Last year, after about five years of dabbling in church consulting, in general, and in pastor search consulting, in particular, I stepped into this work full-time. Now, about one year later, I look back and thank the Lord for His unimaginable blessings and for allowing me to serve His bride in this way.
In the past year I have had the privilege of serving thirteen congregations as Pastor Search Consultant or Interim Pastor or Vision Frame Church Consultant or Preacher. In the process I have traveled to Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, as well as to the beautiful Central Valley of California; I connected with officials within several denominations, including the American Baptist Church, Evangelical Free Church, Reformed Church in America, Evangelical Covenant Church, Christian Missionary Alliance, and Christian Reformed Church in North America; I have gotten to know many pastors, each of whom has given his or her life to the service of the Gospel. Looking back, I don’t know how the first year could have gone better.
Year Two also looks promising. One reason for a positive outlook is the addition of Rev. Chris Cano (pictured to the right) to the ChapterNext team. Chris is an incredibly gifted pastor, preacher and team builder (but no relation to the Yankee’s All-Star second baseman). Christ will serve as the point person for the data and research side of our work. In this capacity he will help out with congregational surveys and pastoral assessments. He will also be available to serve as facilitator for staff leadership retreats and the like. Chris is an ordained pastor within the Reformed Church in America and lives in Southern California.
A second reason for a positive outlook as we enter Year Two is that we are about to complete three Pastoral Searches and are currently partnering with four congregations seeking new pastoral leadership. These congregations include:
Bethel Christian Reformed Church (Fulton, IL) – Pastor
Calvin Christian Reformed Church (Sheboygan, WI) – Senior Pastor
First Reformed Church (DeMotte, IN) – Teaching Pastor
Fresno (CA) Christian Reformed Church – Pastor
Finally, thank you for your prayers and encouragement. It has been a privilege partnering with you in the ministry of local congregations. I look forward to our paths crossing very soon.
In the service of the Church,
Rev. Sam Hamstra, Jr., PhD
June 13, 2013