Who is Sammy Rodriguez? He’s a guy who smiles real big. Yeah, kind of like your old elementary school principal, but not so big it resembled the strange art teacher. It’s a rather kind smile that conveys easy lovin’. I want you to picture a tall, Puerto Rican guy with enough charisma to fill a room. He’s a guy that loves to be in the spotlight. You might even say he comes alive, especially when it comes to “game time”.
What exactly is game time? It’s the many moments on stage; it’s the nights spent at universities, parking lots, and churches nationwide speaking about the love of Jesus to hundreds of young people. It’s also the everyday moments in the grocery store when he’s altering eternal destinies in the midst of searching for cereal.
On his twenty sixth birthday you’ll find him in perhaps an unexpected place. While the rest of his peers in Surf City are probably out drinking and indulging themselves to the fullest extent, you’ll find Sammy celebrating at a park with what he calls his family. Except the guy sitting next to him isn’t Puerto Rican. The girl sitting across from him isn’t even Latino. He’s with a dozen or so people who don’t share a single drop of blood with him. Sammy is all about family. It’s not because he is exclusively about his Puerto Rican family, but because he is about championing every age group and cultivating love and selflessness across racial and denominational borders.
In today’s church culture, the term revival scares people because of the magnitude of its definition and past. Revival connotes an enormous and full-blown event of mass proportions. Many think of the Great Awakenings in the 1800 and 1900’s when George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards barking repentance and the fire and brimstone message. According to Sammy, however, it seems more attainable than what many think it is going to be.
“Revival is simply more people getting to know God” and “more people being awakened to know Jesus.” –Sammy Rodriguez
So I got to sit down with Mr. Rodriguez over video chat while he was taking a break from all the craziness. What I found was a grounded guy who held a great balance of diligence and serenity. It is one thing for a young person to possess an enormous amount of zeal; however, finding a young individual who commands both diligence and a strong amount of composure is difficult. These qualities are only, but an indication of someone who has been toiling for the returning of Jesus.
So how is Sammy going to usher in the returning of Jesus? It is through creating a massive family.
“Family at its core root is about seeing one another for who they really are. Family sees and accepts even in brokenness and is committed to covering one another’s weaknesses”. –Sammy Rodriguez
At the root of what he is prescribing, family is about making the bigger picture more whole; that bigger picture is infinitely inclusive of every single believer in the world. Everyone has a piece to bring and at the end of the day, it is about covering one another’s weaknesses with one another’s strengths. Family becomes less about spotlighting the individual and more about the body as a whole. It doesn’t just stop there though. Sammy is onto his newest initiative: Carry the Love.
Carry the Love is a nationwide tour proclaiming a message of “love” aimed towards gathering believers and then taking the next step to launch and mobilize thousands into their different expressions of love for the sake of the Gospel. It is an initiative geared towards unity and then a releasing of every gift, talent, and ability to love every person throughout America and the nations.
It’s guys like Sammy that make up the bigger picture of the body Christ. He is just one guy among an entire body that is doing his part. We all have gifts, talents, and abilities that are beautiful. What would it look like to begin to not only dream and imagine success, but also take steps towards that dream? What Sammy is trying to accomplish is no small task. Though his objective is truly larger than life, his actions and steps towards ushering Jesus’ return are progressive.
So the question remains:
What can we do today that will help us conquer tomorrow?
Header Photo by The Living Room Tour