Statistics… And Why They Matter

As a whole, people think they don’t like statistics and question how much they matter. Honestly, in some instances, statistics can be and are manipulated. For church leaders, if we’re not careful, too much emphasis can be placed on numbers, especially if we forget to associate those numbers with people.

Operation Inasmuch works to gather reports from churches and organizations who conduct Inasmuch Days and/or Inasmuch United events. Most churches help us with sharing their statistics; others wonder why we need or want them and question why anyone needs to know what they are achieving through compassion ministry in their own communities.

I should confess I like statistics. I believe they help us get a glimpse of the impact our efforts are having through ministry and serving. They help us see where we can improve. They help tell the story of Jesus’ followers seeking to “serve the un-served, love the un-loved, and reach the un-churched” through compassion ministry.

For example, here are the statistics we in the Inasmuch ministry gathered in 2018.

  • Nearly 390 churches and organizations, of which 78 are new to Inasmuch, conducted Inasmuch Days or Inasmuch United events.
  • Those churches conducted 2,570 ministry and service projects by nearly 22,000 volunteers who worked over 97,000 hours.
  • They served and impacted 182,552 of their neighbors.
  • When they figured the value of those volunteer hours plus materials, they had a community value-impact of more than three million dollars.

Clearly those statistics help the Operation Inasmuch organization. It helps us tell our story; it encourages our donors to know their investment pays off with people served and huge community value. It helps us gauge our impact, where we need to work harder, how to move ahead in establishing more partnerships and opportunities to work with and encourage more Jesus followers to be obedient to his call to serve “the least of these.”

But how do these numbers help local churches and organizations? Let’s play with the statistics a bit. For example, each participating church or organization served, on average, around 500 people in their community. Imagine, if they choose to join forces with other churches in their community and each of them serve on average 500 people… say five churches work together, they potentially can impact at least 2,500 of their neighbors.

Or, these statistical averages: each participating church, on average, had a community value of over $8,000. 71 people were served per project and each project had an average value of $1,170. Each volunteer served, on average, eight people at a value of $135.

My questions then is this, are participating churches sharing these kinds of impact averages with their congregations? When people realize they are part of serving nearly 200,000 people and their value contributes to over $3 million in community impact I believe that is encouraging. I believe churches should be evaluating all their ministries in this way, asking:

  • “What is the real, hard value of what we are doing?”
  • “What kind of impact are we having on our neighbors?”
  • “How many people are being impacted by our serving and ministering in our community?”

Operation Inasmuch provides a tool for gathering these metrics for evaluation on our website. We believe these kinds of measurements are of significant value for you and your church, and the tool can be used for each of a church’s ministries, not just Operation Inasmuch.

We do ask that you share those reports with us because they are of great value to us! These numbers translate into the impact of ministry in the lives of our neighbors and for the whole community. These numbers are good numbers! Track them, share them, evaluate them and make the Compassion Revolution a valuable impact for the Kingdom of God in your community.

20% Increase in Attendance… WOW!

I don’t know of any church or church leader who wouldn’t want to experience a 20% increase in attendance. In less than a month after a compassion ministry project in their community, Union City Baptist Church, in a rural farming community near Richmond, KY, has reported their experience of that increase following an Inasmuch event conducted in September of this year. 

Union City Baptist has been conducting Inasmuch Days and Inasmuch United events with a neighboring church since its first effort in the spring of 2016. After that first Inasmuch Day the church committed to conducting two Inasmuch events each year – one in the spring and one in the fall. From May 2016 through September 2018 the church has produced a total of 200 volunteers who have worked over 1,600 hours on 21 projects. They have served nearly 1,200 of their neighbors at a community value of almost $41,000.

Those are the kinds of statistics a church can amass when it commits to be the hands, feet, eyes and heart of Jesus in their own communities. Union City Baptist has been averaging around 100 each week in worship and between 40-45 in Bible study before their last Inasmuch Day. In the weeks since, the church has experienced an increase of around 20 people each Sunday in both worship and Sunday School. “God is working in our church family and in our community,” according to Inasmuch church coordinator, Bill Hendricks. Bill added, “I believe people are impressed when churches work together and when they see men, especially, leading and serving.” In the Spring the Baptist church joins its neighbor Christian church in conducting projects involving all ages working together. [Read more…]

International Expressions of Operation Inasmuch

First Eastside Baptist Church Inasmuch Day

On Saturday August 4, I had the privilege of meeting Pastor Khem Arcojada, his mother, Aida, from the Philippines, and his sister and her family who now live in Virginia. Khem is the pastor of First Eastside Baptist Church in Valencia City, Bukidnon, Philippines where his father was the pastor until his death. The Arcojadas were in the US visiting family and were able to drop by to see our offices and to share how Inasmuch impacted their church and their community.

David Smith, formerly of the Radford area of Virginia, introduced the Inasmuch model in the Philippines and sponsored the Inasmuch Day at First Eastside in Valencia City. David now lives in the Philippines with his wife and her family.

Earlier in the summer we received a report from Rwenzori Organization for Children Living Under Difficult Circumstances (ROCDiC) in Kasese, Uganda. The first contact we had with Ivan, the director of the ministry for refugee young people, was a request for Operation Inasmuch shirts for them to wear as they served another ministry in their area. In early June the staff and residents of ROCDiC wanted to give back and chose to conduct an Inasmuch Day by serving the Burumbika Health Center. They completed several projects around the grounds and facilities there. View pictures from their event here. [Read more…]

Hundreds of Orphans Fed

For the second consecutive year, Operation Inasmuch is shipping 130,000 nutritious meals to Guatemala which will provide good food to many hundreds of orphans in that country. Operation Inasmuch has partnered with Orphans Resources International (PA) to make this food available to some of the most vulnerable people on the planet.

David Crocker, Founder of Operation Inasmuch, says: “We are extremely pleased to be able to provide so much nutritious food at no cost to Guatemalan children. Many of us have seen the devastation brought on by a major eruption in that poor country. Our hope is the food we have given will help alleviate some of the suffering there.”

Some of the children at these orphanages are shown in this article receiving the food donated by Inasmuch. The food is prepared on site and served warm to the children.

The Inasmuch ministry began offering food packing events to churches and other groups as an extension of our ministry five years ago. We did not seek this opportunity, but it is now clear that God brought it to us. Altogether Inasmuch has staged packing events in four states totaling about 750,000 meals… and most of these meals have gone to Guatemala. [Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

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…]