The North American Mission Board sets aside a specific week each year to highlight the work of its missionaries. This year, five missionaries representing thousands of missionaries serving throughout the United States, Canada, and their territories are spotlighted. The other three days focus on ways Southern Baptists are reaching the lost in North America.
N.C. Baptists are encouraged to pray for these ministries and missionaries March 4-11 or at other times and to promote the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, which helps support these efforts. This year’s national goal is $70 million.
The “Whatever It Takes” theme is based on Mark 2:1-5. “Whatever It Takes” means a willingness to engage the lost by starting conversations that lead them to Jesus. Once they decide to follow Christ, we connect them to a church for discipleship and growth – a church with people intent on doing whatever it takes to start more conversations, leading to new converts and more new churches.
Are you willing to do whatever it takes to reach North America with the gospel?
Send North America
Church planting is at the core of the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) national strategy, Send North America. Believing that anything healthy reproduces, NAMB works with partners to plant healthy, reproducing churches with evangelistic passion as part of the New Testament church planting movement among all people groups in the United States, U.S. territories and Canada. A new church in Boston grew out of a Russian Bible study as they began reaching people like Nelya, a medical student from the Ukraine who was recently baptized in the church. Nelya had a works-based idea of salvation. She shared what she thought the gospel meant as, “It’s when you try really hard to gain God’s approval.” When the church planting missionary shared the gospel, Nelya was transformed by the good news of grace found in Romans and now is a growing believer.
›› That Southern Baptist churches will mobilize to plant churches to reach all people.
›› For more individuals to answer the call to be a church planter.
Shaun and Deshni Pillay, Connecticut
Shaun is a church planter and pastor of Cornerstone International Church in Norwich. The church ministers to a large international population, reaching about 14 nationalities. Norwich also has a large homeless community. The church works closely with a downtown soup kitchen, meeting physical needs and directing people to Christ. David, a carpet cleaner, was seeking a church and a new life. He attended the launch service of Cornerstone International Church, where he gave his life to Christ. After two years of discipling, mentoring, and active involvement in the church, David was ordained as its first deacon. Because Shaun was willing to invest his time and share Christ’s love with David, a former drug user and dealer, David’s life has changed and he is impacting his city with the gospel.
›› For Shaun and Deshni as they seek out opportunities to share Christ with the many nationalities in Norwich.
›› For Cornerstone International Church as it reaches and disciples people wherever they are – under bridges, in the soup kitchen, or on the streets.
Jason and Kimberley McGibbon, Canada
Jason is a church planter working to start a new church in Hamilton, a downtown, urban/arts community near Toronto. This new church will be a third-generation church start of The Sanctuary Church and The Sanctuary Church Milton. Recovering from surgery for a brain tumor, Liam, Jason and Kimberley’s son, shared God’s words of comfort from Mark 8 with his surgeon who was visibly upset after sharing that a second surgery would be needed. The story of Jesus’ healing of the blind man was a reminder that God always has a plan. The McGibbons’ trust in God forged a relationship with the surgeon and many others in the Hamilton area, which God used to open their hearts to the possibility of starting a new church.
›› For Jason and Kimberley as they seek people of peace with whom to begin discipleship.
›› For a new church to begin that will grow leaders for a multiplying network of groups.
Josh and Tiffany Lenon, Ohio
As a church planter and pastor of Red Door Church, Josh is leading his church to “spend their lives bringing heaven to earth.” By encouraging members to share the gospel with unbelieving friends, restore homes in broken neighborhoods, and take care of poorer neighbors, Red Door Church is doing whatever it takes to bring people to Christ.Three sisters, all under the age of 25, found themselves alone with a house that needed significant repair and a mortgage they were unable to pay. Their dad had left the family when they were very young. Later, they experienced their mom’s tragic and unexpected death. Volunteers from Red Door Church descended on the house to make repairs, and a connection was formed that is having eternal impact. One of the sisters finally understood and saw God in action. With the help of two Red Door Church members, she is learning what it means to follow Christ.
›› For the community group leaders who are key leaders within Red Door Church to help shepherd and lead.
›› For Josh and Tiffany to remain focused on Jesus and the mission of bringing heaven to earth, and that more churches will take hold of the idea.
Derek and Sharla Osburn, New Mexico
Derek is a church planter and pastor of The Vine Community Church in Clovis, a rural community with a large population of Air Force personnel. As hundreds of military families move into the Clovis community every couple of months, The Vine Community Church seeks new ways to reach them using the Internet. The church’s web presence has enabled many military families to connect and learn about the church even before they move to the area. Men serving overseas use the Vine’s podcasts to lead Bible studies with groups of other military personnel.
›› That The Vine Community Church will be seen as a place where sharing the gospel is priority and where people are welcomed no matter where they have been in life.
›› For Derek and Sharla to model a Christian marriage and to be a strong witness for Christ within the community.
Daniel and Karina Egipciaco, Florida
Daniel is a national church planting missionary working with and training church planters in South Florida, seeking opportunities to start new groups and churches. Sal’s life was in shambles. His marriage was falling apart and he was on the brink of returning to a lifestyle that included dealing drugs. Then he met Daniel, who shared the gospel and invited him to Relevant Church in Miami, a new church plant reaching second-generation Hispanics. There, Sal found healing and restoration with God and with his family. Thanks to Daniel’s willingness to share the gospel, Sal and his family are happily serving Christ within the church.
›› For Daniel and other church planters as they seek partnerships and opportunities to start new churches.
›› For more church planters to answer God’s call to start new churches in South Florida, where 82 percent of the population is lost.
Equipping the Next Generation
Each year NAMB facilitates the placement of more than 1,000 summer, semester, and US/C2 missionaries who work alongside missionaries and church planters. These short-term experiences are a training lab for future career missionaries, church planters and on-mission Christians. These young adults are learning by doing, cultivating their personal passions and skills, and seeing lives changed by Christ.
›› For more individuals to answer God’s call to serve in short-term missions experiences.
›› That short-term missionaries will have godly vision to see the needs of their field of ministry and to develop methods of reaching people for Christ.
Ministry evangelism missionaries love loud through service in a variety of ministry roles such as community, literacy, resort, seafarer, sports evangelism and pregnancy care. Through meeting needs and taking the gospel to people where they are, missionaries are seeing transformation in their communities. They infuse ministry evangelism in the church planting process and know that making disciples of Christ means an investment in people’s lives, which is a critical element in helping a church to grow and be healthy.
›› For Southern Baptist missionaries to be compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others so they can share the good news of Jesus Christ with all people.
›› For doors to be open for new church plants and individuals as they minister to hurting communities.