Your Input Is Making a Huge Difference!

–>Wow! It's been a pretty overwhelming week.  Thanks for your awesome response this morning in Orillia, as 200 people gathered at the Galaxy Cinema for our second launch meeting. 

Between the two launch meetings and some leadership meetings we've had over the last two weeks, we've met in person with over 500 people who are committed to being part of the launch.  And those are just individual adults we could chat with personally…when we think of the families represented, it's a little overwhelming.  Imagine how the time, energy, prayer and resources you are contributing right now could change lives just a few months down the road.

Thank you so much for your prayers, your commitment, your generosity.  I think we really are seeing God do something powerful and amazing as we get ready to open relevant environments that will help lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus.

Here's a real quick update..and some opportunities for you to impact what happens next.

  • Generosity. Your generosity continues to be amazing.  In the last ten days, we have heard from about 80 families who have committed a total of $539,000 in over-and-above giving to the launch of Connexus in the next six months.  That is truly unprecedented. What amazes us is that the majority of families have yet to respond.  We are just so thankful to God for the way He is opening hearts.  Two thoughts. We still need the contributions of everyone to be fully resourced for our launch (and we want you to be in on the blessing by participating).  We may see God open up much more for Connexus than we first imagined.  So please take those first gifts as an encouragement to all of us do our part. We promise this: your generosity will directly result  in opening as much opportunity as possible for people to be led into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ through relevant environments.  If you want more information on how to give, email us at [email protected]
  • Volunteers.  We were so encouraged that at the Orillia campus turn out that we are thinking and praying about beginning with two services at Orillia, which would mean that Connexus would open with two services at each campus (8:30 and 10:00 a.m., both locations).  The key: volunteers.  As your volunteer cards come back in (we gave those out at each launch) we will be able to make a final decision about the number of services we'll offer when we launch in December.  If you want to sign up and didn't get a card, email us at [email protected]
  • Involvement in November.  Connexus only has ONE Sunday off in November (Sunday November 4th).  Every other weekend, it's all hands on deck as we train and prepare for the December launches in each city (see the summary for November's timeline here).  Make sure you book the time to gather, pray, train and get ready for the launch all November long.

Last point today…we narrowed things down to a final candidate for slogan, but want your input one more time before making a final decision.

Connexus Community Church:  Real Life…Simplified.

What do you think?  Like the slogan? Can you imagine that slogan being something you could talk to your friends about as a defining characteristic of what Connexus is about?  Post your comments this week.

We're getting closer every day to something amazing.  Thanks for your incredible response so far.

We are humbled, and deeply excited, by what we see God doing through all of you.

Carey Nieuwhof
[email protected]



  1. John bigham says, October 27, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Hi, Carey and the Trinity leadership team,

    Having been through a departure, I'm praying for all of you tomorrow, and for the Trinity congregation as well. I can only guess that the celebration will be one that recalls as many of the good things God has been doing and the ways the Spirit has moved over the past twelve years as those three congregations have stretched their wings and reached out into the world outside the walls of their buildings. I'm sure it will be a time for tears of both joy and sadness, given that the move to Connexus isn't 100%, yet it seems to me that the leadership team and many in the congregation are moving forward in obedience to a bigger opportunity.

    I'm praying as well that for all of you the negative stuff being thrown around in various circles won't stick, won't drag any of you off the path God has revealed to you for bringing Jesus Christ to the nations, won't interfere with the work at hand. I admit it feels to me like I've been internalizing some of this stuff on your behalf, yet your graciousness has been a sterling example of how to deal with the criticism. And of course, what does it count for anyway? Jesus is the judge, and it's before Him that we'll all stand.

    Have a great day tomorrow; help Trinity embrace the good things God has done and is doing through it, and head for the next chapter with anticipation, hope, and confidence in your Lord!

    Blessings and peace,


  2. Carey Nieuwhof says, October 27, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    John…thanks for your prayers and kind words. I wish I could post for everyone all the phone calls, emails and words of encouragement we have received. It's a pleasure to share your wishes. I really value your prayers, and your partnership in this whole Gospel thing.

    Thanks John, on behalf of all of Connexus.

  3. Gregory Wengren says, October 28, 2007 at 8:57 am

    For the slogan, how about just "Life….Simplified". Using the word "real" seems a little redundant & old school. Used to say "real" when I was a kid in Poland.

  4. josie says, October 28, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Just wanted to comment on the slogan: It's nice and short and to the point which makes it "real easy" to remember and share with friends. Just wondering if something like "Real life, Real simplified" was ever an option? I don't know, kinda has more of a rhyme to it. Just thought I'd throw in my two cents worth. God will lead you to the right fit, I'm sure.

  5. Robin says, October 28, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    What does your slogan actually mean? What message are you trying to get across to people with this slogan?

  6. John Markov says, October 28, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Folks,

    Sorry, I really don't like the Real Life…Real simplified. It just does't sound gramatically correct. I think if you want to keep it simple then just go with "real life…real simple". I think is says the same thing as "real life …real simplified" but … "simpler". On that note – if you have 4 words associated with the church in this slogan and one is a repeat the 2 words that stand out are life and simple. So if you had 2 words to describe connexus would you want them to be "life" and "simple"? We seem to say relevant alot throughout this blog, and evironments. These seem to be the 2 most used words. I think "environment" is too large a word for a slogan but how about "real life…real relevant" or "real truth … real relevant" or use the aready popular "Life Matters" radio show catch phrase "because life matters" or "life matters … real simple"? Just food for thought.

    Thanks, John.

  7. Carey Nieuwhof says, October 29, 2007 at 12:12 am

    Great comments and questions. Couple quick things.

    The slogan we're proposing is "Real Life…Simplified". So it's just three words. 🙂 Don't know whether that makes a difference.

    The purpose of the slogan is twofold. First, it's there to convey a message to the public that we believe would appeal to them. In the same way that "challenge everything" evokes a response for video game maker, EA Sports, we hope the slogan will help draw out a positive response from a person who doesn't go to church.

    We're also hoping the tagline is something that people who go to Connexus would weave into their conversations with people, along the lines of "Yeah, we talk about real life all the time…but in a way everyone can understand. It's helped me to simplify my life down to what really matters."

    So that's the thinking.

    I kind of like the double entendre of "real life", which is both about our real lives and about Jesus, who actually is real Life.

  8. josie says, October 29, 2007 at 10:35 am

    LOL!! I really like John's comments. Actually, I would have to say I agree completely! The "Life Matters" is a great idea and gives us some sort of continuity. "Real life…real simple" was originally what I was thinking before, but I was afraid to change it too much even though I knew it was "grammatically incorrect". Can't wait to see the actual slogan and logo put together!!

  9. Tracy Wallace says, October 29, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Hi Carey,
    I just wanted to post a quick note and tell you how much I admire your leadership. I have been following your church for about 6 months and now through the move and transition.

    I'm from Vancouver and can't wait to hear you speak next weekend and hope you're still coming. I can imagine the timing of this previous commitment couldn't be more frustrating with how things are unfolding for you and the urgent needs of Connexus right now.

    But please know if you're still coming, that there is great purpose to your visit here and much inspiration to be passed on to Church Leaders in the West! I know of many leaders in the Tri-City area that can't wait to hear you speak of your leadership experience in transitioning your church to one of Family Ministry.

    Blessings and prayers to you and your team. I know you need it right now and I'm confident God will continue to provide the strength and courage you all need.

    Tracy Wallace
    Youth Director/Children's Ministry Leader
    Coquitlam Presbyterian Church
    Coquitlam, BC

  10. Carey Nieuwhof says, October 30, 2007 at 8:28 am

    John Markov. Your comment is brilliant. I just had to say that my friend. Cheers!

  11. Carey Nieuwhof says, October 30, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Hi Tracy,

    I will be in Abbotsford for the Willow Creek conference this weekend. Totally looking forward to it and trying to get my head into it (three talks in one day)! Family ministry really does fuel me and fuel us here at Connexus.

    Your note is really encouraging, not just for our staff but I think for all of us at Connexus. To know that we are really connected as part of a much bigger story God is writing just encourages me so deeply.

    Make sure you say hi. Greetings back to Coquitlam Church!

  12. Gregory Wengren says, October 30, 2007 at 8:45 am


    I thought my comment was brilliant too.

  13. Carey Nieuwhof says, October 30, 2007 at 9:38 am

    Greg…you also are brilliant. As, for that matter, is everyone on this blog.

  14. Neil Magneson says, October 31, 2007 at 12:09 am

    Hello Carey,

    I won’t get into how excited I am about getting involved with Connexus here (totally!) but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the slogan.

    Firstly, I think that the slogan is an extremely important part of the “branding” of the church and many from our communities will form an opinion about their initial level of interest in checking it out based on the slogan alone. It is our number one “marketing” opportunity. That being said, I think it is better to wait for the right slogan to come than to tag one on in a rush to meet the initial launch deadlines. If the leaders feel that “real life…simplified” is it, than we’re all set but since it has been thrown open for discussion?

    A large part of my work over the last fifteen years has been marketing so in thinking about the Connexus slogan, I have put myself through a familiar thought process. I list a few of many thoughts/considerations below to explain what I am talking about

    The goal: to get the public in the door so that they can come to know Jesus.

    What are the barriers to the goal:

    people that don’t go to church, don’t go for a number of reasons.

    they feel that it will be an uncomfortable experience.
    they think that most Christians are phonies and hypocrites.
    they can’t envision themselves becoming someone that they aren’t
    they have been exposed to crappy TV evangelists, or hurtful church experiences.
    unfortunately, the list goes on.

    What message (slogan) components might counter the barriers to the goal?

    conveying that Connexus is an inviting and non-intimidating environment
    conveying that Connexus is not about being phony or hypocritical
    Connexus is a non-judgmental place for everyone
    etc etc.

    What message components could make it appealing:

    the possibility of something better
    thinking that it might be a place where I could “belong”
    the real meaning of life disclosed
    etc. etc.
    — ———————–

    I’m going to be really honest here, but this is just my opinion. In trying to put myself in a non-church person’s shoes, my reaction to the current slogan is one of skepticism. LIfe for most people is hectic and complicated, and these Connexus guys claim that is simple just because they go to church? I’m not sure that I would feel enticed by this. If we believe that most people are looking for a way to make their lives simple, then we are on the right track but I'm not sure about that.

    In your Oct. 28th post, you give an example of how we could clarify the tag-line in conversation, but if it is a great tag-line, it shouldn’t need clarification should it? Before reading that particular post, I was with Josie, I wanted to ask what you were getting at by “real life…simplified”

    I really really wish that I could tell you that I have the best tag-line imaginable to offer but I primary wanted to share some of my thoughts about the process that I am sure you have gone through as well along with my preliminary tag-line suggestion.

    real people: real life

    The reason that I like this is because as the reader, no matter who I am or what my life circumstance is about, I am instantly included because we are all just “real people” on a journey through life, not Christian know-it-alls or superior moral beings, just real people.

    The “:” is a bit more modern looking than the “…”

    “real life” is intriguing and it holds out the possibility that there might be something in it for me, like a better life or even more!……who wouldn’t want “real life”?

    So, thats it. Sorry to be so long-winded but I felt that I was supposed to share this.

    Thanks SO much for doing all that you are doing. I look forward to meeting you soon and to being a part of the environment team etc.

    God Bless!

    Neil Magneson

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