the open – sorted, dealt with.

A Hireling will live with ‘offence’ and ‘pain’ because they are interested in image and their agenda.  They don’t want to rock any boat that might hinder their progress.

A son is forced to reveal his pain because of the high value placed on relationship a hireling will conceal it for the sake of his agenda.

12.  Sons are not afraid to look clumsy

A hireling always appears to have arrived even before he has started.  There never seems to be any weakness in his background … just ability.

Hirelings avoid anything that displays their weakness … or will cause them to appear as ‘learners’, ‘clumsy’ – they don’t want ‘L’ plates to be seen.

Sons have not arrived – and will do anything for you – they are teachable.


You must remember that some rebels are the result of bad parenting…it maybe our fault, because we do not discipline enough or at the right time.

It is imperative that we invest in those who will carry our heart forward.