My Journey to James River College
Growing up in a small, country farm town, all I ever wanted to do was play basketball – That was my dream and purpose in life. I even planned to play basketball for a college in Saint Louis, MO after graduating high school, but decided I wanted to do something completely different after becoming a Christian – I just didn’t know what it was yet.
I had no idea what God was calling me to, but I knew it was something bigger than myself. I wanted to be a leader; I just didn’t know how to lead. I knew God was calling me to do something in full-time ministry, but I needed a connection to that calling.
I discovered I needed a foundation, something solid that would be a platform for God to show me my purpose. I wanted to be in a place that I could receive a college education and at the same time gain hands-on leadership experience. Thankfully, through a friend, I heard about James River College.
How James River College Became My Home
I didn’t know Christian colleges were a thing, and that was the last place I thought I would end up. When I heard about James River College, though, it sounded incredible! A college that’s campus is in a local church? What? That’s awesome! I was all in and ready to go.
The culture on campus, the staff at the church and college, and the students of James River College made James River College home. I felt like God was specifically using the college to show me my calling. This was the place I was looking for. This was the connection to my calling. It all came to reality.
Three Key Life Lessons
Some of the most amazing things about James River College are the things you learn inside and outside of the classroom. Here are three key things I learned while being a student at James River College:
1. If You Want to Lead, You Have to Serve
At James River College, I learned how to become the leader God was calling me to be. The unification of environment, faculty, and students created the perfect place for me to flourish in my leadership potential.
As leaders, we must be sensitive to those we do life with and willing to go out of our way to serve the people around us. I cannot stress it enough, if you want to be a person of influence and if you are passionate about leading people, you must learn the significance of serving.
Serving is the avenue in which God uses to accomplish great things in you and through you. Servant leadership is not something you do; servant leadership must be who you are.
2. Champion the Cause of the Local Church
Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz never said anything truer than this: “There is no place like home.” Home has a certain smell, feel, and atmosphere. And just like the home you go to every night, God has specifically designed the Church to be a home.
At James River College, because of its unique setting in the local church environment, I experienced a home. That is the purpose of the Church – to welcome people home into a family. And as Jesus followers, there is nothing better to champion than the cause of the local church. One of the most significant ways we can champion the cause of the local church is to help build the church.
There are specific characteristics I learned as a student at James River College that equipped me to be a builder of the Church. Those characteristics consisted of being committed to always communicating unity.
There is astonishing power when we join together unified with one heart and one vision moving in one direction. This is the power of being a builder of the local Church. Because of James River College, I was given the education and the experience that empowered me to be a builder of the Church.
3. Believe God for Big Things
As I was finishing my James River College education, I began thinking about the future. Because of the education and experience that I gained during my time at James River College, I knew I wanted to be a part of building the Church through the gifts, talents, and skills that God has given me.
I remember hanging out with my friends on campus and jokingly saying, “Man, how cool would it be to work here at James River Church?” For me, it was a dream that God started putting in my heart. But I didn’t know how it would work out.
The week I graduated from James River College, I received my dream job. An opportunity opened for me to be able to work for James River Church!
What I learned from James River College prepared me for the future that God was setting up for me. Weekly, I am able to connect my education and experience that I gained at James River College directly to what I know God has called me to do.
If I hadn’t gone to James River College, I would have never had the foundation that built my faith to believe God for big things and for Him to do the extraordinary. I share all of this with you, to encourage you. Believe God for big things!
The Bible says this in Ephesians, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” God wants to do more in you and through you than you could ever imagine! For me, James River College was the connection that God used to show me my calling.
God used James River College as a platform to show me my purpose. When you believe God for big things, you will see Him do way more than you thought possible. Take hold of what God has placed in your heart for your future, because as you are faithful to what He is placing before you, you will see what was in your heart be placed in your hand.
God wants to use a platform in your life so that you can know the purpose He has for you and your future. Believe Him for big things, because the best is yet to come for you and future!