While the cross is the freest possible place from which to minister, there are endless reasons to avoid cruciform pastoral ministry.
It feels so terrifyingly vulnerable, so threatening and precarious, so foolish and irresponsible, so unproductive and inefficient, so pointless and inconvenient. The cross is not manipulable, it demands death, calls for complete surrender, is immune to demands for rights or even bargaining. You can’t leverage it, negotiate it, hedge it, dress it up with lighting. It is blunt and ugly. It will give you splinters. It’s not romantic or sentimental, and there’s no silver lining.
The cross is the power of God, the location of resurrection life, and yet we try by all means to stay away from it.