Celebrating BIG WINS! 7 Years of 217church

I can’t believe it!  This Sunday we will celebrate seven years of worshiping together as a church family in Mercer County, NJ. This Sunday I am speaking about what is called a DOUBLE BLESSING!  God is in the business of replacing our burdens with blessing!  It’s right in front of us, waiting for us to reach out in faith and realize it as a church.  So many people sacrificed so much so we could pursue the vision to Rebuild Lives one Person at a time.  Realize our church never would have happened without those who have believed FROM THE BEGINNING!  Our mother church – Princeton Alliance Church believed in the vision first!  You are an incredible congregation doing impactful ministry here and around the world!  Thank You!

7-Year-Web-Page

“Instead of your shame there shall be a double portiontherefore in their land they shall possess a double portion.  Isaiah 61:7

Many of you who read this are a part of another local church family in another community.  We have always viewed our local church as a kingdom building church.  This means that even if you won’t be with us for our 7 year celebration, take these seven action steps and appropriately implement them in your life and in your local context.

7 Ways To Celebrate Our 7 Years Together…

1 – Renew Your Commitment – How committed are you to your local church?  Let’s DOUBLE DOWN on our commitments!  We have the privilege of being the ones in this season who are preparing the church for the NEXT season.  Going forward, I am looking for those who will stand with me to be rigorously committed to our church family as vision owners.  Here is a short version of our vision ownership covenant:

  • Spread the Vision of the church – By being baptized and get sent
  • Share the Responsibility of the church – By immersing yourself in small group community
  • Serve the Ministry of the church – By using your gifts and be a regular part of a ministry team
  • Support the Future of the church – By giving regularly to the mission of the church

2 – Get Baptized – We have celebrated 250+ #BIGWINS through baptism!  Some of you have never taken this step to be baptized.  You have personally committed to Jesus but you have never publicly proclaimed and encouraged those around you with your story.  Our next baptism is Saturday February 25th at 6 PM in Robbinsville.  email doug@217church.com to sign up.  #BIGWINS

3 – Join A Small Group –  Hundreds of people have grown strong through our small groups! #BIGWINS  happen every week as people come together to pray, encourage, study the word, and serve.  I have been personally impacted as over 50 people from small groups came to my home two years ago and did 20+ different projects to prepare my home to welcome in our 3 adopted children from Uganda!    We are seeing dynamic ministry and people in our community are being helped with so many basic needs.  Our small groups are the simple building block of our church that bring people in, build people up, and send people out.  email matt@217church.com to connect with a group.

4 – Use Your Gifts and Abilities – We have had over 18,000 Serving moments during Sunday worship services alone in the past seven years!  Since the beginning of 217church we have averaged over 40 people serving a week!  Are you one? That’s a lot of #BIGWINS!  Every week people serve as greeters, ushers, parkers, camera operators, media support team, audio visual support team, worship team, and dynamic 217kids leaders.  This is just on Sundays alone!  Your church, schools, youth ministry and neighborhoods are waiting for you to create some #BIGWINS and serve!

5 – Make A Sacrificial Gift – In the past seven years we have had $4.7 Million in #BIGWINS given towards the vision!  We have used those resources to build a strong church that is rebuilding lives, and now we have just put a down payment on a 10 acre piece of land to build a permanent facility.  I believe the best is yet to come and we have around $500,000 to go in order to pay off this land.  Over the next two years we anticipate completing the site plan and beginning the building process. You can make a secure sacrificial gift online here.

6 – Pray and Be Prayed For – All of the above is made possible through prayer.  Answered prayers have accounted for all of the #BIGWINS for our church!  Some of you have deep prayer needs.  before we started 217church, we prayed long and hard for the foundation to be strong through prayer.  I want to encourage you to make your requests known to the church family and allow others to come around and pray for you.  No matter what the need; physical, financial, relational, or emotional, God is in the business of answering our prayers and drawing us together through it.

7 – Let’s Come Together and Worship –  Sunday is going to represent another #BIGWIN for our church.  We would love for you to experience our historic 7 years celebration!  We will sign the land contract, here from some special guests and cast vision for our future #DOUBLEBLESSING!

I would love to hear of your stories of #BIGWINS through 217church below!  Or respond on Facebook Here

Can’t wait!

Josh

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here 

What To Do With A Colossal Failure

You watched the Super Bowl right? The Falcons choked – We have ALL been there – The project fails, we lose the job, the plan goes up in smoke, we break a promise, the spouse is extremely angry with us. Failure happens, but we know failure is going to happen, so what should we do once it happens?

failure

1 – Depend on others – Surround yourself with people who love you.  Now is not the time to just “get over it.” You will probably need some time with some incredibly supportive people. How long? Probably longer than shorter. Being around people who care about you restores your confidence and reaffirms your value.

2 – Disconnect – Now you are ready to get some time alone and go back to your vision. Two key questions to ask as you disconnect. These questions help you to rediscover what on earth you are here for.

  • Why did you start this journey in the first place?
  • What is the single biggest motivating factor in your life?

3 – Dissect – Please DON’T skip #1 and #2. Resist the temptation to go right to the details because you probably aren’t in the right emotional state to handle the truth. If you start here it leads to destructive behavior.

Ok, now you are ready for some details, what went wrong?  Take ownership of the failure and don’t blame. Don’t beat yourself up but be honest with the facts of what happened. Sometimes you won’t know why. Sometimes stuff happens to you. I know it takes courage, but don’t leave the failure, live with it for a while.

4 – Determine Your Next Steps – How will you win the next time?  What thinking needs to be in place? What actions MUST you take? Are there patterns in your life that need to change? Developing a plan is key and you probably need a few of those people in #1 to help you to formulate some new ideas. DON’T go it alone!

5 – Direct Your Life – Implement it! It won’t feel the greatest at first because it probably is a risk. Never forget the feeling of a great loss but don’t allow your impact to be ruled by the pain. As you are directing your life and implementing the plan, here are a few reminders:

  • Share the new vision slowly, not everyone needs to know everything.
  • Take a team of people with you. Once again – Destructive pride is the result of individual accomplishment. Teams build individual humility.
  • Get an outside coach to help you see what you can’t. Having an outside perspective will keep you OUT of a lot of trouble.

Now go get it!

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here.  Josh is also the Executive Coach at Activate Coaching LLC, coaching leaders in all spectrums of industry and non profits to optimum spiritual, family, financial, physical and professional health.  He can be reached at josh@activatecoaching.com. 

Gaining the Competitive Advantage

So who is your team today?  No doubt there will be hundreds of millions of people watching this Super Bowl game and the coaches and players will participate in one of the most watched events in the history of mankind!  So how are they preparing? They are watching hours upon hours of film…Analyzing, digesting, and putting together a game plan that has the most competitive advantage for a Super Bowl victory. Win and you make history!  Leave it all on the field!

football play

“…but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons.”  Romans 8:15

But what about your life?  “Are you leaving it all on the field?” Where are you feeling like you are failing?  Is it in your mind?  Is it in your execution?  Are you addicted to substances or destructive habits?  What do you spend your time thinking about?  Having a relationship with Jesus gives you the Competitive Advantage.  If you want to activate the competitive advantage you already have, you need to execute the fundamentals on the most important stage you’ll ever see…YOUR LIFE!

Remember These Things – Gain Your Advantage…

1. Your Birthright – (Remember who you are) It’s easy to forget who you are.  Life changes, disappointments happen, and your attitude can go south in a hurry.  But remember you belong to Jesus and no one can change that.  Maybe you have forgotten your identity?  Most sin is because of an identity crisis.  Isn’t it time to recall the great sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross for you and depend on the Spirit of God in your life.  Remember who you are.

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons”  Romans 8:15

2. Your Clarity – (Remember who the enemy is)  All sin traces back to this question… “Did God really say?”  Yep, whenever you hear that voice inside of you creating doubt about what right and wrong is, the enemy is eroding your advantage!  He is cutting you down through deception.  Remember who he is and that, well, He doesn’t like you.

“but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”  Romans 8:13

3. Your Vision – (Remember where you are going) This life is a temporary home for us.  Jesus already chose heaven for me.  I don’t know about you, but this is the best news I have heard all day.  It doesn’t mean I’m unhappy, it’s the reason I can live happy, content and anticipating the future.  I already know what the the scoreboard says.  When Jesus was raised from the dead, Jesus won, game over!  Don’t let the limited perspective of today, destroy your tomorrow.

“…because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”  Romans 8:27

It’s game time, leave it all on the field!

Josh

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania that meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

You Need A Watchdog

I love dogs and this is Harley, my golden doodle.  She looks out for everyone in the house.  She is flat out AWESOME!  If there is a fight amongst our other dogs, she breaks it up.  If there is a fight among people, she gets between you.  If you come to my door uninvited, well, let’s just say she will let you know she is there.  She is the enforcer, but with a loyal, justice driven motive.  There is something about the qualities she exhibits that reminds me of what we should be for each other as the church.  Who is looking out for you?  Who are you looking out for?

Harley Watchdog

“I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.”  Romans 15:1

SO…Who are you looking out for?  Is there another person you feel personally responsible for?  Everyone needs someone to look out for and for someone to look out for them.  This is the definition of what the church should be doing for one another.  This scripture implies also we should believe the best about the motives of one another and be careful not to assume the worst.  We are responsible for one another.  As a matter of fact, there are over fifty “one another’s” in scripture.

How To be a “Watch-dog” and Look Out For One Another…

1. Privately Correct – We are all going to blow it, mess up, make mistakes – say something we shouldn’t say, post a photo we shouldn’t post, act in public in a way that isn’t God honoring.   FOR EXAMPLE – I saw something on Facebook the other day that disturbed me.  It was a public rebuke of what some would consider an “inappropriate photo”  But here was the problem…It was rebuked in a public way by someone, without gentleness and in an embarrassing manner.  More and more I am of the opinion that public social media rebukes are pointless.  The person almost NEVER hears what you are really saying and written harsh communication on a social media channel will almost ALWAYS be misconstrued in some way.  If something someone posts troubles you and you aren’t willing to privately go to them, don’t say anything.  After all, when you love someone enough to say something privately, you are respecting the image of God in them.  Disagree?  private message me, but this verse implies you are just flat out WRONG!

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”  Galatians 6:1

2.  Adamantly Protect – I love it when I know people have my back.  I love it when people who are a part of our church and our small group communities stand up against gossip amongst each other.  I love having someone to protect and having someone protect me.  This is what we are called to do for one another.  If you always have to have your way, you are prideful.  If you are always complaining about a church, another church, or your small group, something is desperately wrong.  The person you just criticized was made in the image of God and is a son or daughter of God.  I love watching the church care and stand up for one another. And one more thing – Please, if you claim to be a Christian – please work out your issues with other Christians in a private matter.  You are destroying the testimony of the church by airing all your complaints.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Ephesians 4:1-3

3. Carefully Instruct – Life isn’t easy and we all will get led astray, but we must be allowed to speak into each other’s lives with conviction and passion.  If no one can speak into your life, you have a serious problem.  Quick, name the person who has that authority in your life?  You need someone who is helping you in your marriage, finances, parenting, personal knowledge of the bible, you need a go to person who is doing the good work of discipleship in your life.

“…filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.”  Romans 15:1

4. Relentlessly Care – If someone is fighting sickness, battling addiction, struggling in their marriage, facing a loss of a job, desperately alone, hopelessly abandoned, OUR ROLE IS TO WATCH OUT FOR THEM.  Fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.  Don’t just talk a big game, get in the game and let your life be about caring for the church and those who are your brothers and sisters.  Loyalty matters, take a cue from my Harley. Be a #Watchdog  

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  Galatians 6:2

This past Sunday we had 24 new people said they wanted to commit to the vision of 217church.  They have made a covenant to protect the unity of the church.  I love it.  Jesus died for us so let’s come together and stand together for what he wants to accomplish through us and for what he has promised to us.

Josh

 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania that meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

217church Land Vision Update

On Sunday January 29th at our annual meeting, we will be voting to finalize the Robbinsville Land purchase.  This is a 10 acre piece of land where we anticipate building a permanent facility for 217church.  An incredible season of hope and anticipation is upon 217church.  Seven years, 250+ baptisms and now a land purchase for our future permanent facility!  Over the last 16 weeks, you have given over $200,000 to the Accelerate Land Vision.  This is a 10 acre piece of land in Robbinsville, NJ that will be the future home of 217church.  We have estimated that we need around $250K to close on the land, but we are anticipating even greater things!

 

Give Here Online to the Accelerate Land Vision

I believe we can do this together!  Watch below and hear about our next steps together as a church family on our new piece of property!

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We can do this together!  This is an incredible 1st step towards our future of rebuilding lives one person at a time.

Josh

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

Fully Experience Christmas

32 years ago, I was nine years-old sleeping under the Christmas tree.  The night before, my mother was sent to the hospital as we all eagerly awaited the birth of my little brother, Seth. (Happy Birthday Seth!)  We were at home awaiting the call and sure enough, news came we had a baby brother.  I will never forget being woken up by the old fashioned rotary phone ring as the sun shined through the living room window. That Christmas was particularly special because I gained a baby brother.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2:11

My brother Seth has brought so much joy to my family.  You see, just two months before his birth my grandmother died.  It was the first Christmas I felt deep emotion experiencing firsthand life and death in such a short period of time.  My perspective as a 9-year-old boy about Christmas and who Jesus is, was forever changed.  Jesus was a baby, and yet the Savior of the world, and he wants us to Experience Christmas in a unique way this year:

Experiencing Christmas This Year…

1. Slow Down – Most of you will probably be reading this the days right before Christmas.  Whether you are traveling, staying home or are finishing up work for the work, take your foot off the gas.  Read Luke 2 about the birth of Jesus and let it sink into your soul.  As you battle traffic, last minute expectations from your boss and chaotic marketing schemes, just relax.  Take some time to write, read, reflect and remember.

2.  Embrace The Pain – We know this time of year is incredibly difficult for so many. We face Christmas this year with pain from a lost loved one, a past or pending divorce or a recent illness.  Let me tell you a secret:  It’s okay and healthy to embrace the pain.  It is the pain of life that helps us understand just how deep the love of Jesus runs.  Talk to someone, cry it out, embrace your children and receive forgiveness of a savior who came to forgive.

 3. Make A Memory – Family, friends and loved ones, this is what Christmas is about.  I still have the tag from Christmas 1983 when I received a “brand new dirt bike” from my grandparents.  No doubt you have probably been to a Christmas party or two but I am talking about intentionally making this Christmas a “wow moment” for someone.  it doesn’t have to be a gift under a tree.  Forgive, communicate, take a bold step.  Whatever it is, you probably already know what you need to do.

4. Savor The Moment –

If there is food to be eaten, taste all of it.

If there are children to be hugged, hug all of them.

If there is a spouse to be held hold them tight.

If there is a gift to be given, enjoy the smile.

If there is a sin to forgive, let it be forgotten.

There is a Savior to celebrate, worship Him with all of your heart.

Thank you for making my family rich with friends and love. It’s time to Experience Christmas.

family-2016

Josh, Summer, Lilly, Eddy, Titus, Lydia, Godfrey and William

 

Overcoming Uncertainty This Christmas

What an incredible year we have had together as the 217church family!  We baptized 20 people, made an offer on a piece of land, and completed our 7th year of ministry as 217church!  One thing is for sure, God is faithful.  But in the midst of what God is calling us to do, there will be uncertainty.  Here is a special Christmas message about overcoming uncertainty as we enter into a new year together.

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“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:20

Christmas Eve Service 4 PM at Sharon School in Robbinsville, NJ

Reminder: NO SERVICES CHRISTMAS DAY

Merry Christmas!

Josh

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

Giving Tuesday – How Much Should I Give?

Today is #GivingTuesday and I am thankful for all the people who have given towards the vision of 217church to help rebuild lives in Mercer County, NJ over these past seven years!  All gifts today will go towards helping us buy a piece of land to build a church for the glory of God in Mercer County, NJ.   Click here to GIVE an online gift.  Read more about our Accelerate land vision here.

Do you remember getting your first ever paycheck?  Man what a rush!  Then, sudden frustration towards a guy named FICA taking 7% of my paycheck!  I was a bus boy at a local restaurant and at 14 years of age I felt like I was on top of the world.  Money changes you.  In my family growing up I had watched both my parents and my brother practice giving to my local church.  10% first to God’s work, no questions asked.  It was just what we did, and man am I thankful my family taught me the foundations of a lifestyle of giving.  I think most ALL of us reading this post would agree that we should all be GIVERS.  I mean c’mon!  Especially if you claim to follow the teachings of Jesus there is almost no possible way to claim the lifestyle of a disciple and not be a financial giver.  Now let me be clear, I am not just talking about giving to a local church.  But for anyone who wants to fully follow Jesus, the money under your care MUST point to a acknowledgement and dependance on Jesus.  How you handle money is a way you prove your faith in God.

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Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

There have been so many incredible stories I have experienced both personally and church wide, of people listening to God and giving.  They are too numerous to list here.  Last year over 400 families gave a financial gift to our church.  Easily, that is over 5,000 acts of worship through financial giving.  This is the church in action fulfilling the vision!  Your giving and your handling of the money God has entrusted you with IS a spiritual issue.  But many of us have lived with guilt, frustration and even abstaining from talking about giving habits because of pain, debt, mistrust and let’s be honest, a hard heart.  If this is you the enemy is ripping you off!  So what do I do?

How MUCH Should I Give?

1.  Start Somewhere – Maybe the one “thing” holding back your faith is a reliance on things.  Once you think you rely on things and more of them, your trust in God goes down.  Giving proves you aren’t self sufficient.  If you have never made a gift or it has been a very long time.  It is time to take the first step and make and offering to God.  Ask him to bless it, use it.  be bold and ask God to show you more fully his plan for His money, remember it’s not really yours, you cant take it with you.  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19-20   

WHAT YOU GIVE THE ENEMY CAN’T STEAL.

2.  What God Tells You – What?  Am I listening for the audible voice of God?  Maybe, but for most of us, it won’t happen that way.  The above verse frees us from guilt and compulsion motivations.  Does this mean if someone is tithing it’s wrong?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  What matters is the heart of the giver, not the percentage of the gift.  Our motivation should be to give AS MUCH AS WE POSSIBLY CAN!  Now, that’s probably not something you have prayed lately.  Once we reduce giving to a check box or a legalistic matter, our heart will become corrupted.  We may even think we are better than someone else because we give and they don’t. Be careful though, comparison is NEVER the pathway to spiritual maturity.  Also, don’t let this one be an excuse to rationalize giving less and don’t let the enemy sneak into your budget and steal your blessings with material things!  

WHEN YOU GIVE THERE IS GREAT JOY AND ANTICIPATION.

3.  In Rhythm  –  Often giving in rhythm helps you determine the amount to give.  Did you get paid this week, there is your answer.  Now, talk to God, your wife, your kids, and  give first.  Is 10% your percentage?  I would suggest you are never going to go wrong with that. In Malachi 3 God says “test me.” However often you get paid there should be a moment of reverence when you set aside your gift before the Lord to acknowledge his provision in your life.  You see, every time you get paid is an opportunity for spiritual growth.  Give by cash, Give by check, Give online, Give by text, It really doesn’t matter how, but give in rhythm.  Give as a BOLD declaration of your trust in God to give you more.  You should love getting paid because it means you can NOW give!  “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

WHEN YOUR GIVING IS CONSISTENT IT IS A SOURCE OF CLARITY IN YOUR LIFE.

4.  In Faith – Some of us have been tithing for a very long time.  This is a very commendable thing.  Continue to excel in this discipline! Keep going!  It’s incredible what you have done by faith.  Over $4 Million over the life of 217church in the past 7 years!  Now, I have heard of Christ followers upset at others for not “doing their part” You may even feel this way in your heart.  Never make your giving based on what others have given.  Tithing 10% is like training wheels on a bike.  It’s there to teach us the discipline and we weren’t meant to stop there but simply start there.  Once you ride on training wheels you will want to take them off and ride like a big boy, of course!  So let me ask you a question…Who feels like Barnabas today?  

Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”  Acts 4:36-37  I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a tithe but a gift of faith.  When you give, something wonderful happens, you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

DON’T JUST GIVE WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS GIVEN, BUT GIVE WHAT CHALLENGES YOUR FAITH.

There is a little known verse in Proverbs that may be the best wisdom on giving you will ever here.  Try praying this and let me know how this changes you.  You won’t be the same if you implement this…

“give me neither poverty nor riches;
    feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
    and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
    and profane the name of my God.”

Proverbs 30:8-9

Click here to give an online gift today

MORE ABOUT OUR ACCELERATE VISION HERE:  (Please note: If you are viewing video on a Mobile Device you must scroll to bottom and enable “DESKTOP MODE”)

Josh

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

Thanksgiving – Your Father is Filthy Rich

10 Things that Accelerate Vision:  Principle #5 – Acceptance

Many of you know last Friday was a landmark day for our family.  We finalized the adoption of our three new sons, Eddy, Godfrey, and William.  I wish you could have been in the courtroom as the judge made the final ruling that the Conn family was officially EIGHT!  Eight New Jersey Conn’s!  This experience has profoundly changed my heart.  Each one of my children holds a place of love in my heart and these three new children are no different.  The longer I live, the more I understand the power of love and acceptance.  We are God’s children and we are to love as He first has loved us.

Principle #5 – Acceptance exemplifies love which communicates the Gospel louder than anything.

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“He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will… In him we have obtained an inheritance”   Ephesians 1:5,11

So here we are at another Thanksgiving season.  This simple verse above has so much to say about the human condition and the need for us to know we are acceptable to God and therefore are to accept others.  Acceptance is at the core of human decency.  Every day we have the opportunity to communicate love in its simplest form through kindness, giving, sharing and perhaps most difficult sometimes, forgiveness, even when someone doesn’t deserve it.  Because Jesus accepts us, we get an inheritance.  I have a VERY RICH FATHER and so do you.

Your Inheritance From Your Filthy Rich Father…

#1  You Were Planned – “He predestined us…”  You are not an accident, period.  Everything else is a lie.  No matter who has rejected you, humiliated, or demeaned you, your life was planned.  This inherently means you have value.  No matter if your biological family provides for you and loves you, You have been accepted by Jesus.  The whole idea of being predestined blows my mind.  It simply means Jesus knew us and knows us. #acceptance

#2 You Are Protected and Provided for – “…for adoption to himself…”  You are a part of the family of God.  Now, for many of us the idea of family is painful, but the way Jesus does family is breathtaking.  He protects us as our Father.  At the adoption hearing, the judge proclaimed that my new children had “rights to my inheritance.” Beautiful!  This means as a child of God, you have an inheritance. Here is what you need to remember:  An inheritance is a gift of grace not earned.  Your inheritance includes eternal life starting NOW.  The inheritance includes the privilege to be the church now and then walk in heaven in your new spiritual body. #acceptance

#3 You Have Power – “…as sons through Jesus Christ…”  It is through Jesus and his resurrection power that your eternal life has been sealed.  The strength that dwells within you is of monumental significance.  Because of Jesus in us, we have the power of spoken word, authority over demonic forces, love that is greater, and the power in us to live in a way that is other worldly.  At Thanksgiving, we even see the image of God revealing himself through people who were created in His image who haven’t acknowledged it yet.  Show His power through #acceptance this Thanksgiving.

#4 You Have Purpose – “…according to the purpose of his will.”  Once you start living for the will of God, everything changes.  It transforms how you treat your spouse, how you talk to your kids, how you treat those you work with, even how you choose to spend your money and how much you give away.  Open hands are to define our revelation of God to the world through #acceptance.  Many times we search for a BIG PURPOSE.  However, you will only find the BIG PURPOSE if you start with the small things. Your purpose is to show love and forgiveness in the small things.  And here is the hard part…It starts with those who live under your roof and also share your last name.  Forgive, accept and thrive with your family this Thanksgiving.

Thank you so much for the countless people who have prayed and journeyed with us during this season.  

May you sense the love of God and extend acceptance to people this day.

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Join us at 217church for our SERIES #Unstoppable – This Sunday at 10:30am is a special Thanksgiving service.

November 27 – Unstoppable Miracles – Romans 4:17-25, Matthew 6:9-12

For more on our NEW SEASON and Why we moved out of the Theater Click HERE 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

Sacrifice – It’s Worth It

10 Things that Accelerate Vision:  Principle #4 – Sacrifice

Veteran’s Day was this Friday – Anything worth pursuing is worth sacrificing for!  Meet my Dad and Mom, Don and Lori Conn.  My father a USMC Vietnam veteran and faithful husband of 47, yes that is Forty-Seven years.  I have parents who love and understand the principles of sacrifice.  I am blessed to have their example and their legacy to live through.  I was raised in the family context of two people who understand what it means to sacrifice for Jesus, their family, and yes their fellow countrymen.

Principle #4 – Sacrifice communicates the priority of what is truly Important

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Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas, a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”  Acts 4:36

The beginnings of the church are marked with deep sacrifice.  The church first started with Jesus setting the example, laying down His life for all humanity.  Then eventually the seeds and culture of sacrifice became evident.  In one scripture above we see a man named Barnabas sold a field and gave it to the church to advance the Gospel.  Obviously, Barnabas was using this land to make money for himself, BUT he decided he wanted it to be used for a greater purpose than just personal profit.  The church is supposed to model this ALL THE TIME in EVERY area of our lives.

Our church, 217church, JUST made an offer on a piece of land.  After seven years, the elders unanimously sense God calling us to pursue a permanent place in Robbinsville, NJ.  This ride is going to be fun, but one thing is for sure, it WILL require sacrifice.

Why Sacrifice is WORTH IT…

#1  Perspective – Sacrifice helps you to take a step back and determine what you really NEED and WHO you trust to provide for you.  Making a sacrifice will require you to have faith.  #Faith always changes your perspective.

#2 Prioritization – Once you start to sacrifice it reorganizes your priorities.  Too many times our priorities get out of balance.  Making a sacrifice helps us reorder our life.

#3 Power –  Show me a group of people willing to sacrifice for a common goal and I will show you the undeniable power in a group.  Our church is no different.  When EVERYONE participates in the sacrifice, it changes everyone.

I’m looking forward to sharing more about the next steps as we sacrifice together.

Come together and we will accelerate the vision!

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Join us at 217church and our SERIES #Unstoppable, as we study through the book of Romans together.

November 13 – Unstoppable Faith – Romans 3:21-31

For more on our NEW SEASON and Why we moved out of the Theater Click HERE 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here