Overcoming the Fear of a New Environment
May 8th, 2013 | 2:32pm
By Jessie Brock
Finding Hope in the Hopelessness
I came to JRLC in the fall of 2012, and it is the best decision I’ve ever made. When I first came to school here, I was struggling with fear and anxiety about attending college. I had very little public school experience. I grew up being homeschooled, which entailed my parents giving me the workbooks and me figuring everything out on my own. I did the work and graded it myself. I come from a background of severe abuse, sex trafficking and neglect. I was isolated from people as a child and was often told I would never amount to much. I thought I was too stupid for college. But God… He had other plans for me. He rescued me from those falsehoods, and He placed people around me who spoke truth and life into me.
Discovering a Community of Encouragement
JRLC is a college that promotes and teaches the importance of community and unity in school, church, and everyday life. I saw this firsthand when the year started. The leaders and sophomores here at JRLC surrounded all the incoming students with love and support, encouragement and friendship. I would not look most of them in the eyes at first because I was scared of failing and uncertain as to how to respond to the leaders and students who wanted me to trust them and learn from them. The Director of JRLC, Dr. Spence, pulled me aside one day and asked me to look him in the eye. When I did, he told me that he did not expect me to trust him on the spot—instead, he wanted to earn my trust. Over the first semester, I started to trust my leadership a little at a time, and I was able to reach out when I needed help with my academics and with personal struggles. They directed me to God and helped me when they could. I had to choose everyday how I would respond. I made the decision that my past was not going to hold me back anymore and that I would do whatever it takes to let God work in my heart.
Blessed Beyond Belief
When I am being challenged to do something, I have to decide if I am going to let fear stop me or face it head on and trust that God will equip me with what I need to accomplish what He has called me to do. In the past two months, I have been asked to share my testimony at a secular college, I have been given a car with all expenses paid, a brand new computer for school, financial provision for tuition and missions trips, and blessings beyond words. I have found a place to call home for the first time in my life. God has been faithful and has provided for all of my needs while attending JRLC through supernatural miracles and through people here at JRLC and James River Assembly. Coming to JRLC has strengthened my relationship with God and ignited my passion to serve. I am being transformed inside and out every day, all while getting a degree that will help me further my education and serve the Kingdom of God. With my first year of college coming to a close, my GPA is higher than ever and more importantly, I have gained a new view on life and myself that has already opened the door to tremendous opportunities. I am excited and expectant to see what God is going to do in and through me in the coming year at JRLC—and in the rest of my life.
The Spring Semester
November 20th, 2012 | 5:09pm
The upcoming semester at JRLC is going to be amazing. This spring our students will experience James River's Vision Sunday, amazing Easter Services, a huge Easter outreach for families in our community, and the James River Men's Conference.
In addition to all of this, we will be hosting Pastor Mark Driscoll for the Real Marriage Tour and a sweet college days. Both of these events will be opportunities for our students to hear from leaders who are making a difference in the Church today.
We are expecting great things and we know that we are going to see God change people's lives as they open up their hearts to Jesus Christ.
The One Big College Visit Party
November 9th, 2012 | 11:43pm
MAZE Promo Video
October 9th, 2012 | 1:44pm
We will be hosting the JRLC "One Big College Visit Party" on November 14th and 15th featuring the illusionist Maze. This will be an awesome time for you to check out JRLC and have some fun. More information to come.
Design For Life Womens Conference
September 28th, 2012 | 9:33pm
We are in the middle of an awesome women's conference. The excitement is contagious when we see so many women experiencing the power of God and being inspired to build the local church. Our students have played a huge part. The picture above is Kaitlynn Cooley, a sophomore JRLC student, leading 4,000 women in worship. Each JRLC student possesses a significant role in changing peoples lives this weekend. We are very blessed with awesome speakers Debbie Lindell, Chris Caine (Hillsong), Dianne Wilson, and Priscilla Shirer who are building our faith and challenging us to be better leaders.
Some of the improvements for next year
May 22nd, 2012 | 1:41pm
When you arrive here there will be an additional computer lab with 30 new desktop computers. Along with this new lab we will be purchasing 4 new computers for the library. This new equipment will help us better meet students' needs.
We are not stopping improvements in the library by adding computers alone. Prior to the fall we will be purchasing a large number of new books. This bulk purchase will be focused on adding even more researched-based leadership material to our shelves.
In our classrooms we will have 2 additional smart projectors. These projectors will significantly improve the classroom experience for both the professors and the students. For more information about the smart projectors we are purchasing, visit http://www.projector.com/reviews/boxlight/projectowrite2.php.
May 20th, 2012 | 1:00pm
As we prepare for next year, we are so excited about what God is going to do. Truly He has done great things in the past, but we know that this is only the beginning. For those who will be attending JRLC next year, whether you are a returning student or a new student, we want you to know what is going to be happening, so that you can be praying about the part you will play and what God wants you to learn. Here are just some of things that are coming up:
1. Mass Water Baptisms – This will happen the first Sunday that the JRLC students will be here. Last year we had the opportunity to baptize 915 people over the year. Be praying that this is a powerful Sunday.
2. JRLC Summerfest – Pray that God will meet with all the students of JRLC and that this will launch us into our Best Year Yet.
3. Designed for Life Women's Conference – At this conference we will be hearing from the following people: Priscilla Shirer (evangelist), Christine Caine (Hillsong Church), Dianne Wilson (Newport Church) and CeCe Winans (singer/songwriter). Pray God uses this to build up women's lives and to give them courage to live bold lives for Him.
4. James River Youth Outreach Season – Whether it is One Big Party, The Super Crazy Crazy Show, or any of the other youth outreaches we do over the fall, we need to be praying that God touches the hearts of young people and 100's are reached with the gospel.
5. October 31st Party – Thousands of unchurched people come to James River to participate in games we have for kids. This is an opportunity to be a light in our community and to reach people with the gospel. Be praying that people who don't know Jesus will come to know Him through this event.
6. JRLC Youth Outreaches – We visit one church a month and host an outreach. Our heart is to encourage youth pastors and to strengthen the work God has called them to. This is also another opportunity for our students to be a part of something from planning to execution.
7. A James River Christmas – Christmas is a time when lost people feel obligated to attend church. This is awesome, because we want them to encounter the love of God.
8. Vision Sunday – This is where we reflect on what God did in the past year, and we cast vision for the future year.
9. Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill Church) and the Real Marriage Tour – If you are not married you probably will be one day, so come prayed up and ready to take notes.
10. Men’s Conference – At this conference we will hear from guest speakers John Burns (Relate Church, Vancouver, BC) and Stovall Weems (Celebration Church, Jacksonville, FL). Be praying that men’s lives are impacted.
11. Easter Express – Like the October 31st outreach, we are praying that our church campus will be full of people who need to experience God’s love and life-changing power…so be praying for the part you will play.
These are just some of the great things of which our students get to be a part.
This blog is intended to build your excitement and expectation of what God wants to do in your life and how He wants to use you to reach people for Him. Please be praying for next year. None of the things listed above will change anyone’s life without God’s power and presence. The Best is Yet to Come. See you soon.
Men's Conference Promo
May 18th, 2012 | 11:53am
This is a promo for the 2013 men's conference. This video was made by James River's communication team.
April 23rd, 2012 | 10:09am
This is a video our CS department put together to promote the different ways to connect to James River.
April 17th, 2012 | 6:14pm
Last weekend, JRLC was able to be a part of seeing God do amazing things through James River Assembly! We were able to see 240 people make decisions for Christ and 125 people be water baptized on Easter Sunday. Between the two campuses, we had 14,264 people come out to join us. At our West Campus, we used 3 additional rooms for overflow and ran out of chairs! JRLC students had the opportunity to serve in many different areas across James River Assembly. They were able to help lead worship, pray with the altar team, and assist our pastors with baptisms. The Lord completely worked in amazing ways, and allowed JRLC and the people of James River Assembly to be used to do his will! It is such a blessing to see God working through our students to reach the lost. We're so excited to see what God is going to do in the coming weeks!
JRLC Missions - Nicaragua, by Erin Locke
March 15th, 2012 | 7:54pm
We departed for Nicaragua on the morning of March 2nd - a morning we had thought might never arrive. After all of our efforts: writing support letters, spreading the word, praying for God's favor, and raising the funds, the big day had finally come! We were so eager to get to Nicaragua to see what God would do! We woke up at the crack of dawn that amazing morning, and three flights later, we landed in the capital city of Managua. For many students on the team, it was not their first time out of the country; but it was my first step on foreign soil.
JRLC's mission, with the aid of the Project H.O.P.E. staff, was to serve a small village of refugees by planting gardens for each house. Every morning, we would begin our day with a time of worship and a quick devotional - then, the digging would begin. Although planting gardens sounds easy enough, it was much harder than any of us thought. Dig, dig, dig, water, plant tomato, water, dig, dig, dig, water, plant flower, water, dig... At times, it seemed monotonous; the hot sun evaporated every ounce of energy from our bodies. Even though it was extremely challenging, God supernaturally helped us to finish every garden in the village and more! Our hearts were so willing to serve, and not only to plant gardens, but also to plant spiritual seeds in their hearts as well. Children and some of the adults would come alongside us and help in any way they could. One of the highlights of our week was being able to fellowship with the people. We played a game of soccer and held a children's program for them! Even though we did not speak the same language, it was an opportunity to get to know the people personally through laughter and games.
Ultimately, our time in the village had to come to a bittersweet end. Saying goodbye to the children who had become our new friends was extremely difficult. For our last two days in Nicaragua, we were blessed with the opportunity to spend time experiencing the culture. We went to Suyapa beach, Masaya volcano, and stopped by a few markets. We also had some great food! It was an amazing time to relax and reflect on what God had done in our lives. I could not escape the memories of the extreme poverty that the village had faced. Through those experiences, God revealed to me how he still provides for his people. It was humbling to see the soft, patient hearts of the people in the village. My eyes were opened to so many new passions and forms of love. Nicaragua had given me something much greater than anything I could have ever given to the people. For me, the trip did not end when we got on the plane back to the states; it was more of a new beginning - a genesis for better things to come.
What Is James River
March 13th, 2012 | 1:39am
JRLC is immersed in the ministry and heart of James River Assembly (JRA). JRA is a thriving church with over 12,000 weekly attendees, led by Pastors John & Debbie Lindell. Throughout the year, JRLC students have the opportunity to work with the leaders of JRA, as well as hear powerful speakers from around the world. JRLC is strongly connected to the mission of JRA, encouraging people to Love God, Live in relationship with Him and others, and Lead by serving in every aspect of life. For more information about James River visit jamesriver.org
February 24th, 2012 | 10:47am
We have a new video. Our in house team did an excellent job putting this together.
Jourdan Stinziano - My Story
February 12th, 2012 | 1:37pm
By my junior year of high school, I was already feeling the pressure to decide what my plan would be after graduation. I had a strong desire to be challenged to grow not only academically, but also in my leadership and personal walk with God. My youth pastor played a key role in helping me find direction to fulfill this dream. He told me about JRLC, and as he was describing it I really felt drawn there. Eventually I applied and was accepted to come in fall of 2011. As the day to head out to Springfield drew closer, I often doubted if I was ready to leave home. But God gave me confidence that he had called me to JRLC, and nothing could keep me away.
At the start of the fall semester, we would always go on a retreat to the JRA Campground - to gain focus for the semester. It was absolutely incredible. I knew from the start that God had amazing plans for this year, and that he was going to do some incredible things in my life. As I grow into an adult, I feel like my relationship with Christ has become the most foundational part of my life. I feel freedom in knowing that I'm working for the Lord, and he will direct my path. I know that I'm honoring him, and so I don't have to worry about being perfect. All I can do is trust in him, and know that he will go before me. I've had amazing opportunities to work with some of the students at Realife Student Ministries and encourage them to grow in their walk with the Lord, just as I have. God has shown himself to be so faithful when we are obedient to what he's called us to do.
Brittany Calaway - My Story
February 6th, 2012 | 4:37pm
Before coming to JRLC, I worked full time at my home church. I loved it! I thought that was where I'd be for a long time. However, as I was seeking God's direction, I felt a distinct call to something new and exciting. I really felt that God had placed on my heart a desire to continue my education and be trained for working in ministry. Over the summer, I heard about JRLC - a place where this desire that God had put in my heart could actually happen. From the moment that I looked up the JRLC website, I could see that God was calling me to this place. Even though I was excited about this new opportunity, I prayed consistently that God would give me wisdom. JRLC was 8 hours away from my home, and that was my biggest concern. In the end, I felt that God gave me peace. I packed my things and headed to JRLC in August of 2011. I can't even begin to describe how welcomed I felt, even from the very first day. Although I had thought I would be losing my family by moving so far away, I realized that God had provided an even bigger family for me to be a part of.
During my time at JRLC, I've learned so many valuable lessons. I've had some incredibly amazing opportunities that I will never forget. God has given me great opportunities to lead, but He's also taught me the importance of teamwork. The friendships that I've made at JRLC will be life long ones. I can see clearly the heart of this school: the staff is focused on building leaders and equipping them with the skills that they need to fulfill the calling that God has placed upon their lives. Before I came here, I thought that I was fully equipped to do what God has called me to do. Being at JRLC has helped me to realize that I had so much to learn - and I'm still learning! God is using JRLC to prepare me for the calling that he has placed upon my life.
College Visit / Hillsong God is Able Concert
November 28th, 2011 | 1:29pm
We had a great time at The JRLC Super Awesome College Visit Party. It was definitely "super awesome," as we were able to connect with people from around the country who are interested in JRLC. Relationships were made that will last a lifetime. Our combined worship in the James River a.m. service, the Hillsong concert, and the mini JRLC chapel was powerful. The best part of the whole weekend was that people were encouraged to love Jesus more and to build His church. Our prayer is that God directs the hearts and lives of those who attended so that they might accomplish all that He has for them.
Design For Life Women's Conference
September 26th, 2011 | 3:03pm
We had an amazing Women's Conference this past weekend! We were blessed to be able to hear from speakers from around the world such as Charlotte Scanlon-Gambill, John and Helen Burns, and Nancy Alcorn. We also enjoyed a concert from Group 1 Crew. There were over 290 children sponsored on Friday evening, 50 women received salvation for the first time during the course of the conference, and we were able to bless 2 families through Be A Gift. The lives of many women were changed through DFL2011. We are so excited to see how God continues what He started in the hearts and lives of the thousands of women who attended.
Justin Kessler - My Story
November 10th, 2010 | 2:51pm
My experience at JRLC has been truly incredible; I have learned so much, had amazing opportunities, and shared some of the greatest moments of laughter and friendship. God has taken me on such a life-changing journey in a short time. I showed up at JRLC completely not knowing what to expect – all that I knew was that God had definitely called me here. Although I was overwhelmed at the start, I felt so at home after connecting with other classmates and the staff. Before the semester started, we all went to the JRA campgrounds together on a retreat. At the retreat, I experienced a sense of community like I’d never felt before. God had brought us as a college extremely close. As we returned home and started our classes, together we found that we would be learning many new and interesting things from professors that cared deeply for us. I’ve had a blast learning every subject that’s been presented to me. I’ve also been completely blown away by the phenomenal chapels that we’re privileged to be a part of. We’ve been able to hear from different members of the preaching staff at JRA and from foreign missionaries, among others. My experience in the youth practicum has been just another one of the great opportunities I’ve had during my time here. I’ve been able to work and learn alongside other great leaders, had a role in small group bible studies, and been practicing pouring into the students at JRA. One night at Realife Student Ministries, I had the opportunity to share my testimony about how God completely delivered me from a life of drug addiction and alcoholism. Over fall break, we took a missions trip to the St. Louis Dream Center, where our team was able to be a part of serving the community in the city. God has used these among other experiences to mold and equip me for the ministry that He has in store for me. The more I grow and learn, the more I realize how little I truly know. I’m trusting God to use my time at James River Leadership College to accomplish infinitely more than I could ever ask or imagine. He’s continued to prove himself faithful daily.
November 9th, 2010 | 9:55am
We have a new promo video. If this video was wearing a sign the sign would read, "watch me please."
Will Shafer - My Story
October 26th, 2010 | 1:17pm
Several years ago I had the opportunity to attend James River Assembly and I was able to see firsthand what God was doing through the Leadership College. I never thought I’d end up at JRLC, because I didn’t think that I was called to be in ministry – until God opened my heart to see what He had in store for my future. This past summer, I was at my youth group listening to one of my friends share about how God had radically transformed his life. In that moment, I realized that I was called to be a part of that process – part of God working His plan in other people’s lives. I had no idea what that meant or how it would look for my life. All I knew for certain was that this was what I was created to do. I think that when people discover the plan that God has for their life, they feel an overwhelming peace about it. After realizing that this was what God had for me, I felt that peace. I knew that I needed to be a part of a program where I would get an education that could equip me for the work that God had called me to, and at the same time develop other strengths in me that I had yet to see in myself. God brought the James River Leadership College to my mind, and I knew without a doubt that this was where God was directing me to go. JRLC isn’t just about school. It’s about training up people who will lead the next generation in all that God has called them to. I know that the skills and ministry opportunities that I’ve experienced during JRLC have set me up for success as I walk down the path that God has for set for my life.