The following article appeared on FayObserver.com (Fayetteville, NC) on October 28, 2011
Church where Operation Inasmuch began celebrates a compassion revolution
David Crocker, national director of Operation Inasmuch and former pastor of Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, shows off a painting that will be donated to the Fayetteville [Area Operation Inasmuch] office.
In the fall of 1994, Snyder Memorial Baptist Church pastor David Crocker laid a challenge at the feet of his staff: get the congregation out of their seats and into the streets.
This week, as Crocker visited his old church, the challenge had grown from a one-church, one-day mission to a movement reaching nearly half the country.
Operation Inasmuch, he said, has become a “compassion revolution” spreading across America.
“Did anyone here think that our first project would grow into a movement of 1,700 churches in 21 states?” Crocker said.
“During the past five years, the number of churches involved has grown by 700 percent. The number of states has tripled. Operation Inasmuch has been used by God to transform Christians and congregations across the country.
“And it all started here, in Fayetteville,” he added. “The people here understand the movement better than anyone in the world.”
Crocker’s visit was part fundraiser and part reunion. Many of the 75 people attending the celebration held in Snyder’s fellowship hall were there at the church’s inaugural Operation Inasmuch on March 25, 1995.
“It’s good to be home,” said Crocker, who left Snyder to preach in Knoxville, Tenn., nearly 10 years ago. Operation Inasmuch became an independent ministry in 2007, with Crocker as its director.
“Every time a new church holds its first Operation Inasmuch, I think of how it all started right here.”
The ministry’s outreach has grown into a three-prong approach. Churches may choose the traditional “one-day, one-church” and “one-day, many-churches” ministries.
“I always get a kick out of the fact that the preparation book these churches use is the same one I wrote all those years ago for Fayetteville, using the experiences at St. James Lutheran Church as an example,” he said.
“It just shows that whenever God tells you what to do, he always has something more in mind.”
In the past couple of years a new Inasmuch concept has challenged congregations to “live the Inasmuch Life” year-round. The program challenges churches to serve their communities in an ongoing basis. Crocker hopes that the program will expand as rapidly as the rest of the ministry.
“We call it a Compassion Revolution,” he said. “Hundreds of churches across the country are joining those that have discovered the power of serving their community.
“In some cases we may not even hear about it, but that’s OK. God knows, and that’s what matters.”
Staff writer Chick Jacobs can be reached at email@example.com or 486-3515.