The Grove Evangelism series is taking a slight change of direction by incorporating thinking about mission into its agenda of practical evangelism, working in partnership with CMS. As part of this, the latest title is an exploration of mission and evangelism from a theological perspective. It is written by Tim Naish, who teaches at Ripon College Cuddesdon, having himself had a range of mission experience. Tim begins with an exploration of biblical terms—starting by noting that ‘mission’ is not one of them!
Broadly speaking, there are two ways of beginning to explore the meanings of words: their derivation and history, or their present use. One reasonable place for Christians to start down the former path is with the Bible. However, looking at three representative modern English translations, we nd the word ‘mission’ only once in each: in the NRSV and NIV at Acts 12.25, and in the New Jerusalem Bible at Acts 20.24. In all three cases it translates the Greek word diakonia (elsewhere usually rendered as ‘ministry’ or ‘service’).