Posts by Sam Hamstra

One Year Later: Escazu Christian Fellowship (Costa Rica)

For just over ten years, ChapterNext has been helping churches discern their next step in pastoral leadership. This past year, ChapterNext had the privilege of working with Escazu Christian Fellowship in San Jose, Costa Rica. Escazu Christian Fellowship is located in a part of Costa Rica that is home for many expatriates from all over…

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Jesus’ Position Description as Shepherd of the Sheep?

Having had the privilege of being raised in a family dedicated to Christ and His Church, I often heard the word “under-shepherd” as a reference to the pastor. The meaning of the word required minimal explanation. We knew Christ as the great shepherd of the sheep and viewed the pastor as the one responsible for…

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Pastor of Discipleship Opportunity (Elmhurst, IL)

Elmhurst (IL) Christian Reformed Church, a congregation of approximately 1500 people, has begun a search for a Pastor of Discipleship to help the congregation live into its vision of being God’s source of shining light and living water in the western suburbs of Chicago, by drawing people to know Jesus, becoming like Jesus, and serving…

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From the People in the Pews: On Preaching #2

As noted in my previous blog under this banner, in my role as a pastor-search consultant I have the privilege of working with pastor search teams. These incredibly dedicated groups of Christ-followers fulfill many important tasks in their efforts to discern their next pastors. One of those tasks is listening to the sermons of pastoral…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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