Why 2 Worship Services Makes Sense…

We are seeing Double!  We have been on quite a ride together as a church.  Over the past seven plus years we have seen so many lives rebuilt and so much impact in the Mercer County area through 217church.  We have declared 2017 as the year of double blessing and we are ready to see our influence in the community increase even more.  We have been running just one worship service for about a year now and we are ready to see that double.  We believe we are ready to go to TWO worship services in the fall of 2017.

dice - seeing double

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

There are four core things we want to see double over these next months.  First, the number of worship services, next the number of baptisms, next the number of vision owners, and finally the number of small groups that are rebuilding lives one person at a time.  Here are three reasons we believe God is calling us to move towards TWO Sunday worship services.

Three Leading Reasons For TWO Sunday Worship Services

1 – A Vision Driven Church – We have and always will be a vision driven church that holds the vision and mission of our church at the core of everything we do.  We feel our call is to reach as many people as fast as we possibly can as we rebuild lives one person at a time.  Our impact needs to increase as we move forward.  We believe our church family is one of the best kept secrets in Mercer County, NJ, and we want to expand our territory and grow!  We are believing God for a great harvest.

“The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his.”  Luke 10:2

Action Step – Invite your circle of influence to a Sunday service

2 – Serving Opportunities Increase – When does someone feel like part of the family of 217church?  This happens when people realize they are needed, belong, and serve the vision of their church.  One of the easiest entry pathways into serving is at a Sunday service.  Media, worship, 217kids, parking lot attendants, prayer, and hospitality teams, are just some of the ways you realize how much you are needed and play a vital role in the mission God has for you and His church.  When we double the worship services, we double the opportunity for people to serve and realize their value to each other.  Also, our incredible 217kids team will have the opportunity to be in worship on the same Sunday they serve.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…”  Ephesians 4:11-12

Action Step – Invest your energy and join a ministry team

3 – Practical Options Matter –  If we are to grow we can’t just be limited to one service time on a weekend.  Let’s be real…Some people must leave a service early because of essential commitments, and I know we have all faced the battle of getting to church on time, especially those of us with small children.  We are currently considering 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM as our leading options for new start times, and if all goes well we are targeting a Sunday in October as our two service launch date.  Also as a practical matter, the cost of us doing another worship service is virtually nothing.  A second worship service increases the stewardship of our rental dollars, as our impact will almost certainly increase.  As we double over time we believe more vision owners will believe and commit to our below 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 being a regular part of a ministry team
  • Support the purpose of the church – By giving regularly to the mission of the church

I would love to hear your feedback, concerns, ideas and opinions about this new direction.  I believe it’s time for us to consider this next step of growth as we prepare to go from a portable church to a permanent location.

I can’t wait to see how God doubles our impact, and don’t miss June 11, 2017 as we reveal fresh direction on vision Sunday!  Looking forward to hearing from you.


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 

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 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