Posts by Sam Hamstra

From the People in the Pews: On Preaching

In my role as a pastor-search consultant, I have the privilege of working with pastor search teams. These dedicated groups of Christ-followers, often the cream of the crop of their congregations, fulfill many important tasks in their efforts to discern their next pastors. One of those tasks is listening to the sermons of pastoral candidates.…

Read More

The Ministry of Presence

Browsing a lovely bookstore in Kalamazoo, MI, I came across The Road to Character by David Brooks, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times and an instructor at Yale. In this 2016 publication, Brooks encourages us to “rethink our priorities and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.” He…

Read More

The Preacher as Prophet

It has been pretty easy during my nearly forty years of pastoral work to preach messages of hope. It has not been as easy to preach prophetically. My deep-seated insecurities and ever-present need to please people have all too often encouraged more therapeutic sermons that calm the fears than prophetic ones which excite them.  Perhaps…

Read More

Pastor of Student Ministries – South Bend/Mishawaka Region

River Valley Church, a vibrant and growing congregation serving the South Bend – Mishawaka (IN) region, looks forward to adding a a new member to its ministry team: a Pastor of Student Ministries. In this full-time position, the PSM will provide leadership and direction for a dynamic and spiritually formative ministry to hundreds of teens…

Read More

Lead Pastor Opportunity (Edina, MN)

Calvary Christian Reformed Church (Edina, MN) awaits the arrival of a Lead Pastor (LP), a person responsible for preaching, shepherding, and leadership. As a preacher, the LP will prepare biblically relevant sermons, as well as planning and leading engaging worship services. As a shepherd, the LP will express love for the flock by providing spiritual…

Read More

Children’s Ministry Director – South Bend/Mishawaka Region

River Valley Church, a vibrant and growing congregation serving the South Bend – Mishawaka (IN) region, looks forward to adding a a new member to its ministry team: a Children’s Ministry Director. In this full-time position, the CMD will provide leadership and direction for a dynamic and spiritually formative ministry to hundreds of children linked…

Read More

GRIP Outreach for Youth: Opportunities for Ministry in Chicago

GRIP is one of the best things going in the city of Chicago. Plus, its ministry to high school youth is unparalleled. Founded in 2004 with the mission to “break the fatherless cycle through Christ-centered, Life-on-Life relationships,” this growing non-profit offers signature programs such as SLAM (over 100 youth gather each Monday in a gymnasium…

Read More

Rosewood Church (Jenison, MI) Lead Pastor Opportunity

Rosewood Reformed Church (Jenison, MI) awaits the arrival of a Lead Pastor (LP) with a heart for God, mind for truth, good communication skills, and a sense of humor. The LP will have the privilege of preparing and delivering biblical and relevant sermons to the gathered community, as well as planning and leading inspiring worship…

Read More

Seminaries 200 Years Later & Beyond

American Protestant seminaries have been around for just over 200 years. Andover (MA) Theological Seminary was the first, established in 1807. Many followed shortly thereafter. Today, few would bet money on American Protestant seminaries surviving this century. The seminary model is simply not suited for our post-modern and post-Christian context. In short, the numbers just…

Read More

What We Measure = What We Value

While Counterinsurgency (New York: Oxford Press, 2010) by David Kilcullen is intended for “civilian and military students and practitioners of counterinsurgency,” I discovered some insights that may help leaders of the local church. Here is one that seems helpful: what we measure reflects what we value. So, as David Kilcullen writes: Organizations manage what they…

Read More