Now great multitude went with him. And he turned and said to them, if anyone come to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brother and sister, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:25 – 27
No man can ever work effectively for someone he does not trust, respect and value. Service is usually an outflow of love, trust, respect and value. Thus, serving Christ Jesus demands following Christ Jesus, for it is only a disciple of Christ Jesus that can serve him effectively. Hence, the first condition for ministry is discipleship.
However, discipleship is with a price. For no one can become a good disciple, who hasn't counted the cost of it. And the major cost of following Christ Jesus is to bear (carry – demonstrate – show) one's cross.
The cross is a place or point of crucifixion. It is the place or point of death - where one is dead to self, dead to the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. It is a point where one is dead to personal ambitions and personal pleasure.
The cross is the point where one is dead to shame and ridicule. It is a point of death to anxieties, worries and uncertainties of life people comments, opinions counsels. It is the point of singleness of purpose and identify.
Thus, true ministry is the outcome of bearing or showing one’s cross day by day so, until a man has a cross to show (for ministry), he is never fit for ministry. Ministry is never a show of charisma, but a show of cross – and the only place of power and wisdom for ministry, is the place of the cross.
So, ministry requires that you become a disciple of Christ Jesus, and you can only become a disciple after you being to the cross. Thus, the cross is the ultimate condition for effective ministry.
Until a man is finished at the cross, he is never fit the ministry.