Practicum Highlight: Experience

Deven Marshall is a first-year Bethany College student who serves in the experience practicum. Deven was already serving on the production team here at Bethany Church and chose this practicum because he wanted to learn more about how a service is run and what kind of overall planning goes into a service weekend for a larger church. We talked about the experience practicum and all the cool things that he gets to be a part of. Our conversation is below!

What do you get to do with your practicum every week?

On a normal Tuesday and Thursday (our practicum days), we get on Planning Center, which is what we use for service flow and scheduling people, and make run sheets for the upcoming weekend for all our campuses. We look at the service flow and the worship songs, and we check for any special elements happening during the service. Every week we learn all about how to plan a service and how to coordinate all the details. We’re also learning about Propresenter in one of our classes.

I also work for our experience department, so in addition to my practicum, I’m an assistant to Pastor Wayne Brown for our Baker campus on Sundays. I also help schedule people for upcoming weeks, tie up any loose ends for services, and execute tasks to prepare for Sundays. Because our church has multiple services and multiple campuses that connect, we have to stick to a timer for everything. A big part of preparing for the weekends is prepping hosts and making sure we’re on time for every part of the service.  

What unique opportunities have you had here?

I’ve had the opportunity to host some really amazing guests here at Bethany. Some of the speakers I’ve hosted since I’ve been here are Jentezen Franklin, Chris Durso, Dharius Daniels, and Chad Veach. I’ve also had the opportunity to really learn all the ins and outs of a service. I feel confident that I could help fill a spot or manage a situation well because of all the hands-on training that I’ve had. In this practicum, I’ve learned so much about different parts of production--everything from camera, to video, to lighting, to hosting.

How have you been challenged and stretched?

The thing about serving on the production team is that people don’t know you’re there until you mess up! Everyone sees the mistakes when they’re made, but until then they don’t notice that someone is working. Production people rarely get recognition because they are so behind-the-scenes, but they are a huge part of the service. The lyrics that go on the screen, the lower-thirds (names and scriptures at the bottom of the screens), and even the pastor’s notes are a big part of our experience, but we don’t think about the people who do those jobs.

At Bethany we’re constantly reminded that when people experience Jesus and receive salvation, we all share in those wins. Everyone from the lobby hosts, to the worship team, to the production team, to Pastor Jonathan himself is a part of seeing souls saved. We all work together to make that happen, and that’s what keeps us going!

What would you say to someone who feels called to this ministry?

I would say to really consider Bethany College and this practicum because you will definitely get a lot of one-on-one teaching and hands-on training. I’ve been able to jump right in, put my hands to the plow, and get a lot of experience because of proximity with staff.

What's coming up in your practicum that you're really excited about?

Easter! We’re in full-blown prep mode. We’ve got the vision from Pastor Jonathan, and we’re running with it. This season is stressfully fun. One thing about being a part of this team is asking yourself, “How well can I work under pressure? ” Our department lives by a spirit of excellence. Right now, we’re working on recruiting and scheduling all our volunteers and planning the entire Easter experience.


If you want to learn more about planning and executing excellent church services, Bethany College will equip you well to lead in this area of ministry. Get hands-on training with all areas of production, right here with our staff and volunteers. We’d love to talk to you about our programs at Preview Day on April 15! Click here to register.