Operation Inasmuch – Columbia Metro Connection #002

Welcome to the Columbia Metro Connection, a podcast where you can go to get valuable, relevant, and quality resources for you and your congregation.
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     The Columbia Metro Connection is sponsored and supported by the Columbia Metro Baptist Association and the almost 100 partner churches that support the ministry of the CMBA.  For this week’s episode, we’ve received special support from Southern Mutual Church Insurance.
     This podcast features Operation Inasmuch’s Executive Director, John Daugherty.  Operation Inasmuch is a national nonprofit that employs proven models to motivate, train, and equip churches to move more congregants out of the sanctuary seats and into the streets to serve the neediest in their communities.

Hosts for this week’s Podcast:


  • Operation Inasmuch motivates, trains, and equips churches to move more congregants out of the sanctuary seats and into the streets.
  • Operation Inasmuch’s goal is to turn out 60% or more of a church’s average weekly attendance to serve in the community.
  • When a congregation is serving the community it invigorates the church with new life.
  • We’ve got the basics of disciple-making down: Bible study, teaching, and learning.  But serving is the next step of disciple-making.
  • Dave Grinnell shares the power of mobilizing people outside of their own focus and how it’s energized the church.
  • Inasmuch has helped revitalize and restore churches who were on their way to death.
  • Find where God is working and join Him in that work.
  • Operation Inasmuch is not a pastor led process.  It is a lay-led ministry.  But the pastor has to be seen as supporting this ministry.

Resources Mentioned

Operation Inasmuch Book

The Samaritan Way Book and Study Guide

Operation Inasmuch Event Tools

Interested in a chance to receive some free stuff?  Go to iTunes and leave us a rating and a review, then leave a comment on this post on our website saying “Done.” Once you’ve done that, we’ll randomly select one winner to receive the Operation Inasmuch Life Guide, a copy of David Crocker’s books, Operation Inasmuch and The Samaritan Way.

Show Transcript: CMBA Podcast 002 – Operation Inasmuch

Topic: Operation Inasmuch

Chris Reinolds:  Welcome to the Columbia Metro Connection, a podcast where you can go to get valuable, relevant and quality resources for you and your congregation. I’m one of your hosts, Chris Reinolds, Lead Pastor at Killian Baptist Church, and author at www.ChrisReinolds.com. And, as always, we have the knowledgeable Director of Missions at the Columbia Metro Baptist Association and Lead Missiologist, George Bullard.

Today we’re joined by Operation Inasmuch Executive Director, John Daugherty. Operation Inasmuch is a national non-profit that employs proven models to motivate, train, and equip churches to move more congregants out of the sanctuary seats, and into the streets to serve the neediest in their communities. The Columbia Metro Connection is sponsored and supported by the Columbia Metro Baptist Association, and the almost 100 partner churches that support the ministry of the CMBA. For this week’s episode, we’ve received special support from Southern Mutual Church Insurance. And, we’ll take just a moment to hear from Matthew Quentin about the work of Southern Mutual Church Insurance.

Matthew Quinton: In 1928, Southern Mutual was founded because forward-thinking leaders saw churches straining under the weight of difficult times. The South Carolina Baptist Convention created Southern Mutual Church Insurance Company with the goal of providing security for churches, both large and small, since many had been unable to find coverage with larger companies because they were in rural areas. From those humble beginnings, Southern Mutual has grown to serve over 9,000 churches across many denominations and states. And, as a testament to our commitment and dedication to churches, our very first policy holder, Columbia Metro Baptist Association Member, Southside Baptist Church, here in Columbia, remains insured with us to this day. Our staff has rushed to help churches across the Southeast and at their greatest time of need. We’ve often arrived within hours of getting a call, rapidly beginning the rebuilding process in the aftermath of fires, natural disasters and other causes of loss. In addition to great claims service, Southern Mutual offers risk management workshops to help ministries navigate through many issues effecting churches. At Southern Mutual, savings, service and security aren’t just our motto, it is the values we deliver to member policyholders every day. We look forward to continuing to serve you so that you can focus on serving God. Please visit our website at www.smcins.com for more information. We stand ready to help.

Chris Reinolds: Matthew, thank you for doing your part at Southern Mutual Church Insurance, and thank you for supporting the Columbia Metro Connection.

And, now to our interview with John Daugherty, Executive Director of Operation Inasmuch.

Chris Reinolds: John, thank you so much for joining with us.

John Daugherty: Thank you. It’s good to be here. Been looking forward to this.

Chris Reinolds: We had a great lunch just a little while ago. We had our first Vision Tuesday here, and so we’re excited to be able to sit down with you and record this for our local area pastors, and for those that may not be in our association area but are interested in the ministry of Operation Inasmuch.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and sort of how you got involved with Operation Inasmuch?

John Daugherty: Well, I’ve been in congregational ministry for 40 years before I came to Operation Inasmuch on staff and as a pastor. Operation Inasmuch was a tool I wanted in my tool kit. I’ve known about Operation Inasmuch since it began in 1995. I was serving in church in North Carolina when they started there in Snyder Memorial, and my sister and her family were members of the church and involved. And, my sister’s been involved every year since.

Chris Reinolds: That’s great.

John Daugherty: I started using Operation Inasmuch in Fort Myers, Florida six years ago, where we began Operation Inasmuch United in Fort Myers, working with six of our downtown churches. And, it’s just been an effective model. It mobilized our people. It helped us make connections that became ongoing ministry opportunities for us.

George Bullard: That’s great.

John Daugherty: I’ve known David since 1995. And, when this opportunity came up, it just seemed to be a good fit for me to move into that and pick up the reigns from him two and half years ago.

George Bullard: Wow. Well, you know, John, you mentioned David Crocker, and he really is a good friend of mine also. But, tell us a little bit about the backstory or the origins. How did Operation Inasmuch begin?

John Daugherty: Well, in 1995, David was Senior Pastor at Snyder Memorial Baptist in Fayetteville, North Carolina. And, he and the staff were trying to come up with an alternative to the annual spring revival, which had become sort of stale. And, they came up with the rudimentary framework of what become Operation Inasmuch. Fayetteville being such a military town, everything is an operation. So, that’s where they got that. And, Inasmuch, of course, comes from Matthew 25:40.

They had done that for a couple of years. It was starting to get shared around North Carolina. And, I think by ’97 or ’98, they were holding some training opportunities for people to come. I know I was at First Baptist Church in Reidsville, and we sent two guys to Fayetteville in ’97 or ’98 to get the training. They came back with a big old notebook, which is now in a book form. And, so, it started spreading even then. So, it’s been around for … they’ve completed 22 years of Inasmuch United … a blitz day they call it in Fayetteville. And, it’s grown from that.

George Bullard: Well, so now, what’s been the reach of it? Operation Inasmuch is not just only done in Fayetteville or in North Carolina now. What has been the furthest reach of it?

John Daugherty: Well, we have churches from 22 states, and three countries … four countries. I’m sorry. Great Britain, Canada, the Philippines, and Botswana, in addition to 22 states. There have been well over 2,000 churches that have reported to us that have been involved. So, it is truly a national, and becoming an international ministry. It’s exciting to see how it’s grown. It’s been a full-time ministry since 2007.

Chris Reinolds: What are some of the benefits that you’ve seen, not only in the communities where the Operation Inasmuch projects have been going along, but also in the lives of the churches and pastors through that ministry?

John Daugherty: Inasmuch provides a lot of benefit for the church. The big thing is it invigorates the church because our goal is to help a church turn out 60% or more of their average weekly attendance. You get that many of your folks involved in hands-on ministry, and it brings a whole new sense of excitement.

George Bullard: Right.

John Daugherty: It builds their mission connection to not only their local community but prepares them for larger expressions. For pastors, it’s a way of getting people involved who have never been involved in anything else in the church. And, it’s just that kind of tool that helps you accomplish so many things. But, for me, as a Christian educator by training and trade, it’s the next steps of disciple making. We do the discipline parts of discipleship pretty well, the Bible study, the worship, the fellowship. We do the in-house things well. It’s taking that next step, and doing what Christ called us to do, and what Christ did every day of his ministry, which is meet people at the point of their need and bring them hope and bring about transformation. And, this is just a great tool to help accomplish that.

Chris Reinolds: That’s good. That’s good. Now, I know this isn’t in the questions that we gave you, but it kind of lends itself to it. You talk about stories of change in the church and guys that have been sitting on the pew for quite a while. Do you have some stories that you could tell about the transformation? And, maybe even testimonies that some people like that that have never gotten an opportunity to serve out in the church … their reflections on the impact of Operation Inasmuch?

John Daugherty: We actually had someone like that in our church in Fort Myers that until they got connected. It changed his life in many ways. Number one, he’d never done anything in the church but just come and sit with his wife. So, finally, he realized, “I can actually go paint a house and represent the church in Christ at the same time.” It’s a connection he’d never made before.

Chris Reinolds: Wow.

John Daugherty: But, then he discovered friends in other churches that had the same kinds of passions, and so they’ve got their own painting team now.

Chris Reinolds: That’s great.

John Daugherty: Made up of about four different churches. And, every time they find out some poor widow needs their house painted, they’re there, and they go paint that house. And, it came out of just simply giving him that opportunity to go out and the joy in his life … what he’ll tell you is … “They keep telling me I’m doing something great for somebody else.” He said, “What it’s done for me is incalculable.” So, it’s become a valuable tool.

The other is this guy, Dave Brunell, who’s a pastor in North Carolina. You can find his testimony on our YouTube channel. But, Dave found himself three times in churches that had split and trying to rebuild and re-energize, and quite by accident, he stumbled upon Operation Inasmuch when he was at a conference, and David had been a presenter, and he didn’t know the notebook wasn’t free. So, he walked home with a notebook. And, he has confessed that and paid for it, by the way. But, Dave shares the power of mobilizing people outside of their own focus and has re-energized the church. Now, it’s not, “Oh, look what happened to us. We split and fell apart and what are we going to do?” Now, they’re focused on the community, getting out, doing ministry, serving other people, and it’s reinvigorated every one of those churches. Of course, Dave can tell it better than I can. But, from a pastor’s perspective, he’s been able to use Inasmuch in a way that has revitalized and brought back life to churches that were pretty damaged.

On the recipient end, time and again, we’ve got stories of people whose lives have been changed by simple things, giving them hope for that day. At lunch, I shared the story of that lady in Henderson, Kentucky, who had a choice. She could buy five dollars’ worth of gas and get to work, or she could eat lunch. And, because that church chose to put in the first five gallons worth of gas in cars that Saturday morning, she could do both. She could get some gas to go to work, and she could get lunch. And, it changed her life.

A simple sounding thing that can bring hope to somebody is the power of what Inasmuch is about.

Chris Reinolds: I guess that’s what’s so encouraging about the Operation Inasmuch project is that these are practical, hands-on things that you guys are doing that you’re really just empowering the church to be able to do them. But, exactly how does the process work? Walk us through the way a church would connect with you so that they can look at possibly going down that road. And, then, how do you go about evaluating the best means of ministry for them?

John Daugherty: Well, we normally get either a church who’s heard about it or somebody moved to their church that’s been involved in Inasmuch, and we’ll get a phone call that says, “We want to start an Inasmuch,” and we’ll make arrangements to go and conduct a training. We don’t really do the evaluation for them. We give them the tools to plan and use what gifts and strengths they have in their church. Our training is a walk-through of the planning process. Our model that works is a 12-14-week planning and promotion process, that if churches will follow that process and complete it, will turn out 60% or better of their average weekly attendance.

So, what we do is … in that training process … we talk about the kinds of projects they might want to do. We start with, “What are they already doing?” Because you don’t want to ignore those things. So, if you’re already involved at the soup kitchen, make sure you do something with the soup kitchen that day.

Chris Reinolds: Right.

John Daugherty: So, what are they already doing? Then, we help them think about, “What are some other needs in the community that they are aware of?” Or, “What are some other agencies or ministries in the community they’ve not worked with before, but they are aware of?” … and how to connect. Then, we try to help them really get creative. Who are some other people that we can connect with that we might not have thought of? Schools, social service agencies. Frankly, one of the best ways to get started with social service agencies is through foster care. Go to the foster care people. Ask what it is they need. In Fort Myers, I know they do anywhere from 100 to 150 welcome kits every year that has a no-sew throw, which is a simple tying together of two flannel pieces of cloth to make a little throw. A life book. You get your scrap bookers together and create life books. Every kid, by law, is required to have a life book in foster care. And, then, anything else they want in that kit, and then you provide that. That gives that social worker a tool they don’t have to go create, and it makes a great connection then for other things.

So, we help think through those kinds of projects. We want them to plan things for grade schoolers, preschoolers, but grade schoolers through grandmas. Something that everybody can be involved in some way. And, so, the key is the right number and the right kinds of projects. But, you start with what you already do, and build on that.

Our planning process is the team needs to put together a coordinating team with a lead coordinator, somebody’s going to chair that group, of about five to seven people. And, they’re going to be the ones that plan that process. What our 14-week process is a planning process that covers all the things they’re going to need to think about to complete the projects and have a successful day. Because next to your coordinating team is your communications team. Churches who underperform … and I’ll use that term … who don’t reach that goal of 60% or better … they don’t do the 12 or 14 weeks of planning. They don’t do the eight to ten weeks of promotion. If they think they can plan it in three weeks, announce it one time, they’re going to get the same 15, 20% they always get for everything else. So, if they want to reach the other, they must put the effort in to it to make it happen.

Churches that have gone through our training, we make available every letter, every form, sign-up brochure, everything’s available electronically. All they must do is build it out. Even their sign-up master sheet is an Excel spreadsheet we provide that’s expandable. Anybody who knows how to use Excel can use it. And, we provide that at no-cost electronically to churches that have been trained so they can use. But, it has templates for letters to Lowe’s and Home Depot or Office Depot on how they can help be financial partners. It has letters to agencies you want to work with. It has letters to your project leaders. It has a youth release form in case your church just happens not to have one, which I think every church probably does and should. But, we try to think of every … we got name tag templates. We have everything you need. You don’t have to invent anything by working with us. So, that’s what we try to provide so that it’s ready to roll.

George Bullard: Well, you know, you talked about a group that leads the process and coordinates that 12 to 14 weeks. We have a certain number of our churches that have bi-vocational pastors. So, what happens in that situation? The bi-vocational pastor probably would have difficulty leading it. Or, does the pastor lead it anyhow?

John Daugherty: Well, the thing that pastors like to hear is, “This is not a pastor-lead process. It’s a lay-lead ministry.” Now, the pastor’s key role is in the promotion process. They need to talk about it. Talk about it often. On the sign-up day, they need to be the first one to turn in their sign-up brochure. Now, in my case, they decided that the thing I could probably do the least damage with is a camera. So, I was on the photographing team. Because they knew I was going to hurt somebody with tools.

George Bullard: Right.

John Daugherty: But, David, for instance … David Crocker … loves to do roofing. So, he’s always on a roofing crew. But, the pastor must be seen taking that lead. The pastor needs to be the influencer, making sure that other church leaders are supportive and involved. That’s the pastor’s job. Then, four weeks out, the pastor needs to bring his come-to-Jesus sermon on compassion ministry. If he doesn’t have a clue what to preach, we have a number of nice outlines we’ll be glad to share. But, most pastors have that in them, they know where that is, and they’re going to use it. But, that’s the Sunday … that’s sign-up Sunday, and he needs to really kick it off with that so that the next four weeks, while you’re building out your sign ups, you’re going to build that kind of momentum.

We have all kinds of promotional ideas. We’ve had churches that have been very creative. One of my favorite ones is out of a church here in South Carolina. A lady who is in dramatic arts created a character named Ina Smuch. And, for five weeks, Ina came up and had something to say about that Inasmuch Day.

Chris Reinolds: Oh, wow.

John Daugherty: So, just as clever as it could be. It’s simple, but it was so clever. So, we help you think through those kinds of promotional things to get the most bang for your buck to get it out there.

George Bullard: Good. You know John, one of the questions that pastors are always going to ask me is, “How much is it going to cost?” Can you speak to that for a moment?

John Daugherty: Well, it depends on how we do the training. If I do a training through a judicatory, a group like an association of the state. Those usually carry the cost of the training. If it’s a single church calling, yes, there’s a training fee and some travel expense, but otherwise, that’s the upfront fee. We don’t charge a license fee to do it. If people want to buy materials, they can purchase materials from us. But, otherwise, it’s whatever projects may cost. But, in our training process, we help you think about how to cover some of those costs. As I said, companies like Home Depot and Lowe’s, Walmart … can help with some of that. They have local money that they want to invest in the community if they know what you’re doing. They will often help with materials.

If you work with different organizations like the Council on Aging, they will know houses that need work and can help arrange funding for materials. And, so there are ways to cover some of those costs. There are some money-raising ideas that we can help you think about. The church should budget some, but it really depends on the projects you do. And, so, you can get people to give towards it. Some people will sell the t-shirts for that purpose. Yes, there’s going to be some cost, but it really depends on the project. Some projects have no cost. It doesn’t cost a thing to go to the nursing home.

Chris Reinolds: Right.

John Daugherty: You can have your kids prepare some … make some placemats or something. Or the no-sew throws are another great thing for nursing homes. So, that’s a minimal cost. We have a project guide if people want to use that that they can get on our website that has about 55 project ideas. And, really, our intent is that it spurs your thinking, not that you do exactly the project that’s there. Although, some of those you will. But, it’s to kind of get the imagination going on the kinds of projects. There really is no limit, and so the cost really depends on that.

While we’re talking about that, and I meant to mention it here because it always comes up is a concern about liability. We have asked and so we know that from churches like church mutual that your liability insurance should cover you that day because it’s an official ministry of the church. Churches who are concerned sometimes will buy that very inexpensive rider for the day. That just makes them feel better. But, we have no history of it costing anybody liability-wise.

Chris Reinolds: That’s great. Good. Talk about the minimal input, as far as expense goes, but there’s a maximum return on that.

John Daugherty: The return is the connection, it’s the relationships.

Chris Reinolds: Well, once again, it’s that time to bring this podcast to an end. But, before we do, John, where can people go to find out more information or connect with you or get the process started to partner with Operation Inasmuch?

John Daugherty: Well, here in the Association, they can go to George Bullard.

George Bullard: That’s right, I’m here.

John Daugherty: There you go. Or, you can connect with us at www.operationinasmuch.org. That’s our website. You can connect with me at John@operationinasmuch.org, or office@operationinasmuch.org. If you want to see visually a lot more about us, you can go to our Facebook page. It’s just Operation Inasmuch. You’ll see projects from all over the country, learn more about it. We announce things that are coming up. This was listed on our Facebook as an event that we are also co-sponsoring. So, it was on there. Then, we also have a YouTube channel. You can see all kinds of videos from all over the country of people involved in Inasmuch.

Chris Reinolds: That’s great. George, before we go, would you share with those pastors or local churches here in our Association about sort of your plans with working with Operation Inasmuch?

George Bullard: Thank you very much, Chris, for the opportunity to do that. We are wanting to pilot an Operation Inasmuch where simultaneously some of our churches come together to do an Operation Inasmuch Day. And, we are thinking about September 22 and/or 29 of 2018 because those are times that there’s not a home football game here in Columbia this fall. And, if we do that, we are going to be sponsoring a training sometime in April or early May where we’ll have John Daugherty back, and he will be training the lead groups in some of these churches.

Chris Reinolds: Good. That sounds good. Thank you, John, for your faithfulness and essential ministry to churches that are seeking to be faithful to the Great Commission.

John Daugherty: Thank you. It’s good to be here.

Chris Reinolds: What a great interview with John. If you can’t tell, we’re really excited about what God is doing through Operation Inasmuch, and the potential impact that it can make in our community and our world. We’re so excited about it that what we want to do is we want to give you an opportunity to get some of the resources that John mentioned in our interview for free. All you must do is go to iTunes, and leave us a rating and a comment, and leave a comment on our post on our website saying, “Done.” From that, we will randomly select one winner to receive the Operation Inasmuch Life Guide, a copy of David Crocker’s books, Operation Inasmuch and The Samaritan Way. So, head over to our iTunes, leave a rating and a review, and then comment at the bottom of this episode’s post, “Done.” And, this episode’s post can be found on our website at www.columbiametro.org.

Also, if you’re interested in connecting with John, please be sure to check out the show notes from today’s episode and all the applicable links will be there. If you found this podcast helpful to you or your ministry, share with others so that we can get the word out about what God is doing in the Columbia Metro area. Maybe, if this an area of ministry that’d be beneficial at your church, you could share this podcast with your leaders in your church.

Until next time, from all of us at the Columbia Metro Connection, we thank you for listening and urge you to share this podcast with everyone you know. It’s the good news about the Good News in the Columbia Metro Baptist Association.

About the author 

Kyndra Bremer