Posts by Sam Hamstra

My Next Chapter

I am delighted to share that, through a wonderful series of events, no doubt orchestrated by the Lord, ChapterNext has evolved into the Rukes Search Group. This new endeavor unites me with two incredible people: Todd Rukes and Tammy Kelley. The three of us have 70+ years of real ministry experience and have completed 500+…

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If your church closed, would your community miss it?

Some statements sound so right we hardly dare question their validity. I ran across one such statement during my morning walk: Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Injustice Everywhere.  I saw that sign shortly after reading about the persecution of Christians in Nigeria. I thought about it again when talking to a friend who came…

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Lead Pastor Opportunity (Fort Wayne, IN)

First Missionary Church of Fort Wayne, IN awaits the arrival of its next Lead Pastor, a man of God who will shepherd the congregation into a renewed season of ministry through fulfilling its vision to genuinely love our community and nurture new life in Christ. Fort Wayne, Indiana is a city of 300,000 with all…

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Solo Pastor Opportunity (Martin, ND)

Has the Lord called and equipped you to serve as a solo pastor in rural America? Have you discovered the joy of serving the local church as a general practitioner?  Do you seek to embody three vital relationships: reaching up to the Lord, reaching into the church, and reaching out to the community? Then, the…

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Pastor of Youth & Discipleship Opportunity (DeMotte, IN)

American Reformed Church (DeMotte, IN), a healthy congregation of nearly 300 weekly worshipers, has begun a nationwide search for a Pastor of Youth and Discipleship. This person will take over a vibrant and flourishing teen ministry and, if so gifted and inclined, will have the opportunity to preach occasionally. The ideal candidate for this position…

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Why limit music to congregational singing?

This semester I have had the privilege of teaching a course in the Master of Arts in Worship program for Visible Music College (Memphis, TN). The title of the course is Worship, Aesthetics and the Arts. Frankly, this course was a stretch for me. It forced me to explore relatively unknown territories, including the deep…

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Why am I raking leaves?

Why am I blowing, raking, and burning leaves?  Why not just let nature takes its course? Well, I want the lawn around my cabin to weather the winter and flourish in the spring. But that answer simply prompts another question: Why did I spend so much time taking care of my lawn…thatching, aerating, fertilizing (not once…

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Why Small Churches Make Better Disciples Than Large Churches

In his 1905 essay on the family G.K. Chesterton writes, “The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world. He knows much more of the fierce varieties and uncompromising divergences of men. The reason is obvious. In a large community we have the freedom to choose our companions. In a…

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Lead Pastor Opportunity (South Holland, IL)

Thorn Creek Reformed Church (South Holland, IL) has begun a search for a pastor to lead it into a new chapter of ministry during which the congregation seeks to be a community where faith and life meet by making disciples who follow Jesus together. The ideal candidate for this opportunity will be an experienced pastor…

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The Unintended Message of Live-Streamed Sermons

Have you heard the phrase, “The Medium is the Message”? It was once penned by a ground-breaking Canadian philosopher named Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980). He taught that a communication medium, like live-streaming, is so powerful that it actually shapes the message being communicated. The medium embeds itself in the message and influences how the message is…

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