Is there a difference between a disciple's purpose and a disciple's mission (Matthew 28)?

I teach that a disciple's purpose is to know God, whereas his mission--and this is not to split hairs or revel in pedantry--is to bring Jesus to the world. Practically, mission means evangelism and helping the poor. Our mission is to love people, to meet their needs--both spiritual and physical.

Some say our sole purpose is to bring others to Christ. I believe this is to ignore too many teachings of the Bible. Reducing it all to how many people you bring to Christ is to lay disproportional emphasis on one teaching of the Bible (as vital and urgent as this need is), and leads to an imbalance that ultimately treats people as objects rather than as persons. Having said this, I would still urge you, Preach the Word!

This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only.