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.

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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

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

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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!

Unstoppable Banner

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

Expectation – You Need Some

10 Things that Accelerate Vision:  Principle #2 – Expectation

I love the moment right before take off – It’s a total rush!  Over the next 10 weeks I will be sharing one attribute every week that is proven to accelerate vision.  This week is #2 Expectation.  These are essential if we are to take our vision further faster.  These lessons don’t just apply to our church, but to every area of our lives. What will it take to #accelerate the vision of our lives and our church?

Principle #2 We must believe with EXPECTATION

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

Expectation inspires commitment.  I’ll never forget leaving for Marine Corps boot camp on a plane as an 18 year old boy.  I say boy because boot camp was part of my essential journey of becoming a man.  Everything in me wanted to be a United States Marine.  My father was a Marine and there was something about the experience that for some reason was alluring.  I wanted to serve my country.  I wanted to challenge myself.  Everything from the motto, “The few the proud the Marines,” to the sharpness of the uniform and challenge of serving my country.  I never went in doubting I could be a Marine.  After all my dad did it, My Grandfather did it, My uncles did it.  And I was EXPECTED TO DO IT.  I was committed to the process without wavering and without compromise

Why Expectation is Important

#1 Increasing Faith – No doubt there will be things we are called to do as a church and in our lives that will challenge us.  We can’t do it, but God will do it for us.  Our faith will increase.

#2 Community – The group of people I graduated boot camp with were incredible young men.  We will always have that shared experience.  To this day, whenever I meet a Marine, any Marine, there is a brotherhood that can’t be broken.

#3 Hope –  You need hope.  No matter what you are hoping for:  Paying off your debt, graduating from college or high school, a different place to live, a wife or husband, a son or daughter to forgive you; No matter what it is, you must hold out hope!

Expect it and you will accelerate the vision!

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Join us at 217church and our SERIES #Accelerate – Let’s celebrate what God has done through 217church this Sunday!

 

October 16 – Courageous Sacrifice – Sharon School in Robbinsville 10:30 am Combined service

For more on our NEW SEASON and Why we are moving 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