Mission, missions, missional, and all its linguistic variations are part of the expanding vocabulary and rhetoric of the contemporary Christian missionary enterprise. Its language and assumptions are deeply ingrained in the thought and speech of the church today. Christianity is a missionary religion and faithful churches are mission-minded. What's more, in telling the story of apostles and bishops and monks as missionaries, we think we have grasped the true thread of Christian history. But what about those odd shapes, those unsettling gaps and creases in the historical record? Is the language of mission so clearly evident across the broad reaches of time? Is the trajectory of mission really so explicit from the early church to the present? Or has the modern missionary enterprise distorted our view of the past? As with every reigning paradigm, there comes a point when enough questions surface to beg for a close and critical look, even when it may seem transgressive to do so. In this study of the language of mission--its origin, development, and application--Michael Stroope investigates how the modern church has come to understand, speak of, and engage in the global expansion of Christianity. There is both surprise and hope in this tale. And perhaps the beginnings of a new conversation.