The saying is true, a picture is worth a 1000 words. Meet the Samples.
We’ve coined a phrase at our church. A unique expression that has spread. Well, throughout our congregation anyway. I’m almost positive no other church uses this term. At RPAC, our church, you may often hear, “you’ve been Sampled…..”
It all began with a family. A precious family that came to our church nearly 3 years ago. There is seven of them altogether. Five kids, two parents and a presence so large you quickly realize you’ve encountered something rare, and special. They are, the Samples. And to know them is to love them.
They usually all arrive together in the same car. But once they enter the church, they scatter in directions. The kids seem to know everyone. Somehow, they’ve managed to warm their way into the hearts of all. Everyone knows the Sample children. They are everywhere.
Nobody is a stranger to them and nobody is off limits. They will find you. They will hunt you down. They will sit by you and on you. They will chase you and climb on you. Age offers no boundaries or limits to their persistence. You can be the most senior person in the church and one of them, or all of them will seek you out. They will hop up on the seat next to you and talk with you as if you are family, because to them, you really are.
Okay, I admit, the kids can be rambunctious at times, maybe even wild. It can be crazy, and it can be fun. It can also be scary!! They give off an exuberant energy that cannot be escaped. And there is no end, you can’t turn them off.
But they will talk to you. Shy is not in their DNA. These five children age four to 11 take the time to get to know you. And then, they will love all over you. Smiles, stories, lots of love and hugs…. Just a small part of the Sample kid package.
They are products of their parents, minus of course, their boisterousness. What I mean is, they emulate, albeit in a childlike fashion, many of their parent’s Christlike qualities.
I’ll admit, when I met them, the parents that is, I was quite intimidated. After all, he flew fighter jets for 20 years and is now a pilot for a popular airline. And she’s a doctor. An anesthesiologist to be exact. People I would consider to be way out of my intellectual league. But then you get to know them and quickly realize that is what they do, not who they are. Their intellect pales in comparison to their heart of Jesus.
They pour into people. They seek out those in need. They engage and step in to those messy places nobody else dare go. Nobody is a stranger. I’m often in awe of their bandwidth in caring for others. Two professionals, five kids, homeschool, sports, music lessons and yet, a priority in their home is ministry. Their home is a refuge for folks to be cared for and loved on. Simply put, they are kingdom minded.
The Samples are these people that consider the church their family. Somehow, they manage to be present for just about everything happening in church. They show up. And no, not always on time. Often times this family comes in frazzled and a little disheveled. Maybe one or more kids have mismatched shoes, or even no shoes! Sometimes their hair is out of place, and breakfast on their face, but they are there, permanent fixtures near the front row.
They trod down the aisle as close as they can get and sit before the Lord. Their children dart out for Sunday school eager to learn, and of course have fun. Church ends and they are usually one of the last families to leave. They fellowship and make sure the needs of the flock are being met.
Most folks at our church have encountered the Sample family. You can’t go to RPAC and not have them in your life. They are everywhere. They are infectious. It’s wild and crazy and when you’ve experienced them, you definitely know you’ve been Sampled. And it’s good. Over and over, it’s a good thing to be Sampled.
I wish all churches had a Sample family because I know there are many out there who need to be Sampled. if you’ve been Sampled, you’ve been blessed.
85Lindsey Alcosiba, Ashley Dean and 83 others