The Christian concept ‘mission’ is experienced by some as a negative term in the postmodern
age of relativism and sensitivity with regard to the perspective and the rights of
others. In this article it is postulated that the term ‘mission’ is only negative when mission is
understood as an aggressive propagandistic persuasion of others from a position of power
(moral high ground). This definition however, is a result of a male-dominated, Kyriarchal
(male dominated) perspective, and by implication is ethnocentric and reductionistic in nature.
Feminist and postcolonial perspectives open the way for an alternative definition of ‘mission’,
which can open up fresh perspectives about mission and ethics in the early Church and these
could be considered and in turn could have far-reaching implications for the manner in which
the Christian mission is understood in a post-modern context. In this article it is investigated
in which way the early Christian ethics of mission created the space within which traditional
imperial dominance, gender, race and ethnicity was transformed with an alternative symbolic
universe resulting from a reconceptualisation of power or empowerment and loving service
from a Christological perspective.