Don't Expect to Get Anything Out of It


One of the first statements a group of apprentice leaders hears from me is, "Don't expect to get anything out of this."

Yes, I want to shock them, to challenge the very thing they are thinking. They have agreed to enroll in a spiritual community for one year, and they have high expectations of what it means to lead. I go on to give my reason for saying this: "What if Jesus would have made his decision for incarnation based on what he would get out of it?" There was nothing in it for him; he was totally self-sufficient and was in perfect celestial bliss in the triune community with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Of course, people who are in discipleship will get something out of it, and indeed it will transform their lives. But the reason they enter into discipleship is to be like their leader. Jesus came to serve; he came to give. He suffered, and it was rough.

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What we get out of being a leader is personal transformation as we serve others. Very few Christian leaders get the rewards that society extols, such as money and fame. Some do, and it can be very dangerous for them. Money and fame distract us from loving what God loves. The love of attention, fame, money, sex, travel, food, home improvement, and the accoutrements of success has destroyed many Christian leaders. What we get out of our position of leadership is the personal satisfaction of being able to say, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7, NIV). What Paul got out of his ministry was the joy down deep inside that he had pleased his leader. Such knowledge is more than enough.

Written by Bill Hull

Taken from The Christian Leader by Bill Hull. Copyright © 2016 by Robert W. Hull. Used by permission of Zondervan.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash