Best Practices

Applying for a Worship Leader Position?

A church which announces a full-time position which includes responsibilities as a worship leader will receive well over fifty inquiries. If you are one of that number, you want to make it easy for Search Teams, Human Resource folk, Pastoral Staff members, and others who review your submission to catch a glimpse of your person…

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Pastors and congregations: Marriages made in heaven?

The marriage between pastor and congregation can become a beautiful celebration of harmony, like a finely tuned orchestra. The pastor and the church’s leadership are on the same proverbial page, the worship service is exquisite and the various programs run like a clock. The congregation is growing spiritually and numerically, and the community is envious…

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Why A Pastor Search Firm

In a short time, ChapterNext has become the leading Pastor Search Firm in the Chicagoland area and Great Lakes region. This past year alone, ChapterNext Founder Sam Hamstra walked alongside seven congregations searching for a new pastor, and assisted several other Search Teams. Perhaps your congregation has experienced a pastoral vacancy and is now considering…

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Time for Your Church to Renew, Relaunch or Retire?

Is it time for your church to renew, relaunch or retire? Congregations, like living organisms, experience cyclical and predictable seasons. In a manner of speaking, they are given birth in the spring, flourish in the summer, fade in the fall, and die in the winter. Well, not necessarily. While the living organisms of nature have…

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Planning Your Annual Leadership Event for 2014?

If you are planning your annual leadership event for 2014, I invite you to consider Benjamin Stewart as serve as your facilitator. Ben is the latest addition to the ChapterNext team. Ben is the Executive Pastor of Christian Life Center in Tinley Park, IL and the founder of FocusONE.  Ben represents a new breed of…

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Strategies Towards Multicultural Worship

We will agree that the mission of God is to create a people with representatives from every tribe and nation. It seems to me that one cannot read Revelation 4 and conclude otherwise. Of course, affirming the mission of God differs from participating in the mission of God. Local congregations which do both, embrace God’s…

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The Ideal Senior Pastor or "1st" Chair

In response to my blog on the Ideal Associate Pastor or “2nd Chair”, I received a request to write about the qualities of the ideal Senior Pastor or “1st Chair.” That request led me to consult with some Associate Pastors from whom I received great insight, the kind I wish I would have received while…

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ChapterNext Launches "Congregational Wellness Survey"

ChapterNext has developed a “Congregational Wellness Survey” to measure a congregation’s perception of its health. By measuring the vital systems of a congregation – including but not limited to worship, nurture, and  witness –  this tool allows the people in the pews to share their thoughts about the effectiveness of their congregation’s ministry. ChapterNext founder…

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The Preacher as Prophet – Can it Be?

It has been pretty easy during my thirty-plus years of pastoral work to preach messages of hope to congregations which I have loved. It has not been easy during that same time frame to preach prophetically to those same people. My deep-seated insecurities and ever-present need to please people have all too often, I confess,…

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