I may not have believed this if I didn’t experience it myself. September of 2015 marked the first year that Kentucky Baptist Convention churches were invited, encouraged and equipped to conduct a statewide Operation Inasmuch (OIAM) effort. We discovered that somewhere between 55-75% of a church’s Sunday morning attendance participated in their OIAM ministry. I don’t know of any other mission experience or ministry project that involved such a large percentage of church members. Not everyone will take a week or two and do a missions trip. Nor will a church normally see half of its Sunday morning attendance involved in local missions. But if proper planning and prayerful preparation is made, a church will see nearly 75% of its Sunday morning attendance involved in a one day OIAM.
Here are reports from a few of the churches that participated last year:
• Calvary Baptist Church, London – averages 350 in worship and had 230 people involved. “We did everything just as it was presented at the training; used the materials provided and had church members participating who had never done this sort of thing before. It really set our church on fire.”
• Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Manchester – is a small rural church with 20 elderly members. They said “we can do something”, and had 20 volunteers involved.
• First Baptist Church, Richmond – averages 750 in worship and had more than 400 people turn out to blitz the community through compassion ministry projects. “It was a great day for our congregation.”
• Riceville Baptist Church, Fulton – averages 40 in worship and had 27 people (including 3 non-members) participate.
• Crosspoint Baptist Church, Owensboro – averages 220 in worship and had 144 volunteers participate
OIAM is a great “first step” for those that have never participated in missions before. It will serve as catalyst for deeper involvement in missions and ministry by church members. OIAM will not only help people at their point of need and give opportunity for believers to share Christ, it will strengthen fellowship and build family within the local church. AND, it will involve a majority of the congregation in hands on mission service.
Kentucky Baptist churches are encouraged to conduct OIAM during September in partnership with KY WMU’s 2016 State Missions emphasis. However, OIAM can be conducted at any time so churches should determine when is best for them and their community. Regardless of when a church decides to conduct an OIAM, preparation and planning should begin several months in advance.
Jesus said regarding the coming judgment in Matthew 25:40, “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (NKJV)
Let me encourage you and your church to participate in OIAM in 2016. Training is being provided during March and April. For more information or to register for one of the trainings, visit the website – www.kybaptist.org/inasmuch.