Longtime missions worker and ministry leader Leroy Barber challenges the tenet in practice in one of the church’s best-loved children’s songs in his new book Red, Brown, Yellow, Black, White—Who’s More Precious In God’s Sight: A Call for Diversity in Christian Missions and Ministry.
Exposing a huge racial divide within mission staff and leadership, Barber says this separation prevents church outreach teams from being able to relate, and thus minister effectively, in inner-city and urban communities nationwide.
Addressing a taboo topic with grace and tough-love, Barber highlights the historical patterns that created racial discrepancies within ministry and reveals what diversity is truly needed with urban missions. Barber also gives concrete solutions to correct the situation peppered with two decades’ worth of observations and experiences as a black man in a white-dominated field.
Barber writes of key differences in the way white and black not-for-profit leaders lead, relate to donors, and engage in ministry but casts a vision for a different way forward, utilizing the strength of all. “Missions represent God’s kingdom on earth. We need to grow together as Christians to rid the prejudice and division that our predecessors have seemingly cemented into our ethos. I reject the idea that all is lost and that recovery is impossible.”
With grace, insider expertise, and insightful understanding, Barber explores one of the most sensitive issues facing today’s Christian ministries, offering practical and comprehensive solutions for creating a more diverse future.
In this video, Leroy talks candidly about why he wrote this book.