Inasmuch Revival Produces 125% Participation

What’s an Inasmuch Revival?  It is an effective, intensive way of motivating church folk to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their community.  In September, Colosse Baptist Church, West Point, VA, conducted their first Inasmuch Day.  They had 125% of their average Sunday attendance involved!!  They attribute much of that extraordinary success to what they call an Inasmuch Revival—a series of church renewal services the week of their Inasmuch Day.  Phil Peacock, pastor of Broadus Memorial Baptist Church nearby, preached the revival.  Broadus had conducted their first Inasmuch Day in 2012 and Peacock often referenced his church’s experience with Inasmuch as he preached in Colosse.  Steve Smith, Pastor at Colosse says:  “The revival really helped prepare our congregation to participate in Operation Inasmuch.” 

David Crocker, Executive Director of the national Inasmuch Ministry says:  “What’s interesting about Colosse’s experience is that this is precisely the way Inasmuch happened initially in 1995!  Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, Fayetteville, pioneered Operation Inasmuch at the conclusion of a series of renewal services.  We found it to be enormously effective in motivating folks to get involved and apparently Colosse in Virginia has made the same discovery.”

Although Colosse Baptist is located in a rural area and they are not a large church by any measurement, they achieved 125% participation as folk who rarely attend worship and college students came home that weekend to participate.  Holding the revival services with compassion ministry as the focus Sunday through Wednesday prior to their Inasmuch Day on Saturday clearly enhanced their overall experience.

               Mark Townsend, Colosse’s Inasmuch Coordinator says the church conducted 24 projects in their Inasmuch Day—food collection for food pantries, sewing pillowcases for a nearby hospital, assisting customers at a local Laundromat, clothing and money giveaways at a local gas station, visiting a juvenile detention center, and many others.  He adds that one of the keys to their success is the training they received from the Inasmuch ministry several months earlier.  Also, they purchased the Inasmuch Day Training Kit which provided lots of useful resources and instructions as they prepared for their event.

Townsend smiles when he tells about Colosse’s celebration.  He says in his church folk sometimes complain when Sunday worship runs past Noon.  But on the Sunday following Inasmuch, the pastor asked people to share from their experiences with Inasmuch the day before.  THAT day worship ran until 1:00 “and no one complained!” says Townsend.

“Our people are already talking about our Inasmuch for next year,” says Townsend.  “Inasmuch has helped us see some of the needs in our community AND our ability to meet those needs.  We are a different church today because of Inasmuch.”

Thoughts on How to Be Thankful

A group of us recently discussed the fact that most Americans have essentially self-centered and unrealistic expectations of life. We want to achieve something. We want to avoid pain. We want to feel beautiful. We want great relationships, fun vacations, retirement savings. We want. We want. We want.

And because we want what we often can’t have, we become disillusioned, frustrated, angry, anxious… ungrateful.

Many in America and most of the rest of the world don’t have such high expectations. They know they can’t have, so they don’t want. They’re grateful simply to have their needs met: to have clothing, to have food. It’s interesting that God tells us if we seek first His kingdom, that’s exactly what He will provide: the basics (Matthew 6: 28-33).

As we approach Thanksgiving, it’s timely to think about how we can be thankful when some of us barely have our needs met, and few of us have received the wants we dream for.

Maybe we need to change our expectations.

Maybe we need to “seek first” God. The Apostle Paul said that he considered everything to be “garbage” compared to knowing Jesus Christ (Philippians 3: 7-11). Maybe we need to expect one thing supremely, to have one ultimate dream in this life: to know Jesus better than we do now, to find ultimate satisfaction through our intimacy with Jesus.

But the dream to know Jesus deeply won’t fully come true in this life either. We won’t know Jesus perfectly until we see Him face to face. Still, even a partial vision of His face, an incomplete knowledge of His love, satisfies our souls — whether we “feel” it or not — far, far more than any other want fulfilled.

Maybe we have to lose a lot of our dreams and wants in order to know Jesus better, too. But it will have been worth it. And as we grow closer to Jesus, we will find ourselves filled with the gratitude that requires no outward blessings, a gratitude to the One who died for us so that He could become the satisfier of our souls.

So, this Thanksgiving, why not ask: is Jesus all I need? And if not, ask what dreams must I repudiate until He becomes all I want?

Lorraine Kalal