For those of you considering whether to apply to be part of our next Protege team, I asked Wes Cooper to write about his experience:
I graduated from the University of Georgia Honors Program with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics in May. About a year ago, I was pursuing my Master of Arts in Economics and intending to go to law school in California. However, my plans were not God's. I began to feel a pull to ministry that I had never felt before. After speaking with many people who I knew well and respected, I realized God wanted me to surrender my plans for the future and trust His calling into ministry--college ministry specifically.
It became evident that Athens was where I needed to stay. God wanted me here. He had blessed me with too much and opened too many doors for me to simply walk away. Furthermore, I have grown to love Christ Community Church. Protege offered me an opportunity to stay at a Gospel-centered church under Matt, who coaches and assesses church-planters throughout the Acts 29 Network. Since I think church-planting and pastoring may be where God is leading me, Protege was a wise decision to say the least. The two-year program allows me to take courses in Gospel Character, Biblical Exposition, Mission, and Appologetics. Also, I am able to meet with Matt and get one-on-one coaching on things such as leading a community group to conversations about speaking with people who are malicious towards Christianity.
The program is a great opportunity. I yearn to see the campus of the University of Georgia changed by people who love Jesus Christ and want their friends to know how much the Lord loves them. I long to see a community built that is founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord is working and has placed a heavy burden on me to see this community grow through the people I meet in the dining hall, in Ramsey, and through playing sports and Protege provides me with training and education to confidently approach conversations with the Gospel, to examine the Bible as it points to Jesus Christ, and to lead Gospel-centered group discussions.
I can speak more about how this program equips me to communicate the Gospel to a 4 year-old and a 40 year-old. It helps me to find my strengths and weaknesses and improve in areas. It has been a blessing to go through the Porterbrook material with others and learn from each other as God uses us to reveal Himself to each other. If you have any questions about this program, I'd love to talk with you and tell you more about my experience so far. Please pull me aside at the gathering on Sunday, or send me an email and we will get in touch. I think this is a great program and Matt and Aaron genuinely want to see people grow in their love for Jesus Christ.
If you'd like to talk with Wes about your interest in Protege, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org