About Us

103535385911101CDPSam Hamstra is the founder and leader of ChapterNext, a Chicagoland-based consultancy dedicated to helping congregations open new chapters of dynamic and life-transforming ministry. Since 2007, Sam has been helping congregations turn the page so that they can begin writing new chapters of dynamic and life-transforming ministry. He can help you and your congregation as a pastor search consultant, preaching coach, conference speaker, and church consultant.

Sam has been prepared for this work by nearly forty years of service to the local church. He has served five unique congregations and one Christian college. Through it all, he has experience as a youth pastor, solo pastor, senior pastor, worship leader, church planter, and college chaplain. As a consultant, his ministry is now expressed through teaching, writing, consulting, and coaching.

Sam is also an Affiliate Professor of Church History and Worship, as well as the Director of the Master of Arts in Worship program at Northern Seminary. In his role at Northern, he has the privilege of teaching and mentoring the next generation of church leaders. In addition, he has been trained as an interim pastor and is affiliated with Interim Pastor Ministries.

In recent years, Sam has broadened his ministry into music,  the focus of his undergraduate studies. As a pianist and keyboardist, he has begun writing songs for the church. His first, the hymn “Once Again,” is being used by congregations throughout the country. He has also arranged some older hymns for use by contemporary Christians.

Sam and his wife, Debbie (Ploegman), reside in the Chicago area. They have enjoyed over forty years of marriage; they have been blessed with four married children and four grandchildren, all of whom live in the Chicago area. In his spare time, you will find Sam hanging out with his family, watching a baseball game, playing piano, or fishing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.