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Sam Hamstra

About Me: 

I am an Executive Search Consultant with the Rukes Search Group, as well as a retired CRCNA pastor. I have had the privilege of serving congregations in both the RCA and CRCNA. When I am not working, I am hanging out with my family or reading a book or fishing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or serving as the Commissioner of the Chicago Suburban Baseball League or playing piano.

 

Blog
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The Return of the Church Cemetery

If your church is looking to meet a need in the community and your campus includes ample green space, consider setting aside space for a garden where families can scatter or bury the cremated remains of their loved ones.

Community Engagement
Blog
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The Pastoral Practice of Self-Reflection

Self-reflection is difficult. It encourages us to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge our limitations. It requires that we ask ourselves personal questions, the answers to which will force us out of comfort zones. 

Pastors
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Beware of Dissing the Preacher

As I read through sermons by the great Reformer Martin Luther, I got stuck on a sermon from Luke 2:41-52. Was I concluding that Luther preached a good sermon but did not preach the text?

PastorsWorship
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A Thought on Praying the Psalms

Praying the Psalms for the “whole Christ" enriches my prayer life. It increases my appreciation for the global church, weakens the grip of individualism, and brings to life Psalms I might otherwise overlook.  

Prayer
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Confessions

When I asked my class of nearly 30 students to pick their #1 line from the Confessions of Augustine, there was very little duplication. This list of their 'top lines' may encourage you to revisit this classic spiritual autobiography.

Faith Nurture
  • John, thanks for your comments. I am sure there are a few pastors who may be tempted by sloth. I don't know many and that hasn't been my experience. Unfortunately, the temptation of success, as...

  • Erin, thank you for your comment. I concur with the temptation but have not been able to identify its root cause. Maybe it is an aversion to risk. I say that because shepherding people can be...

  • Thanks, Jeff.

  • Thanks for that response. I bounced the idea of a group in Wisconsin last night and they, too, confirmed the need and embraced the idea.

  • Just ran across these words from a sermon on the Holy Spirit by A.W. Tozer:  There is more of God in Augustine's Confessions than there is in all of the books written in fundamental circles in the...

    posted on: Confessions
  • I wonder if that option was considered?

  • Thanks, Doug, for the suggestion.  I don't know first hand, but such experiences may have played a role in the development of groups like ECO and LCMC.

  • Wendy, I am helped by the distinction between the church gathered (the local church) and the church scattered (individuals living in obedience to Christ in their homes, workplaces, neighborhoods,...

  • Darren, thank you for your contribution to this conversation.  You encouraged me to do "some double checking and write in such a way as to how you see your hopes and dreams being realized in the...

  • Amen on the need for more listening and fewer surveys.