How To Build An Unbeatable Team

It’s that time of the year.  Fantasy football drafts are happening everyday!  For those of you who are into fantasy football, the anticipation of the fantasy draft is a lot of fun.  How it works is that you draft players who play for your team on game day and earn points for your team based on how they actually perform on the field.  When they succeed, YOU SUCCEED.  It is good fun but let me ask you a serious question?  If you were to draft a team to help you accomplish your dream for your life and your organization, who would you draft?  I want guys blocking for me that look like this guy…

football dude 8-19


“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed…”  Proverbs 15:22

Who do you need on your team in order for your dream to happen?  YOU NEED PEOPLE BETTER THAN YOU!  You need a diverse team full of people with varying skills and experiences, different ages and personalities, but regardless, you need the best!  In many ways these people will help protect you from yourself.

How To Draft an Elite Fantasy Team

#1 Know Exactly What You Need –  Part of the challenge in getting to where you want to go is knowing how to identify the needs.  You will need to shore up different weaknesses.  Knowing what you are trying to accomplish dictates the WHO!  Too many self reliant, prideful people try to accomplish a big vision on their own.  If you want to accomplish a BIG DOG dream you better have BIG DOGS on your team. I want the BEST team possible!  Who is on my team?  Below you will see 4 different goals I have and then WHO is on my fantasy team.  You will quickly see, the WHO IS CRITICAL.

  • Build a Family Together / Summer – Listen, I made a decision a long time ago that I didn’t want to do life alone.  So I found someone to love and take with me together on this ride.  She is my 1st round draft pick EVERYTIME.  I will always choose Summer and my kids over every other goal, dream and possibility.  The church can get another pastor, but I am the only one who can fulfill the role of Dad to my children.  Most important draft pick…spouse.
  • Family Health / Adoption / Bethany Christian Services – We drafted them six years ago to help us fulfill the dream of opening our home to children who need love, health and education.  They are an incredible christian organization focused on putting a dent in fatherlessness, abuse, and the underserved children in the world.  I want their whole team on my team! Sometimes it is a person you need, other times it’s a whole organization.  Now that we have three little boys from Uganda as our sons, we need counselors, teachers and doctors to help us with the unique challenges of adoption.  All are on my dream team!
  • Successfully Grow 217church to HealthDoug & The Dream Team.  Doug is the Director of Ministry of 217church.  Have a question? A problem?  He will help you through it.  I drafted him 7 years ago when we planted the church, and eventually through humility and service, he joined our dream team!  Then there are the other members of our INCREDIBLE dream team.  Jocelyn, Josh & Amanda, Roberto, Tim, Noriel, Rich, Ivannia, Steve & Debbie, our Governing board, our elders, and our small group leaders!  I love you guys. You make it happen. You need people who are running in the same direction passionate about the vision together!
  • Advise Financially and Pay Taxes / Donna – She is the best accountant/ tax professional I know.  She is honest, clear, focused, no nonsense, gold!  Paying your taxes and financial integrity are HUGE issues and you will need help to navigate this.

#2 Stop Making Excuses:   Maybe you feel like, “all the good players are gone.”  This is simply not true. One thing I like to do as a fantasy football player is to find the “diamond in the rough.”  This means finding someone no one else thought had much value and picking them in the later rounds.  Sometimes you choose someone no one else thought had value.  This will take an incredible investment of time and energy, but is worth it.  Sounds like what Jesus did for us!

#3 Cast a Compelling Vision:  If someone were to sign up to be on your team, would they be motivated by the big target on the wall?  Or would your vision be lackluster?  You know you have a God-given vision when God has to show up in order for it to happen!  If you can do it without God and faith, your vision probably won’t be compelling and people will not be inspired.

#4 Get Courage To Ask:  This is where risk comes in.  At some time I had to ask all the people above to be on my team.  For some of them it took longer than others.  Make no mistake about it, when someone comes on your team, you must be committed to serving them.  It’s not about you but the vision.  People want to be a part of something world changing and your job is to give them that opportunity.  Sure you might get rejected, but keep in mind, you don’t want people on your team that won’t be 100% committed to the vision, so let them go.

Building a team is fun, rewarding, but takes a lot of work.  Take time right now and determine what are your biggest needs.  Here are some more ideas for building a fantasy team that will serve you well:

  • Spiritual advisors
  • Confidential friends
  • Legal advisors
  • Physical trainer
  • Nutritionist
  • Health Doctor
  • Contemporaries
  • Tax professionals


This Sunday I would love for you to join the 217church team!   We are having a ministry fair and an excellent opportunity for you to connect to God’s dream for your life and our community.



This Sunday September 17 – “His Story” Series Week #1 through the Gospels (Small Groups Launch & Ministry Fair)

October 8  New Service times  -9:30am & 11:00am


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 for more information, or watch a weekend message here On Sunday September 17th 2017 we will have our Fall Launch celebration service.


Easter 2013 at 217church | AMC 24 Theater Hamilton, NJ

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken in life?  Maybe it was the day you said “I do?”, or better yet the day you quit your job when you didn’t even have another one lined up?  Risk is a tricky subject because the moment we think we have life figured out, God will “shake our snow globe” and say, “If you want to truly follow me, you have to take risks!” 

“…Without faith it is impossible to please God.”  Hebrews 11:6

Following Jesus is risky business.  What we tend to do as Christ followers is look for the path of least resistance.  To follow Jesus means that we turn the other cheek, give like no one else is giving, relentlessly obey God’s commands and submit to God in every aspect of our lives.


Why it’s Hard To Follow Jesus 


1. Say Goodbye to Conventional Wisdom – Over and over again in the bible, we see the conventional wisdom of the world smashed by the wisdom of the heavens.  1 Corinthians 1 even says, “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”  Let’s take just one example of God’s wisdom, “Do not repay evil for evil.”  (Romans 12:17)  This is one that is probably most difficult for everyone.  The first thing I want to do when someone sins against me is sin back!  But we are to be people of peace.  Being a person of peace is an act of faith!  The wisdom of man will always lead you astray, but the wisdom of God will be a rock in your life.

2. Get Ready to Be Misunderstood – Jesus was misunderstood and lived the original “alternative lifestyle.” His disciples were ostracized and martyred for their faith and people were genuinely confused how living like Jesus was beneficial.  People will immediately think you are manipulating them and trying to get something out of them.  In reality, an authentic Christ follower serves ’till it hurts, loves when it seems impossible and forgives when it is improbable. This make absolutely no sense to the people of the world, yet there is an intrigue to the life of Jesus that CANNOT be denied.  He came to seek and save the lost and we are to carry on His mission until he returns to redeem the earth.

3. Your Critics Will Multiply– Ever been made fun of because of your crazy beliefs?  Ever been called an ultra-old fashioned conservative?  Ever felt like the world was entirely against your way of thinking?  Ever been publicly ridiculed, blogged about or secretly thrown under the bus at work or in the community?  Ever read the bible and had people stare in disbelief? Ever tried to do something in love and been refused because they didn’t like your “religion”? Ever take a stand for something that was biblical but unpopular and lose a friend and even your position and prestige? Ever been called a name publicly or privately because of your faith?  Welcome to what it means to follow Jesus and may this be your blessing:  “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!”  Matthew 5:10  BOOM!

4. Your Plans Have To Die – We all have desires to “be something” in life.  Whether it is to be the best mom possible or to succeed at a career, human ambition is rampant in our culture.  But in order to follow Christ, YOUR DREAMS HAVE TO DIE!  We must die to ourselves and “put to death the earthly sin nature that lives within us.” (Romans 8:13)  This is not easy, popular or catchy.  It is flat out counter-cultural & demading.  Is God calling you to give a HUGE generous gift?  Is God calling you to forgive an act that seems unforgivable?  Is God calling you to quit a job?  Is God calling you to work with the poor, the widows and orphans?  These are not “good deeds” in which we pat ourselves on the back, these are faith challenges in which we are shaped and “crucified with Christ.” (Galatians 2:20)  This Easter better not be a religious holiday with bunnies and eggs, it must be a reminder of the high demand to a lifestyle marked with RESURRECTION POWER!  Following Christ isn’t a burden, it is the HIGHEST CALLING on EARTH!

Are you ready to TAKE A RISK?  It’s time.

This Easter at 217church, will be a season of celebration!

217church Easter Schedule 
  • Good Friday Open Prayer Time- March 29th  6 PM – 9 PM @ 217church Youth Center 200 Whitehead Rd, Hamilton, NJ
  • Weekend Celebration Services- March 31st 9:30 & 11am @ AMC24 in Hamilton, NJ
  • Special Kids Party- March 31st in Theater 15 @ 9:30 & 11am

Easter Series Topics:

March 31 – Follow Jesus

April 7 – Do What God Says

April 14 – Ask For Anything

April 21 – Give Big

April 28 – Forgive

Mercer County Church Blog Home

P.S.- Know someone looking to attend a contemporary church in Mercer County, NJ  for Easter?  Take a risk and tweet, Facebook or email this blog post!  There will be a HUGE party and Easter Egg hunt for the kids and a great time of worship with other individuals and families in the surrounding Mercer County and Bucks County areas (Hamilton, Lawrenceville, East Windsor, West Windsor, Princeton, Robbinsville, Mercerville, Yardville, Yardley, Newtown, Langhorne and more!). Join us!


P.S.- Know someone looking to attend a church in Mercer County, NJ for Easter?  Take a risk and tweet, Facebook or email this blog post! 

Fighting Fair in Marriage – Part 2

If you are going to fight for your marriage, you have to learn to fight fair in marriage.  This is not an easy thing and takes years to master.  Married couples fight about money, sex, division of labor, communication and many other things.  But fighting fair is one of the keys to a lasting marriage.  Last week if you missed PART 1 of FIGHTING FAIR IN MARRIAGE, you can read it here.

“…The tongue of the wise brings healing.”  Proverbs 12:18

10 Ways To Fight Fair In Your Marriage – Part 2

6. Avoid Personal Attacks – Especially as you are younger in your marriage, you won’t know each other as well.  When you discover something about him that is, well, annoying, you have to determine not to attack his character.  One of the most hurtful things you can do is “label your spouse.”  Many of the labels our parents, teachers and friends gave us as children stick with us our whole lives.  These words and labels can control and damage our relationships. Your words should NEVER be a personal attack.  Instead, use phrases like, “Help me understand why…” and “When you do this, it’s hard for me…” Once you make it personal, there is no cool-headed conversation. An ounce of encouragement can go a long way.  Once you find yourself in a personal attack, back off and take a time-out.

7. Be Truthful, Then Trust – This sounds almost ridiculous but it is important to operate with correct information.  I have seen so many couples fight over jumping to assumptions that aren’t even true!  If you have a truth problem, your marriage can never grow in intimacy.  Among us there are those who have been jaded and betrayed, therefore it is harder for us to trust.  The foundation of marriage is built on trust.  I’m not saying being naive, but if your marriage is going to grow, you must learn to trust more.

8. Learn to Listen – I know, I know, this is comical right?  You expect me to listen when I am frustrated?  One thing that will grow your ability to disagree with civility is your ability to listen.  If you are always interrupting and always building your “case” while the other person is talking, you are acting like an emotional child.  When you listen it is important for your spouse to know you heard him or her.  PRACTICE ACTIVE LISTENING.  This is an exercise where one person talks at a time,  then the other person repeats back to make sure the message got delivered.  “What I heard you say was…”  If this is done, you both know you are communicating effectively.  It is important though that ONE PERSON TALKS at a time!  You can’t listen with your mouth flapping.  Then you switch roles and the other person listens and repeats back.

9. Don’t Win, Heal – You learn quickly in marriage “when you win, you lose.” You should not be about being right and being in control, but perfect love drives out fear.  Often times, people are afraid of losing, ANYTHING.  This includes arguments.  Look your spouse in the eye this week and say, I will never win another argument.  It might seem a bit extreme, but when the motives are wrong in fighting, there is NEVER a resolution, just a temporary break from the fight.  I have counseled more couples where it was evident two people wanted to win the argument.  Then when asked they had the audacity to accuse the other person of just wanting to win the argument.  If you happen to be married to someone who likes to fight, and enjoys confrontation, you will probably need to see a counselor ASAP!  

10. Pray Together Regularly – Want to fight less?  Then pray for and with one another.  Two people who pray together will find it harder to fight about stupid little things.  You learn to “let things go” and not be bitter and eventually grow in your spiritual intimacy with your spouse.  If you have never tried this, START!  You will be amazed at the level of intimacy that grows as Jesus becomes more the center of your marriage.

One last thought:  If you feel like you have tried everything to solve a problem, YOU MUST GET HELP from an outside source.  Maybe the most courageous thing you do this year is see a Christian counselor.  For help with resources in the Central New Jersey area, contact

Mercer County Church Blog Home

This week at 217church, a Mercer County contemporary Christian church, we will learn from Song of Solomon the difficult art of fighting fair with our spouse. Do you fight fair?  Learn to fight fair and your marriage will grow in intimacy and strength.

Mercer County Church Blog Home