Louisville—Here’s a recipe churches can use to impact local communities with the gospel: start with a little prep work, then add in “people, personality and prayer.”
For a second year, the Kentucky Baptist Convention is teaming up with Operation Inasmuch, a national nonprofit focused on helping churches reach out to their communities with one-day compassion ministries.
Preparation for the statewide emphasis in September begins next month with the first of four training events.
“They have developed the resources, timelines and tools. All your church has to do is add your people, personality and prayer, and you are ready to engage your community for Christ,” said Kevin Clark, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Clinton.
Clark said that 111 First Baptist church members volunteered last year to spend an entire day serving the needs of their community. He credited the training by KBC and Operation Inasmuch staff for the confidence needed to take on a dozen projects in less than 24 hours.
“Our church realized that they could become part of the solution to the problems that the people in our community face,” Clark said.
More than 5,000 volunteers from 118 Kentucky Baptist churches took part in Operation Inasmuch last fall, said KBC Missions Mobilization Team Leader Eric Allen.
“It was common for churches to see 65 to 75 percent of their Sunday morning attendance participate,” Allen said.
The kingdom impact may never be known, Allen said, but Kentucky Baptist churches involved in Operation Inasmuch shared the gospel more than 300 times.
He said the reach could be greater with Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union taking the emphasis on as part of the 2016 Eliza Broadus Offering.
“It really set our church on fire,” said Monica Binge, a member of Calvary Baptist Church in London.
About 70 percent of the Calvary Baptist’s average attendance engaged in dozens of service projects and helped 710 people in need.
Similarly, all 20 elderly members at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Manchester eagerly ventured outside the church walls to take on three service projects. Their “we-can-do” attitude helped nearly 170 people in need.
Operation Inasmuch Executive Director John Daugherty said Kentucky Baptist churches were the first to embrace the nonprofit’s service model on a large, statewide scale.
“Laundry was paid for. Gas was purchased. Landscaping, painting, home repair, wheelchair ramps and roofs were completed and repaired,” Daugherty said, “but more importantly, lives and communities were changed.”
Allen said he wants to encourage even more Kentucky Baptist churches to get involved in Operation Inasmuch this September by registering for training opportunities now.
“Think of the impact it will make on our communities and churches when we move our members from their seats to the streets to serve the least of these in our communities,” Allen said.
Training will be held Feb. 17 in Owensboro, March 19 in Hodgenville, April 2 in Williamsburg, and April 16 in Erlanger.
Registration and information can be found at www.kybaptist.org/inasmuch. (KBC)