This week Grace and Maddy, two Bethany College students, went live to talk about the worship practicum and share a bit of their experiences.
Grace Lands is a third year student and Madeline Preston is a second year worship practicum student. Just to cover the basics before we jump in, our worship practicum is led by Pastor James Stockstill, our main worship pastor here at Bethany. Grace and Maddy explain more about what this practicum entails in this post! Here's 4 questions they covered:
What were your expectations coming into Bethany College?
Maddy: I grew up at a smaller church where my dad was a worship leader so I didn't really know what to expect. I came here open to learn anything and everything about the focus of worship.
Grace: I came with the expectation to grow spiritually. I wanted to jump into Christian literature and great authors like C.S. Lewis and my expectation has been exceeded 1,000 times on the academic side of learning about worship ministry. I've played piano since I was 7, but I knew I wanted to grow in those skills as well. I was on staff at another church as a worship leader before coming to Bethany College, so she came in with a level of understanding of what it means to be a worship leader but I've grown even more since I've been here.
In what ways have you grown as a worship leader since coming to Bethany College?
Grace: A-U-T-H-O-R-I-T-Y... Authority is such a big thing that comes from being in this house. Leadership, authority, transparency, authenticity... These things come from being a part of B Groups and having mentors, pastors and leaders who are around you. As a worship leader I've grown in the ability to discern what's going on in the room and speak over people what God wants to say.
Maddy: For me, I've definitely grown in confidence and in who I am as a leader and as a worshiper. Confidence really sticks out in a room, and it's not about the attention you get. When you're confident you lead with authority. It's been such a great experience. Coming from a small church it can be so intimidating to lead in a house that has thousands of attenders, so really growing in confidence has been such a great thing for me to walk in.
What does a week look like for a worship practicum student?
Maddy: Usually we have worship practicum days on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We've had the opportunity to write songs, to record some stuff, and to learn instruments. I just started learning to play the guitar and my lessons with Pastor Zach have been phenomenal! I've learned so much. We've also had the opportunity to get experience leading on the weekends. Grace and I are usually at our MidCity campus. It's been so fun learning as a team and learning how other people worship. It's built our character.
Grace: We're also excited about some changes coming up this year in the worship practicum! I've had the opportunity to work with Pastor James a lot this summer and our program is going to be bigger and better than it's ever been before. We're introducing a new class called Worship DNA where students will dive into the heart of worship and learn about what the means for our house. Students will hear from some of our pastors on staff, our worship team, and also Pastor Jonathan himself! We are SO excited about this!
What advice would you give someone interested in being in the worship practicum?
Grace: Be prepared and start NOW with the time you have this summer. Keep working on your skill & your craft. Dive into learning things like music theory, the number system, and the practical side of what it means to be a musician and a singer. If you're a singer, maybe find a vocal teacher who can give you some quick things to learn. Prepare yourself for audition season and hone your skills. And of course, go deeper in worship and word. Everyday prepare your heart for this new season.
Maddy: Do all of what Grace said and prepare yourself! Also take the time to pray and check your heart and motives as a worship leader.
Meet Grace & Maddy at Bethany Conference!
At the end of our conference we're hanging out with anyone interested in learning more about Bethany College! We'd love to talk more about our practicums with you. Come stop by on Thursday, June 21st, at 5:30 before the final service with Jentezen Franklin and grab dinner with us. Click here to RSVP!