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Column by Carol Pipes

No matter the cost
Every day as I walk into the five-story building at 4200 North Point Parkway, I’m reminded of the enormous task of reaching every person in North America with the gospel. Our main purpose at the North American Mission Board is to penetrate lostness throughout the U.S. and Canada. As I approach the front doors, a quick glance at the banner above serves as my daily motivation—Whatever It Takes.

While the task at hand seems daunting, I am encouraged by the thought that I labor together with other staff, missionaries, church planters, churches and believers faithful to the task of spreading the gospel throughout North America and the world. It’s exciting and absolutely humbling to think God has called us to do this—ushering in His kingdom.

In this issue of On Mission, you’ll read about five NAMB missionaries featured as part of the annual Week of Prayer for North American Missions, March 4-11, 2012, and Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® (AAEO). The offering helps fund missionaries who are serving for Southern Baptists in North America. With a goal of $70 million, this year’s AAEO theme is “Whatever It Takes.”

Our theme Scripture is Mark 2:1-5. It’s the story of the four men who carried their paralytic friend to Jesus. Not letting a huge crowd stop them from completing their mission, they dug a hole in a roof and lowered their friend right down to the feet of Jesus. It was a bold move, and it demonstrated a whatever- it-takes attitude. Shouldn’t we display that same determination in leading people to Christ?

The best example of this is God’s provision for our salvation and redemption.

God did whatever it took to make things right between us and Him, ultimately giving His Son as a ransom for our very lives. God broke through the ceiling between heaven and earth. His Son lowered Himself to live among us only to be raised up on a cross. He took the burden of every sin—past, present and future—and burdened Himself for our sake. Through a relationship with Him, we are restored and made right with God.

When I think about my own spiritual journey, I imagine the course of a marathon race. (I’m not a runner, but I’ve got a great imagination.) I see myself running down the middle of a street flanked by thousands cheering me on and others running alongside. In the crowd I see the faces of church leaders, Sunday School teachers, co-workers, friends and family members who have served as guides, encouragers and lifelines on my journey. I’ve been blessed by those who did whatever it took to point me to Christ.

What a beautiful picture of Christ’s church.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to reach North America with the gospel? Look around you. Will you join in the work of our Southern Baptist missionaries and help carry those who need Jesus into His presence, no matter the cost?

Carol Pipes, editor
Follow me on Twitter! @carolpipes

4 Spring 2012 •

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