Three Areas to Help Your Church Thrive

Serving in today’s world will be different. We are faced with new challenges, emotions, and struggles that make us give pause to serving in the methods that we were used to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are playing and replaying the same questions in our minds: “Can I leave my house?”, “Should I wear a mask?”, “What if I get sick while trying to help someone else?”, “Am I being disobedient if I do not rush out to save the world?” Depending on where you live in the country or in the world, people are faced with different sorts of questions and different layers of concerns. It is so difficult to make blanket statements that prove true for all right now. But, we can always start with God’s word.
The Bible is pretty clear about serving your neighbor and taking care of the least of these. I cannot find a caveat that says “unless there is a pandemic or your are fearful.” 1 Peter 4:10 tells us that “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” God’s grace is readily available. His grace fills us with the strength to overcome everything the devil tries to pile on us. God reveals Himself as our helper, protector, healer, provider, and defender. His grace supplies whatever is needed to lift the load and allows us to press on in service to one another.
As we mentioned in this video, we want to encourage you to not forget about your neighbors and your community. As we are being told to stay home or to not gather in large groups, it becomes very easy to stop looking outward to see what the needs are around us. We begin to focus only on our family or only on our church congregations. We forget about the high percentages of unchurched people all around us. And if we really don’t forget, we struggle with the best ways to help.
I want to leave you with three core areas that will help you church thrive during these changing times.
  1. LEADERSHIP – What a challenging time for our pastors and church leaders! We need to pray for these people that have been called and set apart to shepherd the church. With everything happening today, our church leaders have to be able to make quick decisions that impact large numbers of people, all while seeking and trusting Christ for director. Leaders, use this opportunity to refocus on the things that mean the most, both to your local church and to THE CHURCH. Reground your staff and leaders about the biblical vision for your church and go be the church. As you look for ways to reach out to the community through service, you might just find some new, unexpected leaders to meet real needs right in your congregation.
  2. ADAPTABILITY – The importance of adaptability right now can not be understated. This includes adaptability from the leadership and certainly adaptability from the congregation. Let’s not let the devil get a foothold in the church with discord over varying options. Over the next 6 – 12 months, consider possible changes that could occur and pray about how you might respond. Setting more short-term ministry goals with potential “plan B” steps will prove to be effective in the near future. As you look at Operation Inasmuch, think about doing projects in small groups of 10 and under. Even consider spreading out the projects over several weekends to meet any guidelines in place and get the most bang for your buck.
  3. COLLABORATION – This pandemic is definitely a time to come together. The body of Christ is made of many parts and we all have a part to play (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Churches need to unify in ways that they never have before. People are hurting. This pandemic has brought on unexpected deaths, loss of jobs and comfort, and millions of people are looking for hope. The emotional and mental health of people has been affected greatly. Depression and loneliness are at an all-time high and people are seeking fellowship and relationships. What a time for the church to step up, in the name of Jesus, and fill a void! Community agencies will be looking for help as things continue to unfold and again, the church has to be there for the community. Reach out to them as you plan Inasmuch projects to see how you might collaborate through your church.

Happy Birthday Operation Inasmuch!!

OIAM20YearLogo-01-1 (1)

 

   Inasmuch Celebrates 20 Years

 

“We now have an entire generation of young people who have experienced Operation Inasmuch,” said Rev. John Cook, Pastor of Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, Fayetteville, North Carolina. His comment came at the end of the morning worship service at Snyder Memorial on March 22 at which the 20th anniversary of Operation Inasmuch was celebrated.

Susie Reeder offers instructions for the casserole delivery project.

Susie Reeder offers instructions for the casserole delivery project.

Inasmuch began in March, 1995, as a fresh approach to church renewal by Snyder Memorial. It was intended to be a single event for the church, or, as David Crocker, Pastor of Snyder at the beginning of Inasmuch and now Executive Director of the Inasmuch ministry, says: “We had no idea, . . . but God did. We had no intention of beginning a movement of compassion, but God did. We were simply doing what God has been telling the church to do for 2000 years, only in a way no one else was doing it, and God has grown it into something none of us expected.” Crocker was part of a roofing project in Fayetteville this year just as he was in the initial Inasmuch. “It was great to work with some of the guys I’ve worked with over the years,” he says. “Brought back lots of memories.”

Snyder Memorial marked the anniversary by conducting what is estimated to be their 30th Inasmuch Day (twice each year for the first 10 years and once a year since) on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, as they did in 1995, they celebrated what God has done with Inasmuch, both in the first event when footings were dug for a Habitat House for the Jimmy Grant family and in the 2015 buy valtrex online version when a new roof was put on a house in Habitat Village.  [Read more…]

Mr. Inasmuch Transforms His Community

How much can one person do to impact his community?  Ask Joel Singletary of Sumter, South Carolina.  In April he and his wife, Libby, were honored by Sumter’s Mayor Joe McElveen for their volunteer work in Sumter—Libby for her countless hours spent at United Ministries serving wherever she can be helpful and Joel for his leadership in leading his church, Alice Drive Baptist Church, and 18 other congregations in Inasmuch United Sumter.

From left, Mark Champagne, United Ministries director; Libby Singletary; Mayor Joe McElveen; and Joel Singletary. Joel and Libby Singletary received the Mayor's Award for Outstanding Community Service.

From left, Mark Champagne, United Ministries director; Libby Singletary; Sumter Mayor Joe McElveen; and Joel Singletary.  Joel and Libby Singletary received the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Community Service.

It began in 2009 when Joel’s pastor, Dr. Clay Smith of Alice Drive Baptist Church, showed Joel an article about Operation Inasmuch.  He took several folk from his church to a Lutheran-sponsored Inasmuch training in the winter of 2009.  Shortly thereafter, he led his church to conduct their first Inasmuch Day.  The story is told in the video “Roosevelt’s Story” on the Inasmuch website:   http://www.operationinasmuch.org/stories-of-the-revolution/roosevelts-story/.

God soon impressed Singletary with the vision of seeing many churches in Sumter working together to serve people in need.  He shared his vision with David Crocker, Executive Director of Operation Inasmuch, Inc. and scheduled www.cgfp.org/buy-celexa-online/ David to conduct training sessions for 21 congregations in the Sumter area.  “Joel went door to door from one church to another talking with anyone in those churches who would listen to him share about Inasmuch and how their church could be involved,” says Crocker.  “He worked tirelessly, often without much success and totally without recognition,” adds Crocker, “but Inasmuch is where it is today in Sumter because of Joel Singletary’s efforts.   This is why it’s so good that he is finally being recognized for all the work he has done.  I am personally pleased that Joel Singletary is known as Mr. Inasmuch of Sumter.”  [Read more…]

Inasmuch Adds New Ministry

First Question:  What is essential, inexpensive, nutritious, fun to make, comes in a cardboard box and feeds 216 hungry people?  Answer:  One box of 36 bags of Kids Against Hunger meals packed by volunteers and sent to a third world country.

Second Question:  What is the latest compassion ministry offered by the national office of Operation Inasmuch?  Answer:  Packing low-cost, nutritious meals through the Kids Against Hunger program, thousands at a time.

Fun Food Packing

Kids Against Hunger food packing events are perfect for almost all ages and bring people together working, across generational lines.

Operation Inasmuch, Inc. became an official satellite of Kids Against Hunger (KAH) in March.  As such the Inasmuch ministry is now able to offer congregations, church groups and businesses the opportunity to pack a large number of dehydrated meals that are sent to Haiti and other third world countries.  “We applied to become a KAH satellite because we see this ministry, feeding hungry people, as aligning perfectly with our mission of mobilizing believers to minister to people at their point of need,” says David Crocker, Executive Director of the Inasmuch ministry.  “Also, we see it as an opportunity to offer a new way to serve for those churches already using the Inasmuch model.  Finally, we see the food packing project as a simple and effective way of bringing congregations together as part of a larger Inasmuch United event.”  Kids Against Hunger (www.kidsagainsthunger.com) is an international food-aid organization founded in 1999 “to reduce the number of hungry children in the USA and to feed starving children throughout the world.”  The Inasmuch ministry is one of about 100 satellites across the nation affiliated with KAH based on New Hope, Minnesota, outside Minneapolis.  Last year alone, KAH satellites packed forty million meals for hungry people around the world!

Food packing events are fun and build a community spirit for the group working together.

The Inasmuch ministry has already conducted two KAH packing events:  Central Baptist Church of Bearden, Knoxville, TN on March 17—53,118 meals packed—and Faith Promise Church, Knoxville, TN on April 13—50,000 meals packed.  More than 300 volunteers were involved at Central Baptist and about 170 at Faith Promise.

Crocker says, “The food packing endeavor will never become the primary aspect of the Inasmuch ministry, merely an ‘add-on’ for those churches that either want to introduce a new ‘wrinkle’ into their ongoing Inasmuch events or want to use the packing as a sort of stack pole project for an Inasmuch United event.”

“Because of the logistics of staging a KAH packing event, far and away most of them will be within a short radius of Knoxville,” adds Crocker.  “Occasionally, when the event is large enough to merit the efforts required to move the packing equipment a long distance, we will undertake packing projects at some distance from our home office in Knoxville.”

Churches interested in staging a food packing event should contact the Inasmuch ministry at 865-951-2511 or david@operationinasmuch.org.

Welcome to Our Website!

Welcome to the new Operation Inasmuch website! We’re glad you stopped by. Look around. Check us out. Whatever you’re looking for in the way of compassion ministry, you’ll find it here.

If you’re looking for proven models to get your fellow church-goers started in community ministry, you’ll find them here. If you’re looking for resources to equip your congregation for lifestyles of compassion, you’ll find them here. If you’re looking for a model for collaborating with other congregations in your community to serve people in need,  you’ll find it here.

In other words it is our intention to be a “one-stop destination” for churches and church leaders with a vision to impact their community with compassion — like Jesus did.

We would be honored to work with you.

David Crocker, Executive Director