What's a Protege?
The Protege Program at National Community Church is a year-long internship/fellowship, geared toward preparing you for full-time ministry in the church or in the context of business-as-mission.
What does this have to do with you and me?
For me, the Protege Program was a step into full-time ministry after a short career on Capitol Hill. Almost four years ago I started my Protege year, working with Pastor Heather Zempel on the Discipleship Team, and last year I became a Department Mentor for Andy Backus, one of this year's Discipleship Proteges.
For you, the Protege Program is an opportunity to get hands-on, practical ministry experience. You'll do real ministry work. This isn't just about folding bulletins or stuffing envelopes (although you'll do those things too).
I'm not sure I can quickly sum up what I did as a Protege, but a few of the experiences included: creating humorous videos; serving as a Campus Pastor; producing our small group catalog; preaching at our Alpha course; leading a small group; writing, designing, and editing a "newspaper" for our leadership retreat; and a thousand other things. Of course, your mileage may vary.
Oh, and it's not paid. You'll have to raise support or work a second job to provide for your living expenses while you're here, so you're not in it for the money.
More than anything else, you should consider coming to NCC because God is at work here. He has by His grace chosen to work in and through us. I don't know how else to say it, but God is doing something big among us. We're trying to seek His face, steward what He's given us, and hold on for the ride of our lives.
Look, I won't pull any punches. Things aren't perfect here. We have personality conflicts, disagreements, sin problems, communication problems, and all sorts of other issues. You'll find yourself variously exhilarated, exhausted, fulfilled, and frustrated.
Working at NCC is a blessing and a privilege, but it isn't perfect. Then again, if you think there's a perfect church out there, I've got some real estate on Mars to sell you.
To continue our candid conversation, some people see NCC as a "hip" or "cutting-edge" church, and there's a certain appeal to working at a place like that. Two years ago that's probably how I would have pitched NCC to you. But that perspective almost always stems from pride and desire for recognition, both yours and ours. So come here because God is moving. Come here because you're called here. Come here because you think you can learn here. Come here to help advance the Kingdom. But don't come because of a "cool" factor.
What can I do at NCC?
I'd love to have you come work with us on the Discipleship Team, but don't let me scare you off. There are a bunch of other great departments you could be a part of including Production, Campus Pastors, Ebenezers Coffeehouse, Student/Children's Ministry, Worship, Missions, Outreach, Media, Business/Finance and probably something we've never thought of!
What's my next step?
I'm always happy to talk more about NCC's Protege Program. Just drop a comment here, and I'll follow up with you either via comment or email.