Give Thanks – Keep On

I woke up Tuesday morning to a new note on my computer.  The night before, my adorable daughter Lydia had been doing spelling practice on a web site.  As I opened up the computer I saw this below – She didn’t tell me about it or even mention anything before she closed the computer for the night.  She knew that in due time, I would see it.  I call this the 7:11 Principle

 “So you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give good gifts those who ask Him.”  Matthew 7:11
Now, I am not going to say I am going to get all of that stuff for my incredibly convincing girl.  She does have me wrapped around her little finger, but I will tell you this, something(s) on that list will probably end up in her stocking or under the tree.  You see I am a TOTAL SUCKER for my kids.  Ask them.  Mom says, “no” and dad is just more likely to say “yes”.  I LOVE GIVING GIFTS TO MY KIDS.  Even this morning, I spontaneously stopped off at DD with Lilly and Titus, Why?  Because I am their amazing dad. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s hard to say no!  Sometime though, we feel like ‘Dad upstairs’ isn’t listening to our requests and we have – to – wait.

What Should I Do While I Wait?

1. Keep on Asking – The more I practice this, the more I realize the ‘keeping on’ is not about God needing to hear it, but more about me needing to persevere in asking.  But I’m not going to lie, it stinks to wait.  There are a couple of problems though.  Sometimes we don’t have because we have pride and don’t want to ask, and sometimes we ask but need to develop patience.  If you never have to wait for anything you will become a conceited, spoiled, entitled and difficult person.  I don’t think Jesus gets tired of us asking, but check your motivations. Jesus said to #keepon, so I will.

The Key:  Right Motivations

“Delight yourselves in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:4

2. Keep on Seeking – When you lose something, how hard do you look for it?  I can’t stop looking until I find it.  Sometimes I get so obsessed with finding the ‘thing’ that NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.  This may be a character flaw but the positive side for me is focus.  I don’t know what it is you are seeking God for, but his will is found by those who toil and struggle to pursue His plan.  Jesus said to #keepon, so will you?

The Key: Steadfast Persistence

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13

3. Keep on Knocking – Now it doesn’t say “kick down the door.”  but it also doesn’t say, to “do nothing.”  Knocking involves action.  As a matter of fact, if I want to come to your house and come in, I have to get in the car, plan the drive to your house, drive to your house and then knock on the door.  What I am saying, You MUST DO SOMETHING.  This is where preparation comes in.  Many times we don’t take purposeful action because we lack the courage and consistency to plan by faith for the result we are believing God for.  Sitting around isn’t going to prepare you for when God is ready. What do you believe enough that you are willing to do something about?  #keepon

The Key: Purposeful Action

“For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, faith apart from works is dead.” James 2:26

So #keepon! As we contemplate and anticipate what God will do, let us remember in this season of thanksgiving to appreciate what he has already done.  What are you waiting for?  It’s time to check your motivation, persistence and actions as you pursue God.  Don’t give up!

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 (NLT)


Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit for more information, or watch a weekend message here.

Why I Love The Church

THE CHURCH – she is worth it.  I mean, she is ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT!  The time, the sacrifice, the energy, the baptisms, the births, the marriages, the healing, the miracles, the life long relationships, the friendships…and yes the pain, the brokenness, the addiction, the moral failures, the disappointments, the divorces and the confusion.  SHE IS TOTALLY WORTH IT!  Ever since I was a young boy, my parents exposed me to the greatest and most amazing group of people on the planet, the church.  The opportunity to be a part of a group of people who are showing forgiveness, love, hope, and acceptance, is an incredible privilege and opportunity.  If you have a local church family, don’t throw it away; cherish, nurture, forgive and work hard and fight for her!  She is the bride worth giving your life for.  Bottom line is, people will always struggle with the church and what happens and doesn’t happen, but the journey and difficulties ARE WORTH IT.

 “…Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”  Ephesians 5:25
Why is she (the church) #worthit?  Dione’s photo above should explain it enough. Once far from God, then on July 17th in the Delaware river, she was baptized, transformed, saved, restored.   For every difficulty and pain I have encountered, I’ve experienced exponentially more moments like the one above.  ABSOLUTE RESTORATION THROUGH JESUS!  Jesus died for her and watches out for her…so should we.  The enemy however HATES her.  Wants her dead. Wants gossip, despair, pain, and strife and mistrust to ruin her.  But I am choosing to fight for her.  I will fight for the church, she is #worthit.

5 Reasons I Love The Church


1. Jesus Sets the Example – If I have an example of how to love, it makes it much more tangible and easier. If Jesus died on the cross for the church, what does that mean for my own commitment and tenacity towards her.  He was crucified to set the example for us of how the people of God, the church, is valuable.  Every person and every opportunity to serve makes a difference.  WOW!  I am humbled by Jesus and his example. 100% #worthit

2. The People are Incredible – I like to say – “The church is at its best when things are at their worst.” Have you experienced the love and care of the local church.  Oh man, it is indescribable.  The people are incredible.  Over the last 21 years of pastoring, I have come to know first hand the exceptional gifts, extravagant love, and healing power of the local church.  It really is beyond words.  The church is the best kept secret in our communities and is #worthit.

3. The Potential is Endless – Why?  We have the Holy Spirit, the literal third person of God who comforts, gives wisdom, heals, empowers, and expands possibilities.  It really isn’t us and our power, it’s the power released through us that makes the local church extravagant.  Every day, every Sunday, every time we get together, a miracle could happen, people could gain eternal life, a marriage could get restored and someone could be healed.  No way I am missing this Sunday.  No way I am checking out. #worthit

4. His Will and Purpose Is Accomplished –  To think God wants to use me?  What?  That’s right, you and me to do His will and accomplish his plan.   If your church is going through a difficult time right now, “double down” on your commitment towards her.  Those who stick it out reap the rewards of the satisfaction of loyalty and commitment to the glory of God.  Even when it seems like nothing good is coming from a situation, anticipate and watch because God is redeeming the situation and something big is about to happen.

5. The Privilege is Beyond Words – Sometimes I have to take a step back on any given Sunday as I look around a room and see people worshiping and I’m speechless.  When I have the privilege of bringing a meal to someone, beyond understanding.  No matter what your role is in the local church, honor the position, pass on the credit, lead with humility, serve with zeal.  Then, sit back and watch in amazement as God actually uses you to rebuild lives and accomplish His plan.

Bottom line – the church is #worthit – If you are encountering difficulty with the church right now, write some reasons below she it #worthit!  Would love to hear from you and encourage you along the way!  


Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit for more information, or watch a weekend message here.

How Bad Do You Want It?

I remember entering into my last semester of college.  I had a full load of 19 credits, was newly married and had 3 part-time jobs.  Needless to say, my new wife and I didn’t see much of each other, but we were determined to accomplish our goals and take the next step in our life.  My total focus was on getting that undergraduate diploma.  I had worked hard for this and was going to let NOTHING stand in the way of completing my degree, NOTHING! Let me ask you a question – How bad do you want it?



“…She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately she was healed.”  Luke 8:44
How bad do you want it?  Are you desperate enough to fight through the crowd?  What are you willing to sacrifice to get where God is taking you?  Maybe it’s a relationship that needs to be restored, a debt that needs to be paid off, or even a college degree you have been working on for years like I was.  Whatever it is, do you want it BAD, really BAD?


3 Things Desperate People Do… (Yes it’s ok to be desperate)

1. Pleading – Sometimes you have to lose your dignity in order to get where you are going.  It is at your humblest moments when you are the most vulnerable but yet have the most potential.  Ironically this is when God takes over and can get you connected with the people who will take you where you need to be.  Lose your dignity, it’ll be ok.  Ask someone for help.  How bad do you want it?

And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house.”        Luke 8:41

2. Reaching – You have to take a step.  If you stay where you are, you will, well, be right where you are (I know, that was deep)  You have to take a physical step and it will require courage.  Sometimes it is even a bold step where you will have to be stretched in every possible way.  If you want to be well, you have to pursue it like a bad habit.  Sometimes, people  don’t get where they need to be because they just don’t want it bad enough.

“…She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately she was healed.”  Luke 8:44


3. Believing – Do you really believe?  How much do you believe.  Belief isn’t something that you do with your head, it’s something you do with your heart.  You gotta know that you know it is going to happen.  You have to shut off the negative voices crying out to you from your past and even your present.  You have to lay claim to what is rightfully yours and stop making excuses.  Do you believe?  How bad do you want it?


And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.  Luke 8:48


Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit for more information, or watch a weekend message here 

This is not a Game image by Chris Gilmore is licensed under CC by 2.0

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


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!

Unstoppable Banner

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 for more information. or watch a weekend message here

Temptation – You Gotta Fight!

We’ve all been tempted and we all have our weak moments.  But one thing is for sure, when we are tempted, we have some choices to make and usually we make them pretty fast.  Many times temptations come at times when we least expect it, and if we are not careful, we can get ourselves in a whole mess of trouble in just a short moment.

A life time of character can be destroyed at a moment’s weakness. 


Fight the good fight of the faith…” 1 Timothy 6:12

Yes, God is a God of peace, but when it comes to temptation you will have to #FIGHT!  If you choose not to, you will lose every time.  So put on the gloves, cue the intro music, here is how to get your Ronda Rousey on! (figuratively speaking)

How To FIGHT When You Are Tempted

1.  Train Incessantly – 

The best way to be ready for the fight is train for the fight.  That means you gotta train, daily.  Constantly!  Be rigorous about your spiritual routine and unrelenting in your discipline.  If it is true that your enemy “prowls around like a lion ready to devour you”(1 Peter 5:8), then you better be ready to FIGHT when the temptation comes.  Be ready.

2.  RUN (Flee) – 

Sometimes the best way to fight is to leave the situation.  Stop the conversation, turn off the computer, run from the situation, get outta that mall!  Flee, run, Get the HECK OUTTA THERE!  You gotta get outta there! Your future depends on it. (1 Timothy 6:11)

3.  Depend On Jesus –

What is it about us that makes us depend on our own strength when there is the power of Jesus at work within us?  He gives us everything we need to live a life of victory.  “We are more than conquerors, we are overcomers!”  (Romans 8:37) Part of the reason we give in is because we haven’t given it up!  Your dependance that is.

4.  Speak Against It –

Open your mouth, “Not on My WATCH!”  Look, you’ve worked too hard and it’s taken blood, sweat, and tears to get to where you are.  So speak up, literally!  Many temptations comes when we are alone when no one else is watching.  We make foolish decisions based on pleasure, pride and possessions.  Just simply open your mouth, and speak out loud against the enemy who is trying to work in you.  Jesus spoke against the demonic forces, so should we.

5.  Think Ahead –

Many times we put ourselves in compromising situations because we have thought, “that would never happen to me.”  What you are capable of is incomprehensible, so BE CAREFUL.  Don’t underestimate the cunningness of the enemy or the evil brewing in your own heart.  Don’t be naive, protect yourself from compromising situations and you may have already won the fight.

You’ve got this – train, run, depend, speak and think!



This Sunday at 217church our New Series –  Extraordinary Faith “Faith & Temptation.”  (The book of James 1:13-18)

Extraordinary Faith

Join us at 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 in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  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 or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit for more information. or watch a weekend message here

I’m 40 Today? What?

Age is just a number, but it does have me thinking. What is life all about? Birthdays with a “zero” cause us to contemplate all life is; Disappointments, regrets, thankfulness, opportunity, successes, everything. Here is one key question I am trying to live by everyday, regardless of how long I live. “What is the wise thing to do? Here is the greatest challenge you will ever face, having the mind of Christ in all situations. If you follow Jesus this verse is true for you “But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16).  Many times the reason we get ourselves into difficult situations is because of our own poor choices. We think things through without God. But there is hope.

40 graphic

Life is not about how long you live, but how you live.

 4 Words To Live By –

1.  Conviction – What do you stand for? Standing for the wrong thing won’t matter, but having the right convictions will lead you to powerful, meaningful years.

  • Learn to Trust Jesus in every situation – The Gospel is the principle that trumps every other driving force, desire or passion. His sacrifice and redemption has given me reason to trust.
  • Love my family well – I am in Uganda today celebrating my 40th birthday with the incredible gift of three new sons. I am torn, missing my 3 children in New Jersey, but I am making the choice to love my wife and these six children with everything in me. This is the most important legacy I will leave.
  • Serve the church – Offering my life to God for His purpose is pure joy. Using it to bring honor and glory to him is critical.

2.  Compassion – Who will you show mercy to today?  Showing compassion is a lifestyle. If you look for the opportunities, compassion will rise up within you. The more you want, the less compassion you tend to have. Ambition can squash out compassion. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). This is true compassion.

3. Character – What will you be known for?  Consistency over a lifetime of depending on God is what I am aiming for. “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. (Psalm 57:7) This is my prayer for my life.  Emotional decisions accentuate problems.  Wisdom gives clarity to your steps.

4. Challenge – “Do you depend on your comfort?”  Temporary suffering is nothing compared to your eternal glory. Don’t seek comfort, seek the will of God. Most of us tend towards comfort, but when God gives you the command to follow, your job is to simply obey, whatever the outcome.

Please pray that we can return home with our 3 sons soon.  I am missing you all and praying for you constantly. 40 is just a number, looking forward to the next 40!




Join us at 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 in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  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 or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit for more information. or watch a weekend message here


How To Deal With LOSS

Over the last six months I have woken up to three separate texts or phone calls that someone who was close to me or someone in our church family had unexpectedly died.  Loss hurts and it has profoundly impacted our church and our community, especially over these past few weeks.  The funerals of these three men have been full of pain, remembering, hope and love.  One thing is clear, we are all hurting from loss.  I’m not sure what type of loss you may be facing: death of a family member, unemployment, separation, divorce, sickness, abandonment, but NO ONE is immune from experiencing LOSS. It is something we all have in common.  Here is something about loss that I have discovered:

Loss creates clarity on what is important in life.

Steve Mayer Photo 
My friend Steve Mayer – an influential father, husband and leader, suddenly passed away.

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”   Ecclesiastes 3:4

Loss brings out our true character, after all, your true self is exposed when you are placed under extreme pressure.  So how should we deal with loss?

6 Ways to deal with LOSS

#1 Grieve –  It’s ok, grieve.  I mean really grieve.  Mourn, take a day off, cry it out.  People who avoid grief are setting themselves up for emotional sickness.  After all, if Jesus grieved after the loss of Lazarus we should feel free to be emotional and let Jesus be our strength.  The two words that put me in touch with my grief are these:  “Jesus Wept.”  John 11:35  It’s the shortest, yet likely the most profound scripture in the Bible.

#2 Relate I recently told a close friend who is experiencing deep loss, “Let the church be the church.” This is what people are for, COMFORT.  Remember no matter what you are going through, someone has gone through it.  There is nothing new under the sun.  It means there are people who would love to walk alongside you.  This is where the church comes in.  It won’t be perfect, people won’t be flawless, but let them help.  Their intentions are noble. This is critical, you must NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF.

#3 Process –  Realize you will not be healed in a day.  It takes time, effort and steadfastness to process deep pain and loss.  Depending on the severity it may take months or even years to feel like you have recovered.  But healing is a process.  Psalm 77 outlines this process beautifully.  Despair (vs. 1-9) , dependence (vs. 10-15)  then determination (vs 16-20).

#4  Celebrate   This may seem counterintuitive, but with every loss there should be a celebration.  A funeral is a celebration of someone’s life.  When you lose your job, celebrate the relationships you made.  Even when you divorce, you should remember the good times you had with your former spouse.  Remember:  GOD IS FAITHFUL.  Read Psalm 66 and remind yourself of this truth.  “How awesome are the deeds of God.”

#5 Dream It may seem almost impossible, but ask God to put a new song in your heart.  You must choose to believe that the “mercies of God are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23.  It is difficult but give yourself permission to dream.  Now gain hope because Jesus WILL bring you through, he NEVER abandons you in your time of need.  ASK Him for a fresh vision.  His forgiveness has given you a reason to dream.

#6 Serve – The reason God gives you wounds is so your impact will be authentic.  I call this “a ministry with teeth”.  God often gives you wounds so you can become strong in order to help others from them.  It may not be today or next month, but it is clear all throughout scripture that the weak become strong.  This is the epicenter and the genius of the Gospel of Jesus.  Jesus crucified, hopeless, innocent, powerless, and utterly defeated on the cross, three days later displaying the POWER of the resurrection because death could not hold him down!  (Just writing that last phrase gave me chills).

I know it’s tough, but persevere.  What other words would you add in how to deal with loss?  Let’s encourage one another.

Here is a link to watch the weekend message from 217church:  Healing From Loss



Join us at 217church at 10 AM at the Hamilton AMC24 Theater or

11 AM at the Robbinsville Sharon Elementary School

If it is your 1st time, we have a special gift waiting for you!

Join us at 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 in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  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 or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Visit for more information. or watch a weekend message here

9 Ways To Get Rich This Christmas

Now that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Wacky Wednesday (I added that one myself) are over, maybe we can all begin to think clearly about Christmas, spending, riches, greed and everything that has to do with money, provision and our relationship with things.  I have news for you… “The little numbers on your credit card DO NOT define you.”

Below is a scripture that changed my life so many years ago.  It really isn’t about money, but it so closely relates to how we think about what will make us incomparably rich, Jesus!  However, to think how you handle and spend money has NOTHING to do with your relationship with Jesus is pure foolishness.  They are so closely related it is scary.

credit card

“…in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”  Ephesians 2:7-8

If you let me look at your financial records for one year, I could see how much you trust God, what you place your value in and in most cases how close you are to Jesus.  You might scoff at this at first, but it’s true.  Most of the following things come from a deficit in your relationship with Jesus: worry, insecurity, debt, materialism, and worst of all, loneliness and isolation. All of these things affect our relationship with Jesus.  The core issue is, we don’t think we have enough. Is Jesus enough for you?  Here are a few ways to get rich…

9 Ways To Get Rich This Christmas…

1. Receive Grace  (MOST IMPORTANT)-  You have already been given the gift of eternal life you could not afford.  This means we no longer need to have our identity in worldly wealth.  If you want to apply the following 8 ideas, let JESUS change your heart.  Without this #1, you are just dealing with symptoms.  He will make you rich beyond what any man could give you. Eternal life, forgiveness, freedom, wisdom, peace, joy. These are all yours for the taking through the Holy Spirit.  These things are not for sale, the are FREE!

2. Live on a Budget  –  Know what you owe, what you own and where it goes.  Notice I didn’t just say “get a budget,” you actually have to implement it.  If you aren’t living on a budget you are more than likely mismanaging the money God has entrusted to you.  And on top of all this, no one ever got rich spending more than they had. Proverbs 16:3- “Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

3. Give First –  Before you spend a dime, GIVE!  The first item on my budget, Advancing God’s Kingdom.  We do this out of love, not legalism.  Start at 10%.  Send it on ahead.  Feed The Poor. Clothe The Unclothed.  I know, it’s counter intuitive.  But try it. God doesn’t do things your way anyway.  Get over it.  What if you took the first 10% of your income for the rest of your life and gave it away?  Do you think Jesus would provide for your needs? Most of us give out of the leftovers, not the first fruits, there is a difference.  Remember, there is no love without sacrifice.  Malachi 3:10  “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing  that there will not be room enough to store it.

4. Don’t CompareComparison will ruin you, because you will never be satisfied.  You don’t make what they make so why do you think you should have what they have?  They probably can’t afford it anyway. 

5. Work Diligently – This may seem like common sense, but you may need to get an additional job in order to make ends meet.  I meet people all the time who are “too proud” to take a job “below them”.  This is pride.  You may need to move to a smaller apartment or sell your house, or the car.  But work hard, especially if you have debt!

6. Drive the Ultimate Driving Machine – The ultimate driving machine is a car that is paid off no matter what it looks like or what chicks you are picking up with it.  Leases are a waste of money and driving a brand new car is a colossal trap.  When you drive the car off the lot, you flush $$ down the toilet.

7. Save As Much As You Can – Sometimes we can’t afford to save because we have debt.  If this is you, then get on a plan and schedule to pay off ALL your debt as soon as possible.  Live with no regrets.

8. Plastic MUST go – When you got that credit card, you never thought it would lead to this place.  So often the only way out of “that place” is to get rid of the card.  Maybe you just don’t have the discipline to have a credit card.  It’s ok, admit it and start paying with a debit card and cash. SALE is another 4-letter word for DEBT.

9.  People NOT things –  This may seem obvious, but your kids, parents, cousins, wife, siblings, whomever, doesn’t need a bunch of stuff from you to know you love them.  Jesus, my family, and my church family have all made me exceedingly rich.

This SUNDAY IS A HUGE day for our church family.  One church, two locations, three services.  East Windsor (10:15am) and Hamilton (9:30 & 11:00 am) will never be the same because of you.  Can’t wait to celebrate together!



217church is a multi-site church in Mercer County NJ with small groups for families in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater.  Our new East Windsor Campus is meeting Sunday December 8th 10:15 am at Ethel McKnight School and launches weekly services January 12, 2014.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services in Hamilton at 9:30 or 11 am! Visit  If you want to be in on the ground floor of a new exciting church planting environment, contact our East Windsor Campus Pastor Dan Gay at




3 Things You MUST Know About God

You don’t want to miss this weekend at 217church! We have been in a process of pursing God passionately for strength and courage to move forward towards His vision for us as a church and as His people. This weekend, we will discover the faithfulness of God as He leads Joshua into the beginning of a season of conquering city after city. We get to see that God is faithful to those who keep the faith!


I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6

What are you trusting in God for? We are always in the process of growing in our relationship with Christ. There is always a next step, a way forward, something that God wants to do in our hearts. It is important in our pursuit of God and His plan for our lives that we remember He is faithful. When you pray and pursue God remember these 3 things…...

  1. God has already given you what He has promised.  When God raised Joshua to lead the people of Israel, He already knew that the land of Canaan would be taken back by Joshua and his army. The only thing that could stop that from happening was Joshua’s faithfulness in return. He tells Joshua in chapter 1 to be strong and courageous but also to remember the word of God and not to stray from it. If Joshua would remain faithful to God and his word, then the land would be taken. Many times we doubt if God is faithful or if He will move on our behalf, while at the same time we aren’t investing time to be in His word or aren’t even living by it. God will always be faithful. He has already given us what we need, we just need to be faithful in return and do what He calls us to do!
  2. God has already given you the steps to get to what He’s promised.  God never sends Joshua out into battle without giving Him marching orders. He always provides direction and instruction for battle. You might say “I wish God would speak to me like He did to Joshua.” And He has! He has given you the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our guide, our helper. He gives us our marching orders. Many times we already know what we need to do because God has made it clear through the Holy Spirit, but a lot of the times we don’t like the marching orders He gives us so we pray for different ones. The more I am in ministry the more I am convinced that the role of a Pastor is to help people discover what the Holy Spirit has already spoken to them. Life with Christ is not easy. It’s not easy to carry out His orders. But His marching orders always lead to victory! Forget your battle plan, follow His.
  3. God has blessings prepared for you beyond the one you are praying for.  When God sends Joshua and His army out to Jericho, the battle plan was so weird! March around the city once a day for six days, then seven times on the seventh day, yell as loud as you can, blowing your trumpets and the city will fall? What?! This was the biggest battle to date for the the Israelites. I am sure with these instructions, all they were focused on was Jericho. But God was showing them His plans for battle were way different than theirs would be. God was also instilling in them FAITH. Faith in God’s ways. Why? Because Jericho was just the beginning. In Joshua’s lifetime, he and his army, through the power of God conquered 31 cities! In our walk with Christ sometimes all we pray for is Jericho. Just one thing that we want God to show us or help us accomplish. But while praying for Jericho we need to remember that God also has greater plans in the future. He is not just a God of Jericho blessing, but a God of 31 cities of blessings! Our prayers need to come from an understanding that God has great things in store for us beyond the few things we “think” we need now. Let’s start praying 31 city prayers!

God is faithful to those who keep the faith. The first part of that statement never changes, but the second half is hard to keep true isn’t it? I pray that we, as God’s people, would ask God for the faith we need to stay true to His ways. I know with all my heart that when we do, God will show up in a way that is much greater than we could ever ask or even imagine. In the words of Paul the Apostle, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”  He was faithful to start a good work in you, He is faithful to continue that work, and He will be faithful to complete it!

I hope to see you this Sunday at the theater.

– Pastor Kevin


217church is a dynamic christian church in Mercer County NJ that meets on Sundays in Hamilton at the AMC 24 theater at 9:30 and 11 am and in East Windsor, NJ starting in January of 2014!  To visit a weekend service or join a small group, visit 

We’re Alive!

You don’t want to miss this weekend at 217church! This weekend concludes our Worship: All or Nothing series. We know that worship is our response to a God who is first pursuing us.

Because God has given us His all in Jesus, we as Christ followers can respond to His pursuit with all WE have! We’ve pursued God on how we worship Him with in our plans, prayers, fears, suffering, and this weekend we will talk about responding to God with our FAITH.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved- Ephesians 2:4-5

 Jesus changes EVERYTHING. We were once dead and now we are ALIVE! When we pursue Him in our plans, He provides; in our prayers,  He answers;  in our fears, He assures; in our suffering, He pulls us through; and, in our faith, He moves mountains! At the end of this passage in Ephesians 2:10 it says 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

So what are we doing with our life in Christ? What does life look like when living out a faith that moves mountains? God has given us everything we need to live out a life with bold faith. Here are 3 evidences of a life lived by faith.


Jesus led with passion. The apostles preached and prayed with passion. There is excitement in living out God’s calling on our lives! When we meet Jesus we are given the gift of expectancy simply because God is always ready to do something amazing! This leaves us with an energy, a sense of urgency and excitement about what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of others.


We know who we belong to, where we are going, and what we are here to do. Every morning we wake up, we know we exist to bring God glory in everything we do. God desires all His children to know Him and receive His gift of salvation through His son and we as Christ followers are here to play a part in that process!


We have the Holy Spirit! The same power that conquered the grave lives in us! If God is for us who can be against us? Once you are alive in Christ and live by the power of the Holy Spirit, nothing can stop you! Sure, life will bring it’s challenges, but a life lived by faith in Jesus is more powerful than any circumstance we could ever be faced with.

We are ALIVE! Do you feel the passion? Do you know your purpose? Are you tapping into the power? Don’t miss this weekend at 217church!


Looking for a church in Mercer County  and the surrounding Hamilton area (Lawrenceville, East Windsor, Pennington, Chesterfield, Bordentown, Heightstown, Trenton, Ewing, Princeton, West Windsor, Langhorne, Newtown, Yardley, Washington Crossing)?  Join us this Sunday at the AMC 24 in Hamilton NJ at 9:30 or 11:00 am. Learn more about 217church and our vision here!