"...Truly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my
brethren, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40
Resurrection has a long-standing commitment to outreach programs and has identified Operation Inasmuch as a way to get our members involved locally and understand first-hand how important mission work is to the ones that we serve and also to all of us personally. The commitment from our members will be only 1 Saturday morning. The impact to the people we help will be priceless. We hope that this will become an annual event, using the many talents of our congregation and providing intergenerational interaction, hands on work and a community focus.
Operation Inasmuch Works Because . . .
- It is a focused, one-day event. “It’s almost like a missions bullet. In our society . . .it’s hard for people to fit into their busy schedule a long-term commitment for a lot of different things.”
- It is local. One participant said: “We should do the faraway things, but you don’t feel and know firsthand those faraway things. It makes me feel good to do an OperationInasmuch.”
- It is hands-on. People want to know they are making a difference. For all our participation in checkbook missions, many prefer to get personally involved.
- The methodology is already in place. Congregational leaders do not want to plow new ground when it is not necessary. Operation Inasmuch has honed its process and methods over seven years of practice.
- The cost is affordable. Costs are often shared with other non-profit organizations or churches or, in some cases, with government agencies.
- It offers something for everyone. One lay leader responds to the question of why Operation Inasmuch worked well in her church: “Mainly because it has gotten people involved. They are able to use their gifts in areas they have not been able to use before. ”
Impact on Congregations
Most congregational leaders want the answer to another question: Does it edify and transform the congregation? The experiences of congregations involved in Operation Inasmuch verify that it does just that. Specifically, . . .
It facilitates brotherhood. One leader opened: “The thing that is most appealing to me is the community focus and the ecumenical effort [in which congregations of various denominations worked together in an Operation Inasmuch].”
It mobilizes large numbers of people. Participation ranges from 25 percent of average Sunday attendance on the low end to 125 percent on the high end depending on the number of projects offered and the quality of planning and recruitment.
It energizes a congregation. One lay leader says: “One day devoted to helping people at their point of need resulted in spiritual growth for most everyone who participated. Members experienced spiritual renewal and continued commitment to respond to the needs of others in our community.”
It builds fellowship. “I firmly believe God sent Operation Inasmuch into our midst at a time when we needed a unifying experience in our fellowship. It did the trick! If I had to choose any one ministry that would revitalize a congregation, bring old friends together, and alert us to the many needs around us, it would have to be Operation Inasmuch.”
It broadens a congregation’s understanding of missions. “We’ve always been a missions-minded church, but helping people realize that missions happens right across the street and down the road has been an educational experience.”
It enhances involvement in other mission causes. One pastor says: “Our people got turned on to missions. Now we’ve taken a mission trip to Honduras and everyone who went was involved in Operation Inasmuch.”
It authenticates a Christian witness. One congregation leaves a card with each recipient of an Operation Inasmuch project. It reads in part: “What we have done for you today, we have done because of our love for the Lord Jesus Christ. If you, too, believe in Him, . . . we ask that you serve someone else in His name.”
It gives laypersons prominence in ministry. Due to the particular skills required in the projects, laypersons emerge as leaders more than followers. They discover they have talents, which are valuable to the Kingdom.