It all began in 1995 when Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., decided it needed a comprehensive focus on missions in order to penetrate its community. That’s when they created Operation Inasmuch.
“Most churches are involved in a number of local missions-type ministries, but they usually do not generate much enthusiasm or have a major impact on the congregation because they are not conducted at the same time,” Pastor David Crocker told EthicsDaily.com.
Crocker said Operation Inasmuch “makes a bigger splash” because it involves many people working on various projects all on the same day.
Nearly seven years after its initiation, Operation Inasmuch has been used by over 200 churches of various denominations and sizes.
So what is Operation Inasmuch?
“Operation Inasmuch is a one-day mission blitz by church folk in their community,” according to its manual, published by the Hollifield Leadership Center.
It’s a city attorney delivering lunches to volunteers, a retired Army officer roofing the house of a stranger, a school teacher cleaning a shut-in’s yard, a secretary sewing lap blankets for nursing home patients, fifth-grade boys passing out flyers about their church’s contemporary worship.
And Crocker said the response to Operation Inasmuch has been astounding.
“To have 50-75 percent of a church’s average Sunday morning attendance involved in anything is significant, but especially so when it is in hands-on ministry in their own community,” Crocker said.
Congregations who have participated in Operation Inasmuch may have been impacted the most.
Crocker said churches experience deeper unity and energy and “sometimes become more attractive to persons looking for a church that is actually doing something in the community instead of simply meeting regularly.”
Word is spreading quickly about the success of Operation Inasmuch.
Crocker said he recently received an e-mail from the Atlanta Baptist Association inquiring about Operation Inasmuch and stating that as many as 30 churches there might want to use the program early next year.
If Operation Inasmuch continues to grow in popularity and effectiveness, Crocker said he would expect it to evolve into a center for congregational missions training.
Operation Inasmuch already has its own Web site, training manual and training events.
Crocker said the place to start is at the Web site, www.operationinasmuch.com. At the site you can learn more about the project, read testimonials of those who have experienced it, get project ideas, read excerpts from the manual, find out about upcoming training events and find participating churches.
Crocker said Operation Inasmuch is helping churches “become aware of needs in their community they had never seen before.”
Jodi Mathews is communications director for EthicsDaily.com.
Visit www.operationinasmuch.com for more information!