Hi. I am Kevin Soodsma and I’m the new guide for the Worship Network. I look forward to conversing with you over a few the many theological and practical topics in worship today.
I have been involved in worship ministry since high school and continued through college. I became a paid church staff person during college as a choir director and organist for various churches in the area. For 12 years I have served in a church setting and love it! In 2000 I began my worship ministry serving a Lutheran ELCA parish of 3 congregations. In 2001, I moved to Grand Rapids and have served in the CRC since. I met my wife Amy in 2002 at an Adult Sunday School class I was leading on the Reformation and Worship. Currently, we are blessed by many in our current congregation I am serving, Beckwith Hills CRC. The Beckwith Hills congregation that has been commended for their congregational singing by guests that visit our church.
I have served and currently serve in many capacities in church ministry – praise team director, choir director, technology coordinator, organist, pianist, music arranger, liturgical arts designer, liturgy planner, liturgist, lighting designer, audio/video coordinator, etc. Just about everything pertaining to worship but preaching. So you can say I’m a “Jack of all trades,” but I prefer to work behind the scenes, at the keyboard (piano/organ), or conducting.
During my time in Grand Rapids, MI I have taken advantage of many things. The Calvin Institute for Christian Worship (www.calvin.edu/worship) offers many wonderful opportunities for learning and reflection. I also have attended continuing education courses in worship at Calvin Seminary, which I have found my sustainability and affirmation for ministry. I am also on the advisory committee for the new CRC/RCA hymnal Lift Up Your Hearts.
I’m excited to begin this opportunity to work and learn with and from you through the Worship Network. Even though music tends to be my main focus in worship, I am always considering other dynamics that engage people in worship. I am eager to hear what you have to share through our time together. I don’t have all the answers, but hopefully have been around long enough to go find them or ask someone who might know, or at least point us in a certain direction.