The End of Mission

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So mission will not end when the last of the people groups is reached. We are not sent because of the temporary need in the world (which is indeed great!) because God is a sending God and He is glorified in our obedience. We must recognize that mission is the very nature of God and the basis of our relationship to Him. Mission isn’t a task to be finished, it’s our identity in Christ.

E. Goodman, The Anthropological Approach to Missions

Mission did not begin with the the Great Commission, nor with our modernistic interpretation of people groups in the 1970′s. Mission is the movement of God. It will not end when all the “unreached” have been “reached,” or when the “unengaged” have been “engaged” (and none of those words are biblical). No, mission will end when we are gathered around the throne, worshiping at the foot of the Most High God.

About E. Goodman

Ernest Goodman is a missiologist, writer, teacher, and communications strategist.


  1. Ernest, why do you say mission will end when we are all gathered around the throne, worshipping? How do you know that? I’m assuming there are Scripture passages and a whole theology that backs that up. By asking you, I’m not saying I disagree. For a long time, I have felt conflicted about the notion that at some point, mission ends. Even if that’s when Christ is fully revealed. To me, if mission ends, the story ends. I do not know story apart from mission. And if the story ends, then what? Is there a new kind of mission after “the mission” is complete? Does anyone else wonder this, or am I alone, lost in some philosophical funk?

  2. Johanna,
    We say that mission will end when we’re worshipping around the throne because this is the goal of mission– that all of creation is restored to its original purpose of worshipping the Creator. I often wonder what might come “after” that (I use quotation marks because I’m not sure we’ll continue to be bound by time as we now know it), and I don’t think we’ll know on this side of things. But we can be sure that there will, in fact, be an end to this story. God has proclaimed the end since, well, the beginning.

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