Recently on the way back from the airport having collected our daughter on her return from a Christian Conference, we were rejoicing that people had decided for Jesus and that this was substantially due to the Spirit of Christ’s presence that accompanied those in charge of ministry. My daughter was moved that they were the kind of people who had given up everything for Him. They were overflowing with Jesus. I observed that the Spirit of Jesus could not help but be active in drawing people to Himself. That is what He does through us when we have made Him our life.
Our conversation reminded me of earlier wrong impressions I had possessed years ago. Among some of us, making a commitment to Jesus and receiving the holy Spirit was fraught. Fraught because this decision may ruin one’s life. Or so we thought. One might begin a series of experiences known as the crucifixion of self and enter a life of misery that people call serving God!
It is this kind of mentality that persuades people to accept any role in church life, no matter how ill-suited they are, in order to fill a gap and keep the program happening. It’s called life in the flesh .. but .. in the name of God. The worst effect of this is that one never gets to be who one actually is. And so the Kingdom is robbed of the expression of Christ in you and dulled into a religious conformity. This does nothing for a fruitful church life and fails to build the Kingdom. The Kingdom of heaven arises because Christ is in us. He is our life and as a result we minister freely being our real selves in spirit and in truth. The Kingdom of God is ministered by the sons and daughters of God alive in their real identity and purpose.
‘And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What's more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God’ 1 Peter 2.5 NLT.
In any case, my immature assumptions were wrong. Surrender to Jesus will not ruin one’s life. Not when it is the decision to be a disciple of the Christ of God rather than an adherent of a religious construct. Sadly, I know of situations where people are given ministerial positions because they are members. They possess no spirit and life because they have none of Him. It is essential that we minister from a personal Jesus in order to impart life and raise sons for God. This is the difference between wheat and tares.
Receiving Jesus as our life is the beginning of our real life. It starts when we give Him our hearts.  Knowing God comes from knowing Jesus and knowing Jesus by the mentoring of the Spirit who teaches us all things. The carnal notion of crucifying self is often associated with a half-gospel of the cross as an end in itself. Paul is quite clear that the crucifixion and the resurrection of our person occurs in the person of Jesus. It’s not a work. It is something Jesus has done and which belongs to us. This is why we must step into Jesus rather than into notions of self annihilation.
‘May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world’ Gal 6.14 NIV.
Together, we are the body of Christ when we are the expression of Jesus in whom lives all the fullness of God. In Christ we are in Father and in Father we are the sons of God. When Christ is our life we live in community that is the emanation of trinitarian community. Here Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct, yet one.  All are ministering to each other yet being totally themselves. This is the pattern for the Church.
Spiritual gifts are not some distinct realm separated from our person. They are a function of our person – of who we are by creation and redemption. This is why the incarnated you is the fruitful you in terms of Kingdom advance.
Imagine a church where ministry is based on who one is in Christ rather than from a series of set roles and offices. The first is Kingdom. The second is institutionalism. When Christ is our life we are His branches and His fruit. We are the manifest presence of God!
Further reading.