Robinson and Rickey Missions

Robinson photoIf you saw the new movie “42” or know the Jackie Robinson story, you are aware that baseball slugger Jackie Robinson and Dodgers’ General Manager Branch Rickey racially integrated major league baseball in 1947. These men shared both a vision of what needed to be done and the 
motivation to do it out of obedience to Christ. 

We need some Robinsons and Rickeys to integrate missions today. More than 60 years after Robinson first came up to bat for the Dodgers, ethnic diversity is still very poorly reflected in US missionary ranks. The vast majority of American workers are of European descent.  While most agencies would say they welcome workers of color and varied ethnicities, the culture of our traditional missions organizations remains Anglo, and too little has been done to actively recruit African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, or others to join the ranks.

Integration needs to happen on a worldwide scale as well. Fortunately, progress has been faster in the global sphere, and many teams include Asians, South Americans, and Africans working in tandem with North Americans and Europeans. But the missions community needs to wrestle with how to reduce the remaining barriers and give everyone equal voice and power.

Who will bring to the missions integration challenge both the gritty determination and the biblical calling Robinson and Rickey had? Our progress has been too little and embarrassingly late.  But let’s not wait any longer. How can we team up to reshape mission efforts to reflect our multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, global church?

One thought on “Robinson and Rickey Missions

  1. Robinson and Rickey’s committment to stay focused on the goal rather than on their differences is commendable.

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