What About the Next 10 Years?

In the article by our founder, Dr. David Crocker, celebrates and remembers the ten years since the beginning of the full-time Inasmuch ministry. Incredible things have occurred because of the faithfulness and blessing of God over these last ten years.

Dr. Crocker ended with this, “What do the next 10 years hold for Inasmuch? We don’t know…”  And he’s correct, it is impossible to project ten years down the road. However, in the Fall of 2015 the board and ministry leadership gathered for a “futuring” retreat led by consultant, George Bullard. From our conversations and dreaming, George “sketched” out a possible story for ten years from now. With those broad-strokes we are moving forward with some goals, hopes and yes, dreams for the future.

Perhaps the largest goal driving our work is the development of a Compassion Revolution Network of churches who are part of the Inasmuch family of churches. These are the 2,000 or so churches who have conducted Inasmuch Days, Inasmuch United Days and who are embarking on Inasmuch Life. Our hope is that this network will serve as a support fellowship for churches driven to live out the compassion ministry Jesus has called us to and exampled for us.

A BIG and exciting event is being planned to help kick-off the network and to encourage churches to become part of the Compassion Revolution we believe Operation Inasmuch has begun. August 2-4 of 2018 will be the first Compassion Revolution Network Conference. It will be hosted by Central Baptist Church of Bearden in Knoxville, TN. Rick Rusaw, author of The Externally Focused Church and The Externally Focused Quest: Becoming the Best Church for the Community, and an endorser of the Inasmuch book, will be the keynote speaker for two plenary sessions on Friday. Singer and composer Ken Medema will be the worship leader. Thursday night will feature a recognition and celebration banquet recognizing Dr. Crocker as Founder for his dedication over the years to building this incredible ministry, plus honoring some of the outstanding efforts by various churches. Friday will offer two worship sessions along with two break-out sessions and Saturday morning will have an additional time for break-outs. The conference will end Saturday before noon with worship and “convocation” for the Compassion Revolution Network.

Help us celebrate and continuing the story into a fruitful future of Kingdom ministry by planning to be part of the Conference. Get the word out! Invite churches and friends to be part of the Operation Inasmuch future. Be watching for “save the date” information coming out later this year.

Happy Birthday, Inasmuch!

Where were you ten years ago? What were you involved in that had the potential of impacting the Kingdom of God?

A small group—no more than 40 people—was assembled in the Beaver Creek Country Club, Knoxville, Tennessee dining room on January, 2007 for the purpose of launching the full-time ministry Operation Inasmuch, Inc.  While documents establishing the ministry officially with the IRS (501-c-3 status) and the state of Tennessee (charter) had already been filed, until January, 2007, the Inasmuch ministry as we know it today did not exist.

“There was excitement, for sure,” says David Crocker, Founder and only employee of Inasmuch at the time, “but there were more than a few questions for which only time would provide the answers. Will this work? Will churches want to do Inasmuch in sufficient numbers to make the ministry viable? Will Inasmuch succeed where other start-up non-profits have failed in large numbers? Is Inasmuch sustainable?”

The red states indicate states impacted by Operation Inasmuch as of December 2016.

Well, ten years into the journey, one would have to say that all the questions looming beneath the surface in 2007 have been answered resoundingly and convincingly in a positive way! Consider that churches in 24 states and 4 other countries have conducted Inasmuch events in these 10 years; . . . or that more than a few of those churches tell us Inasmuch has transformed them and, in some cases, their community; . . . or that a full menu of resources has been rolled out including extensions of the typical one-day event—Inasmuch United and Inasmuch LIFE.

“I was more than a little reluctant to launch the Inasmuch ministry,” says Crocker, “not because I doubted its merits or marketability to put it in business terms, but because I doubted myself. I had no experience in leading a non-profit so I just wasn’t sure I could do it. But God showed me in some very clear ways that He intended to use this ministry to help more and more of His people learn how to become the hands and feet of Jesus.  In late fall of 2006, two critical pieces ‘fell into place,’ i.e., God showed me He would provide everything we needed when we needed it. So, we stepped out in 2007 and have never looked back!”

No one should be surprised by how all this happened. God has a very long record of taking unlikely and untrained people to do Kingdom stuff. See Moses, David, and the disciples to mention a few. There is no way to explain what has taken place over these ten years without God’s leadership and provision! We humans often are much too quick to credit ourselves for accomplishments. But when it comes to Kingdom matters, if it happens, it is because God makes it happen.

The story of Operation Inasmuch is another story of God first giving this model of community ministry to the right church—Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, Fayetteville, NC–at the right time, then so arranging events as to give it wider exposure to thousands of congregations so His Church can get back to the compassion ministry Jesus modeled in the First Century.

What do the next 10 years hold for Inasmuch? We don’t know, BUT we DO know Who Does know and Who will shape those years and, furthermore, Who will provide whatever is needed to do what He calls us to do and go where He wants us to go.

What’s in Your Toolbox?

Every minister that has been at it for a while has a toolbox of ministries—ideas, programs, “tricks of the trade” he has used in prior places of service.  These are tried and true ideas he can implement in a new place of service which will enhance his church’s effectiveness as well as the congregation’s confidence in their pastor.

Pastor David Grinnell of People’s Memorial Christian Church, Burlington, North Carolina has Operation Inasmuch in his toolbox and he knows how to use it!  It served him well in a Baptist church in Jefferson and Hickory, North Carolina and it has “worked” well again recently at People’s Memorial where 136 volunteers completed 24 projects serving 972 people in need in the Burlington community. [Read more…]

Inasmuch Facilitates Public-Private Partnership

Public-private partnerships are the rage in communities—collaborative efforts involving public or governmental entities, private agencies and churches.  Just such a partnership took place in May in High Point, North Carolina and Inasmuch was the tool that brought it together.

When David Crocker visited with the principals of this partnership in June, they were thrilled with how well their Inasmuch event went.  They had more volunteers than they needed.  They saved the City many thousands of dollars since the home repairs were done by volunteers.  The president of the Home Owners Association in the neighborhood where the projects took place said more owners have joined the HOA and a general sense of pride in the neighborhood has been on the rise since the Inasmuch event.  A well done video tells the story of this amazing partnership.  It may be seen above or by clicking here. [Read more…]

Inasmuch Exported to Guatemala

One of David Crocker’s favorite lines (he often uses it in training churches to conduct Inasmuch events) is “When you do what God tells you to do, He always has more in mind.”

Again and again, this truth has shown up in the Inasmuch ministry.  God opens a door and invites Inasmuch to go through it, and, lo and behold, fresh, unforeseen opportunities are revealed!

Such has been the case with Inasmuch’s experiences in Guatemala.  In 2014 the ministry shipped a full shipping container of more than 252,000 meals to Guatemala which were distributed by mission teams visiting there throughout the summer of that year.  David Crocker and Board member Corky Corcoran were among those who went with a mission team from Central Baptist Church of Johnson City, TN.  A video showing the distribution of these meals may be seen by clicking here. [Read more…]

Schools Get Boost from Inasmuch

United Sweetwater

Increasingly, public schools are considered off-limits for churches and church groups.  Not so in Sweetwater, Tennessee.  At their May meeting, the Sweetwater School Board recognized four churches that held their first Inasmuch United Sweetwater for the work they did on behalf of several of their schools in April.  Three hundred volunteers from First Baptist, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist and First Assembly of God fanned out throughout the small town between Knoxville and Chattanooga conducting 26 Inasmuch projects and serving their community including work done at the schools.

In 2015, First Baptist, Sweetwater conducted their first Inasmuch Day with two-thirds of their members participating.  Encouraged by that success, they wanted to make it bigger and better this year, so they invited the 3 other congregations to join them.  David Crocker trained a team from all the churches how to expand the Inasmuch Day to an Inasmuch United.  At least six other congregations in Sweetwater have already asked if they can participate in 2017!! [Read more…]

Shining the Light in the Sunshine State

FBC Palmetto

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14, ESV) Jesus came as the light of the world and called his followers to shine his light for all the world to see and to know.

His light was very evident in the Sunshine State over the past few weeks! First Baptist Church of Palmetto, FL near Bradenton conducted its first Inasmuch Day on Saturday, Feb. 27. You can read about it from the local newspaper here, and you can see it at from a TV news article here.

More than 400 members worked together to be the hands, feet, eyes and heart of Christ as they fanned out across Palmetto creating a Compassion Revolution in their community. It is always amazing when the value of such volunteer hours of ministry are calculated – current IRS value of a volunteer hour is $23.07! Those 400 plus volunteers generated over $36,000 worth of service making their community a better place by serving the unserved, loving the unloved and reaching the unchurched! [Read more…]

“Training Up” in 2016!

In Proverbs 22:6 it reminds us how important good beginnings and valuable training are, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (ESV)

John and Logan

New friends, John and Logan.

The picture is of my new friend, Logan, who attended the North Carolina Region 8 NC OIAM 2016 training in Shelby, NC Saturday, January 9.  He is a great “poster-child” for Operation Inasmuch!  But it is because of the example and leadership of his father that he and his brother are committed participants in the Compassion Revolution.

OIAM is involved again in 2016 with NC Baptist Men and NC Baptists on Mission emphasizing “whole church and whole community” ministry through Inasmuch Days April 30-May 7.  David Crocker and John Daugherty are conducting regional training across the state in January and February “training up” folks to be effective in meeting people in their communities at the point of their needs.  Hundreds of churches across the state will be conducting Inasmuch Days and Inasmuch United Days moving from the pews of their churches into the streets of their communities as part of the Compassion Revolution being the hands, feet, eyes and hearts of Christ. [Read more…]

First Statewide Inasmuch Held in Kentucky

Kentucky Group

2015 marked the first year that Kentucky Baptist Convention churches were invited, encouraged and trained to conduct a statewide Inasmuch effort. Over 130 churches attended regional trainings in preparation for an emphasis for Inasmuch Days in the fall of 2015.

 

KY Landscaping

Through the end of November we know these amazing results. 104 churches have already conducted Inasmuch Days, and some of those were done as Inasmuch United efforts through associations and in communities. Those 104 churches turned out 4,937 volunteers who in turn completed 28,153 projects. Laundry was paid for, gas was purchased, landscaping, painting, home repair, wheelchair ramps, and roofs were completed and repaired. But more importantly, lives and communities were changed!  [Read more…]

Operation Inasmuch and Carson-Newman University Share an Anniversary

Ten Years and Counting for Inasmuch at Carson-Newman University

1116

When were your values formed?  When in your development did you decide what you wanted to be involved in?  Most of us would answer these questions “in my college years.”

Knowing this, Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, has promoted community service for all of their students and Inasmuch has been a major piece of this strategy.  October 24 was the 10th Operation Inasmuch at Carson-Newman with more than 550 students and faculty involved.  A special video was made for the occasion and it may be viewed at:  Celebration Video.

At the kickoff gathering prior to the students scattering throughout the Jefferson City area and beyond to serve
needy families and agencies, Dr. Randall O’Brien, President of Carson-Newman expressed his gratitude for the partnership the school has enjoyed for 10 years with Inasmuch.  He said that Inasmuch has been a sort of stack pole for much of what they have done in the way of community service.  It has been a way for hundreds of students to get taste of service, then move on from there to serve at other times and in other ways throughout their college experience.  [Read more…]