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!


“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 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 

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.


“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.

Unstoppable Banner

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

Unity – Without it You’re Toast

10 Things that Accelerate Vision:  Principle #3 – Unity

Meet Mel and Pat!  Over the next 10 weeks I will be sharing one attribute every week that is proven to accelerate vision.  This week is #3 Unity.  Seven years ago when we first started 217church Mel and Pat were there.  They came from our mother church faithful and willing to do whatever was needed to plant the church.  For seven years now they have graced the entryways of 217church, with their warmth, smiles and welcoming demeanor.  They have greeted thousands of people over the past seven years.  When I found out they were leaving for North Carolina, I was sad, but have marveled at their ability to serve quietly and promote unity.

Principle #3 – We Must Serve in Unity


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

Unity requires steadfastness.  You see, I have never heard either of these amazing people complain once in seven years.  NOT ONCE.  I never heard them say something should be different. and never did I EVER feel like they had an agenda for our church.  Maybe it’s because Mel is a retired Lt. Colonel in the Army and understands loyalty at it’s deepest level.  They are faithful, loyal and the best of the best.  They understand what #UNITY means.  This Wednesday as they came to their final 217group in Bordentown, I watched as a small group family celebrated the ministry and faithfulness of a dynamic couple.  What an incredible legacy they are leaving here in New Jersey.  They remember being a part of our mother church BEFORE THEY had a building.  If we are going to go forward, purchase land, build a building and do all God desires for us to do, WE MUST HAVE UNITY!

How To Maintain Unity…

#1 No Complainers – I love it when I meet people who always just find a way to make something better instead of complain about it.  This is Mel and Pat.  I’m sure our hospitality ministry could be “better”,  but I never heard it from them.  They just MADE IT BETTER!  Next time you think about COMPLAINING about your team, COMPLEMENT someone on your team.

#2 No Doubt – You gotta believe!  They have always promoted and spoken positively about their church.  We are going in this direction together and it is certain.  There is nothing like being a part of a group of people who don’t doubt your leadership, our calling together and the possibility of what God could do.  Confidence inspires commitment and I love it when doubt is removed.  THE VISION WILL HAPPEN!  I never have doubted their belief in the vision.

#3 Disagreement without Disunity –  If we all agreed about everything that would be unrealistic!  Processing disagreement in God honoring, peaceful ways is the ONLY way to operate.  Our team disagrees about things all the time, but when we walk out of the room, we are one.

#4 Mutual Yielding –  No one person gets their way all the time, and learning to subject ourselves to others in ministry is powerful.  This is how the church works.  I see this on our church staff and leadership all the time.  As one body, one church, one powerful church, we are moving forward!

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.

October 30 – Unstoppable Jesus – Romans 2:17-29

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