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…]

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…]

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…]

“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…]

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…]

Collegians Tap Inasmuch to Serve

It’s common knowledge that college students love to “give back,” or serve people in need and more of them are discovering

Virginia students serve in Inasmuch Day.

Virginia students serve in Inasmuch Day.

that the Inasmuch model is useful in achieving that worthy goal.  Last fall 46 members of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, conducted an Inasmuch Day on their campus.  They bused tables in the dining hall, picked up trash around campus and delivered homemade cookies to the campus police.  In a creative way to serve, these Inasmuch volunteers gave away toilet paper to their fellow students and wrote notes of appreciation to the faculty.

“We wanted to show our fellow students and faculty that we care about them and Inasmuch provided the structure for us to do that,” said Cheri Wise, BCM Minister.  “We all wore Inasmuch T-shirts and so were visible as we served throughout the day.”

A second Inasmuch Day is planned for this spring at Longwood, this time with 2 other Christian organizations participating.  Word of Inasmuch at Longwood spread to the Baptist Campus Ministry at Old Dominion University in eastern Virginia.  The ODU group conducted their first Inasmuch Day on February 7 & 8.  With only 25 students participating they conducted more than a dozen projects.

Scott Anderson, BCM Minister at ODU said:  “The feeling I got from the students is that serving people becomes contagious.  They want more and have already asked when we can do this again.  Their eyes were definitely opened to the needs of people around them.”

Beta Upsilon Chi fraternity at the University of Tennessee conducted their first Inasmuch Day on November 2, 2013.  A Christian fraternity, BYX is intentional about incorporating compassion ministry in their fraternity life.  The group mobilized 8 teams of volunteers in November.  They constructed a wheelchair ramp for disabled widow, painted transitional housing for FOCUS Prison Ministries, sorted donated items at the Salvation Army and Angelic Ministries in Knoxville.

University of Tennessee BXY Fraternity students during their Inasmuch event.

University of Tennessee BXY fraternity students sort and organize items for an agency during their Inasmuch event.

Reporting their ministry to a group of Inasmuch supporters the following day, Preston Morris, Chaplain for BYX, said:  “We thoroughly enjoyed working with Operation Inasmuch in organizing our service projects.  It was a big help for them to facilitate our contacts with organizations here in Knoxville who could use our help.”

BYX is planning a second Inasmuch Day this spring.  Meeting with David Crocker, Executive Director of the Inasmuch Ministry, Blake Barton BYX Service Chair said:  “We’re excited about making a difference even while we are students.  Serving people in need is most definitely part of the Christian life and we provide these events as a way of reinforcing that understanding.”

Crocker says:  “Our ultimate goal is to catalyze a compassion revolution.  Working with these college groups does much to encourage us that such a movement is in fact in process.  As many of these students eventually become leaders in congregations across the country, our hope is that they will take their experiences with Inasmuch with them and bring those congregations into the revolution as well.”

Inasmuch Assembles 11,000 Meals for the Hungry

In October the Inasmuch ministry assembled more than 11,000 meals to feed hungry people in Haiti with the help of people who gathered in Fayetteville, NC, and Knoxville, TN, to consider their support for the ministry for 2013.  That’s right; these annual fundraising events became major service events!


Executive Director, David Crocker (left), and Robert Marks, Sr. (right) Board President, enjoy watching the meals being packed.

Fundraising is the lifeblood of non-profits.  It is all  about obtaining the support necessary to keep the organization going.  So, when a non-profit turns its annual fundraising events into  service projects whereby thousands of hungry people are supplied with nutritious meals, it’s noteworthy.

“Our fundraising events each year are the largest gatherings of people who support the Inasmuch ministry,” said David Crocker, Executive Director.  “This year we wanted these events to be more than simply sharing the latest and greatest news about the ministry and asking people to support us so we can keep on doing the good work of Inasmuch.  So we invited Kids Against Hunger to come direct food packing projects in Fayetteville and Knoxville to feed hungry people in Haiti.”


The food packing fun began in Fayetteville…

Participants remarked how refreshing it was to do something to help others while renewing or beginning their support for a ministry that is based on the idea of believers serving “the least of these.”  While some were treated to a delicious meal, others packed food for Haiti.  After about half an hour, the groups rotated so that everyone had a chance to help out.  5,040 meals were packed in Fayetteville and 6,024 meals in Knoxville.


And the fun continued in Knoxville!

“We had a about a 60 percent increase in attendance at our fundraising events this year and I am convinced it was because we offered folk a chance actually to do something to serve others,” said Crocker.  “Everyone had a blast.  It was fun and productive and will make a huge difference in the lives other lots of people.  We didn’t just feed ourselves; we fed many more who will never have what we ate at those events.”

He added:  “We are already talking about what we will do next year.  We may go for 20,000 meals!  Wouldn’t that be something?!  Of course, I’m hoping people will see that Inasmuch is about serving people in need . . . anytime, anywhere, any way, even when the ministry has needs ourselves.”

“We are very excited about the future of Inasmuch,” he says.  “With continued and some new support, there is no telling what God will do with this ministry!”

NC Inasmuch Builds House In One Day!

When Keith Guinn was asked to head up his church’s first Inasmuch Day this past spring, he said “I can’t do it, but with God’s help, we’ll get it done.”  After Euto Baptist Church of Marshville, NC, mobilized almost half of their average Sunday attendance in April, Guinn exclaimed, “It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever been a part of!”Euto Baptist Church of Marshville, NC Inasmuch Day

One of the 19 projects conducted by the Euto congregation was building a house in one day!!  “The foundation was poured beforehand, but we completely dried-in the house—walls, roof, doors and windows—in one, long Inasmuch day,” says Guinn.  He says that about a month before Euto’s Inasmuch, one of the church members asked if the church could build his grandfather a house.  The elderly man in his mid 80s had recently lost his wife and he needed to live closer to his son but couldn’t afford to hire a contractor.  The church agreed to include the ambitious project among their list of ministry opportunities and God took over from there.  The man’s family purchased the materials and church volunteers provided the labor.

When David Crocker trained members of Euto Baptist to conduct an Inasmuch Day, he said, as he always does in these training sessions, “When we do what God tells us to do, He always has more in mind.”  Remembering that line, Guinn now says, “I am a witness to that truth.  I saw it in April of this year, and we’re already planning our next Inasmuch for 2013.”

Euto Baptist Church of Marshville, NC Inasmuch DayEuto Baptist Church involved 155 people from their church in their Inasmuch Day which is just under half their congregation.  They served more than 200 people, and the most amazing result of their day of service was that nine people became followers of Jesus as a direct result of the compassion ministry they rendered through Inasmuch!

Guinn’s unchurched neighbors were astounded at what the church did in one day.  They attended a breakfast gathering of the volunteers prior to the start of their projects and were moved to ask:  “Why are y’all doing this?”  They returned to their home that day with nothing but praise for a church that has shown, not just told, their small community God’s love.