Will Hernandez states Henri Nouwen's idea of what a true "minister" of Jesus is. Hernandez writes:
"Nouwen has described ministry in terms of a willingness to lay down one’s life for others— not necessarily in a literal way but as a matter of identity. He has stressed that if a person is to lay down his or her life, that person must have a real “life” to lay down. This correlates directly to the most concise definition of ministry Nouwen has ever articulated in his writings: ministry is all about “the giving of self” (G!: 85). The big question is: “What ‘self’ do we give to others— our true self or our false self?” The reality is, we can only minister out of who we genuinely are. What enables us to minister with real depth and effectiveness is living out of our center, where our core identity is deeply lodged." (Hernandez, Henri Nouwen and Spiritual Polarities: A Life of Tension, Kindle Locations 792-798)
Here's a creepy thought: ministering to others out of a persona, out of a false self.
How can we avoid this? Primordially, abide in Christ. Stay experientially connected to Christ, the Head.
The false self is the disconnected self.