Tex Sample is a specialist in church and society, a storyteller, author, and the Robert B. and Kathleen Rogers Professor Emeritus of Church and Society at Saint Paul School of Theology.
After moving back to Kansas City, Dr. Sample has reengaged with the seminary in several ways. This past August, students at the Saint Paul: Church of the Resurrection campus and Saint Paul: Oklahoma City University campus were able to learn from his many years of experience in Community Organizing.
Tex brought in four professional community organizers from the National Offices of Industrial Areas Foundations who helped with the teaching.
“My conviction is that real change occurs from the bottom up. Great things begin when the people involved are doing the work and organize around their concerns. Many of the efforts start out in grass roots efforts. Building relationships has the power to get things done.”
Dr. Sample related Community Organizing to the work that pastors do in the church. “An awful lot of these skills translate into ministry and can immediately be put into place as a pastor. Skills such as listening, building relationships, talking to government officials, business leaders, and the minimum wage worker.” he said.
“I emphasize the 1 to 1 meeting in my class,” said Dr. Sample. “You need to find out the passions, interests, and convictions of others before they will follow you.”
Dr. Sample was recently asked to fill in at a local Kansas City church until a full-time pastor is found. “I took it upon myself to call each of the 96 people on the member list before starting to work. It was a 96 member congregation and after those calls 150 people showed up on the first Sunday. People want to know that you care.”