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Jason Harris

Jason loves to communicate God's word both in the local church and at conferences and retreats. Jason has been involved with Worship Music since 1996 and InFocus since 2005. Jason has degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research and is currently a PhD candidate and lecturer in the College of Business, Law, and Governance at James Cook University, Cairns. Jason is also a pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at jason@teaminfocus.com.au.

14 Comments

  1. avatar

    Albert

    John Piper’s Let The Nations Be Glad is an excellent and detailed resource on this question.
    .
    Some of the catch-phrases,,, “Missions exists for the Glory of God” & “Missions exists because worship doesn’t” have their origin in this work.

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  2. avatar

    Mark E

    you can run….. :)

    It leads to the same conclusion though…that mission is the objective of ‘this age that we live in’ The age of grace.

    God’s object and aim is that all would call upon the name of the Lord, He is not willing that any should suffer and die without Christ, but that all would be saved…to His glory. So the primary objective of the church is mission, because its God’s primary objective…for His glories sake.

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  3. avatar

    Jason Harris

    Albert,

    Would love to read that one sometime. Thanks for the comment.

    Mark,

    Your conclusion doesn’t stand because your premise doesn’t stand. Where in Scripture do we see that mission is God’s primary objective? There’s the GC, but that’s just a command. There are hundreds of commands.

    You really need to address my pre-fall argument before dismissing my conclusion.

    Reply
  4. avatar

    James

    The only problem I see with your pre-fall argument is that it almost assumes God had ‘no idea’ that the fall would happen when he created us.

    What if he did know? Mission may well still be his plan, ‘knowing’ the fall would happen. Perhaps before time started God planned to send Jesus to atone for what he KNEW would happen, and then his people would set out with mission is a primary goal. Bringing God’s eternal plan (to glorify Jesus in death and resurrection and then bring all of mankind back to God through mission via Jesus death)

    Sorry, I didn’t have long to type this so it isn’t a ‘full argument’ but It is a basic idea.

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  5. avatar

    Jason Harris

    James,

    Scripture clearly teaches that God not only knew that the fall would occur, but sovereignly foreordained certain things to happen before He even created the world.

    There is no question that God intends to be glorified through mission (see Eph 2). But that doesn’t answer the question of why He created man in the first place. It doesn’t answer the ultimate question: what is the chief end of man?

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  6. avatar

    Mark E

    to glorify God….by choosing to follow Him and love Him of his own free will…..which will only happen if the Church engages in the primary command of Jesus Christ, to engage itself in Mission.

    Reply
  7. avatar

    Robert Apps

    I have been pondering your post and let me give some thoughts:-

    -there have been obvious abuses with the ‘souls at all costs’ approach, eg, shallow professions, zero repentance, poor follow-up, discipleship, etc. So we want to avoid that.

    -Before the fall, God made man for an intended loving relationship; man was made in God’s image after all.

    -The Fall changed that, though God knew that before the time and made provision for salvation through His Son.

    -The purpose in Christ coming was to restore was what lost by Adam, eg that sinners might become saints and be brought back into worship and service of God

    -The church’s mission is to preach the Gospel to every creature, discipling them with all things that Christ taught (as well as all the Scriptures). That is Christ’s explicit command to those he left behind.

    -The purpose of missions is to glorify God and accomplish his purposes. Those who believe are the beneficiaries of this mission.

    -The famed writer Scroggie, wrote a book about the Bible called ‘The Unfolding Drama of Redemption’. It is a great description of the purpose of God in sending Christ.

    So I am wondering is there any conflict in the primary role of the church being the pursuit of missions to bring about God’s glory?

    Remember that ‘missions’ doesn’t stop at conversion-that is just the beginning of discipleship.

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  8. avatar

    James

    “to glorify God….by choosing to follow Him and love Him of his own free will…..which will only happen if the Church engages in the primary command of Jesus Christ, to engage itself in Mission.”

    Can I say an amen?

    Seriously, the chief end of ‘man’ is to glorify God. The chief purpose of the church is to encourage all of ‘man’ to be bringing glory to God by being in relationship with him. This ONLY happens through mission.

    Reply
  9. avatar

    Gordon

    I am one of those so ingloriously described as a ‘Baptist Union gentleman’. I see no incongruity between seeking to be faithful to a missionary God, who is at work in the world to bring about His redmeptive purposes – and to keeping the ‘main thing the main thing’.

    I cannot worship God in isolation to my missionary responsibilities, and I cannot busy myself in missionary work without God being the very centre of that. there’s way to much straw flying around in your circular argument.

    I suspect we are all in agreeance, but not on our semantics.

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  10. avatar

    Jason Harris

    Mark,

    Sorry for the delay. I’ve had a busy weekend.

    You say “to glorify God….by choosing to follow Him and love Him of his own free will…..which will only happen if the Church engages in the primary command of Jesus Christ, to engage itself in Mission.”

    It seems to me that this whole mindset creates a functionally man-centred focus. In other words, “to glorify God” is not the important part… it can never stand on it’s own. It’s got to be followed with “by…”

    Granted all those other things are important and they do bring glory to God, but in doing so, they do not become the chief end of man. The idea of enjoying God forever is not mission. It will always lead to mission, but it is not mission.

    At the end of the day, God-centred thinking leads to mission, but it feels different from mission that comes from man-centred thinking.

    Reply
  11. avatar

    Jason Harris

    Robert,

    I agree with your points for the most part. But when we talk about the great redemptive focus of Scripture, we have to realise, God does not redeem us for us. He redeems us for Him! That whole redemptive story is about His glory, not ours.

    I believe Seeker Sensitive thinking has for the most part missed the point of mission. If it’s all about God, we’re going to cater to His sensitivities first.

    I believe the primary role of the church is not the great commission, but the great commandment. And the second is like unto it, the great commission.

    James,

    You said “The chief purpose of the church is to encourage all of ‘man’ to be bringing glory to God by being in relationship with him.”

    I addressed this in my quote about God being just as glorified in the damnation of the unbelieving as in the salvation of the believing. God is not only glorified when we are in right relationship with Him.

    Gordon,

    Great to see you over here! “Inglorious.” You make it sound like I insulted you! lol I didn’t mean it to come across that way.

    I agree with you basically about the complementary way mission and God’s glory work. And there is certainly much I need to learn about living missionally or redemptively.

    My great concern is what I mentioned earlier, at the end of the day, God-centred thinking leads to mission, but it feels different from mission that comes from man-centred thinking.

    I’ve observed the man-centred side within the Independent Baptist movement. I find it interesting that many IB’s and the Seeker Sensitive movement both follow the same premise, though they end up looking very different in practice.

    Reply
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