Need + Passion = Lifestyle Compassion Ministry

Bill and Judi Willard had no intention of establishing a regular, long-term ministry to the veterans at the Veterans Restoration Quarters (VRQ) in Asheville, NC, when they agreed to prepare and serve breakfast one Saturday as one of the projects of the Beverly Hills Baptist Church (Asheville) Inasmuch Day, but that’s what happened. That was 2008. Ten years later they and friends from their church are preparing and serving a home-cooked meal to about 100 veterans once a month. (Judi is the youngest sister of David Crocker.)

David Crocker, Founder of the Inasmuch ministry, often says: “When we do what God tells us to do, He always has more in mind.” With the Willards, it was to serve up fried okra and/or pork loin and/or made-from-scratch cake or a variety of menus to the veterans at the VRQ every month for 10+ years.

The Willards have gotten their Sunday School Class involved, too. For a while the Willards were covering the costs of the meals they served but it became more than they could do, so they asked the class to help. Now the class totally covers the costs. Also, as many as 20 members of the class have served alongside the Willards from time to time.

One of them is Bud, a retired retail manager and Army veteran, says passion is the key to lifestyle compassion ministry. He points out that Bill particularly has a passion for veterans probably because his mother was a nurse at a VA hospital for 25 years. The need of the vets added to the passion for serving vets has led to Lifestyle Compassion Ministry (LCM) for the Willards. It may not be too much to say that the “formula” for LCM is Need + Passion (for serving, for serving a particular group).

One volunteer with this ministry recently was Diego, a 15 year old who is limited by his cerebral palsy. When asked why he chooses to help prepare lunch for veterans, he said, “I love it. It gives me a chance to give back.”

The eighty-something mother of another volunteer said, “I’ve never been involved in anything like this before. I love cooking and when I know it’s for people who really need it and appreciate it, well it doesn’t get any better than that.”

The ultimate goal of the Inasmuch ministry is to see more believers engaged in lifestyle compassion ministry – ongoing, regular ministry to people in need in the name of Jesus and in which meaningful relationships are established and nurtured. A few participants in an Inasmuch Day find their way to LCM, aka Inasmuch Life, on their own, but not as many as we would like. According to the experience of Bill and Judi Willard, perhaps we should look for ways to match up the everyday needs of people with people who have a passion to serve those needs and let God do the rest… using the Inasmuch model of ministry, of course.

Simply Show Up

Sometimes, all we need to do is share a story. Thanks to our friend, Hal Melton, Associate Pastor of Missions and Senior Adults at Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC for sharing this wonderful testimony from Rev. Elizabeth Burgess and the project she led on their Inasmuch Day April 25 of this year.

 

“Prior to departing for our Inasmuch Wake Med adventure, our group gathered to momentarily reflect on why we were going. More than a project, it was our hope that this morning would bring opportunities to share the love of God and the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Together we acknowledged that failure to bear and share fruit in the Christian life is to keep others from being blessed as God intended.

As it turned out, I believe our hospital visit that morning was on the calendar long before any one of us knew we would be going. Among our first encounters was a family going through a crisis. A member of our group found these weary and worn souls camping out in the critical care waiting area. For them, a warm breakfast provided much needed comfort and sustainment. Our team members with the gift of hospitality were quick to serve. Others stepped up to offer words of encouragement. [Read more…]

Leaving Our Mark on the Community

West Cabarrus Church in Concord, NC is one of dozens of churches who conducted an Inasmuch Day as part of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention statewide emphasis held the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May this year. From as early as 2013 the church has found that Operation Inasmuch is a valuable tool for mobilizing large numbers of their members into the community.

“West Cabarrus Church is a regional church, drawing members from a large area near the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Concord Mills Mall and we wanted to draw our circle a bit tighter to minister to those who live closest to us,” according to Pastor to Students and Families, Charlie Cole who served as the event coordinator. He continued, “we found a trailer park very near the church housing primarily Hispanic families and concentrated a large part of our work there deploying 40 or more volunteers to work on five homes.”

In addition to doing landscaping, light house repair, both inside and outside of these homes, and sharing food the church’s Missions and Hispanic pastor, Pastor David Bogran, along with some of the members of the Hispanic ministry, WCC Espanol, went door-to-door offering to pray with the families and sharing the good news of Jesus. In just that one neighborhood they experienced seven residents who accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. “There were fifteen people from that neighborhood who attended the services of WCC Espanol the Sunday after the project!” Pastor Cole rejoiced. [Read more…]

Quarters for Jesus

How long would it take to collect $700 in quarters? Answer: 2.5 months . . . IF you go to Sunday School classes every week during that period of time . . . and IF you are collecting quarters for an Inasmuch laundromat project . . . and IF you have a cute, little girl dressed in an Inasmuch shirt collecting for you!

David Crocker (former Executive Director of the national Operation Inasmuch ministry), Interim Pastor of First Baptist Church, Weaverville, NC says: “When we decided to include in our Inasmuch event this spring ministering to people at the local laundromat by feeding the washing machines and dryers quarters as well as otherwise helping people with their laundry, we were told it would take a lot of quarters to do that. So, we made that a weekly collection task during Sunday School and we collected far more quarters than we needed!”

Pictured here is Carissa Alexander, a first grader at FBC, Weaverville who was tapped by Crocker to go from class to class asking for quarters. It became something everyone looked forward to. Some brought medicine bottles or sandwich bags filled with quarters. Some gave “folding money” which was later changed into quarters.

Crocker says: “The plastic jug we used to collect the quarters soon became too heavy for Carissa to carry, so we found a small wagon in which she placed the jug and pulled the wagon from class to class. It was one of the most effective fundraising efforts I’ve ever seen! Let’s just say the class of senior adult men were helpless against Carissa’s pleas for quarters!”

In addition to raising a lot of quarters, collecting quarters for Jesus became one of the most talked about things we did to promote our Inasmuch event. As Carissa was collecting quarters in a classroom filled with adults, Crocker reminded everyone about the upcoming Inasmuch event and how they could be involved. The church had 75 percent of their average Sunday morning attendance involved in their Inasmuch event.

First Baptist Church partnered with Weaverville United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, and Woodland Hills Church for Inasmuch United Weaverville on April 28, 2018. Two hundred volunteers completed 22 projects, served 1,254 people for a dollar value of $18,332 for their event.

Crocker quips: “This is what I will be remembered for at First Baptist, not the sermons I preached or visits I made, but the collection of quarters for Jesus. And that’s just fine with me!”

Compassion Revolution is Springing Up All Over

Do you keep up with Operation Inasmuch on Facebook and other social media sites? If not, you’re missing out on the amazing Compassion Revolution that is taking place in so many towns, states, and countries.

You can see pictures and read about Inasmuch Days from Moon’s Chapel Baptist of Siler City, NC; St. Andrew’s Lutheran of Columbia, SC; Immanuel Baptist of Nashville, TN; Campbell University of Buies Creek, NC; and Ferry Farm Baptist of Fredericksburg, VA just to name a few. You’ll also see pictures of Inasmuch United events from Fort Myers, FL; Sweetwater, TN; Hope Hull, AL; and Weaverville, NC. There is even a report and pictures from First Eastside Baptist in Valencia City, Philippines!

Volunteers from Moon’s Chapel Baptist.

In addition to Inasmuch Days, there are also reports from various meal packing events. These events prepare the ready-to-heat meals for Guatemalan orphanages and for local distribution. Just this spring, Inasmuch has helped conduct meal packing events at Vestavia Hills Baptist of Birmingham, AL; Heritage Baptist of Cartersville, GA; First Baptist of Sweetwater, TN; and the Ball Camp Baptist and Inasmuch United Knoxville meal packing events in Knoxville, TN.

We are honored to share the stories of the wonderful events where the church leaves the building and connects with their communities in redemptive and hopeful ways. There are hundreds of churches providing thousands of volunteers who put in tens of thousands of hours and touch hundreds of thousands of their neighbors’ lives by being Christ in practical ways. These events give hope, introduce eternal life in Christ, and make powerful impacts on their communities worth literally millions of dollars every year. [Read more…]

It’s Conference Time!

Operation Inasmuch, Inc. is hosting the first Compassion Revolution Network Conference August 2-4, 2018 in Knoxville TN. We’ve mailed out nearly 2,000 Conference brochures, have been posting information on our Facebook page and website www.operationinasmuch.org, AND NOW, the conference website is up and running where you can learn more, register, and make hotel reservations at www.compassionrevolutionconference.com.

On Friday and Saturday of the conference we will be offering over 30 break-out sessions featuring George Bullard of Faith-Soaring Churches and the Columbia Metro Baptist Association in Columbia, SC, Eddie Hammett of Transforming Solutions, and Mark Tidsworth of Pinnacle Leadership Associates, all leading church consultants and coaches sharing thoughts and ideas about mobilizing congregations into the future. There will also be sessions led by Executive Director, John Daugherty, and Founder, David Crocker, about various aspects of Operation Inasmuch. We have other great presenters addressing various outreach and ministry opportunities. There will be several sessions with panel discussions on Inasmuch project and promotion ideas, managing Inasmuch United, and more from Inasmuch experiences.

But we still want to hear from you! We have some folks lined up for the panel discussions, but we’d like to extend an invitation for more of you to serve on a panel discussion group. If you have great project ideas, thoughts on funding, really creative promotion ideas, or have been involved in Inasmuch United in your communities we’d like to hear from you and have you participate. [Read more…]

NC Churches Experience Renewal Through Inasmuch

2018 marks the 10th year of North Carolina Baptist Missions partnering with Operation Inasmuch in an every-other-year, state-wide emphasis and regional training events. Beginning January 27 through March 3, 2018, there will be regionalInasmuch Day training events for each of the ten regions designated within the Missions Department of the Convention. Executive Director, John Daugherty, and Founder, David Crocker, will be conducting these events.

Logan and John at a 2016 NC training event.

The relationship between Operation Inasmuch and the NC Baptist State Convention actually began in the late1990’s when Dr. Crocker was senior pastor at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, Fayetteville, NC. He along other church leaders designed the model for an Inasmuch Day event. Snyder Memorial has continued to lead the annual “Blitz” Inasmuch Day for 22 years which has now become a large United event involving as many as 20 other churches in the Fayetteville area. Within two or three years of designing the model, there was growing interest in sharing the model throughout the state of NC. [Read more…]

5 Free Bible Study Apps

Having easy access to technology and data can be a pain when you’re at the dinner table and no one is paying attention to anything other than their phone. But that same easy access can be very beneficial if used appropriately. Did you know that there are literally hundreds of free apps that you can download on your favorite mobile device to read just about any version of the Bible? Finding the right one for you can be challenging, though. So I have reached out to friends who regularly use apps to get some honest feedback. Below are the top 5 apps for Bible study/reading that they shared with me.

[Read more…]

Compassion Revolution Networking Conference

Hope you’re “saving-the-date!”

Operation Inasmuch, Inc. is hosting the first Compassion Revolution Network Conference August 2-4, 2018 in Knoxville TN.  We’ve mailed out nearly 2,000 “Save-the-Date” cards, and posted information on our Facebook page, and a conference website will soon be up linked from www.operationinasmuch.org.

On Friday and Saturday of the conference we will be offering between 30-40 break-out sessions featuring some leading church consultants and coaches sharing thoughts and ideas about mobilizing congregations into the future.  There will also be sessions led by Executive Director John Daugherty and Founder David Crocker. [Read more…]

Inasmuch Feeds Orphans

Volunteers from Central Baptist of Bearden in Knoxville packing meals.

For the third time in four years, Operation Inasmuch has sent thousands of meals to Guatemala… this time to feed orphans in as many as 50 orphanages.  In two food packing events in Knoxville, Tennessee 100,000 meals were prepared by about 450 volunteers.  This month these meals were shipped to Guatemala and will be distributed by Orphans Resources to children in 50 orphanages.  Visit our Facebook page to view pictures from the events.

Rod Martin, President of Orphans Resources says: “I would like to thank Operation Inasmuch and all their supporters who put this food together.  It will go to 50+ orphanages in Guatemala Central America and feed 2700 orphans.  The homes tell us many times that they could not exist without the donations of food products.  May God bless you richly for caring for the orphans as God has directed his people to do so many times in the Bible.”

Food packing projects have been an auxiliary ministry within the larger Inasmuch ministry since 2013.  David Crocker, Founder of the Inasmuch ministry and coordinator of the packing projects says: “When we got into the packing ‘business’ we really didn’t know what to expect.  We knew it fit who we are and what we do in terms of our mission, but we weren’t sure how it would go.  Well, here we are several years and about three quarters of a million meals later no longer wondering about it!”

“In our first year, we packed more than 300,000 meals,” says Crocker.  “The next year we did about the same.  And this year we have done 140,000 meals and expect to exceed 250,000 by year end.” [Read more…]