175 Years
About Us

8002 U. S. Highway 301 South, Riverview, FL  33578  813-677-5995

Used by God
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.  (Proverbs 16:9) When the pilot of a Cessna 208 traveling from the Bahamas to Florida became incoherent and fell against the controls, one of the passengers, Darren Harrison, radioed traffic control for help. Darren wasn’t a pilot, but suddenly he was responsible for flying and landing the plane. Thankfully, one of the air traffic controllers was also a flight instructor and calmly helped him safely land the plane.

I’m certain the air traffic controller didn’t anticipate walking someone through how to land a plane when he arrived at work that day, but he was “in the right place at the right time” to help.

Whatever God has for you today, whether it’s teaching children or running errands, He has placed you exactly where He wants you to be. You are “in the right place at the right time” to make a difference for Him through your words and actions. You never know how or when He will use you to encourage or help those around you. Be ready to be used by Him today!  God’s plans for you are better than any plans you have for yourself.  (Greg Laurie)

Turning Point Ministry

Face to Face
We continue to envision what it would be like to live in the kingdom of God as a community of faith. But this week, we focus on the doing. It is important for us to understand that loving God and loving neighbor is not about cultivating attitudes or about generating feelings or emotions. Sure, it is great to have a warm heart toward those with whom we serve, but it is not a prerequisite. When we are given this commandment to love God and love neighbor, it is all about how we act, about what we do, how we show love in day-by-day encounters and in casual points of contact as well as moments of mission and ministry. How do we live in community, face to face with the people Jesus told us to serve?

Of course, we can pray, and we need to pray that God changes our hearts so that loving is always the first inclination. But such transformation can often come through practice. So, how do we practice loving one another as we worship? Perhaps it begins in the worship design. Do we allow all sorts of voices to be heard? Do we speak a language that everyone can understand? Do we pay attention to those on the margins of our society and our church?

Take a moment to introduce the passing of the peace. It is, in many places, a rote acknowledgment of those sitting around us during worship. But what if this week became an opportunity to go a little deeper? Instead of saying Christ’s peace be with you, we ask, “How can I pray for you today and this week so that you can know peace?” OK, that sounds a little formal. But can find a way to invite the congregation to practice making connections, to move beyond the surface into loving acts of acknowledgment. Instead of an empty ritual, we take a moment to be face-to-face with one another.

It might feel odd for a while. But that’s part of growing into the vision of who and what we might be together. This is the end that is in sight. It’s in sight because we practice it from time to time. We move beyond intellectual assent to the idea of loving, and we get down to living our love of God and neighbor in little ways as we worship and as we live. And we do it not from a distance but face to face.

Rev. Dr. Derek Weber
Director of Preaching Ministries
United Methodist Church

Lead by Serving
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.  (Mark 10:45) Robert K. Greenleaf, born in 1904, spent four decades working in corporate management for one of America’s largest telecommunications companies. Toward the end of his tenure there, he became disenfranchised with corporate management philosophy. He saw it as a top-down, authoritarian, and power-based approach. So, he resigned and founded a non-profit to research the idea of servant leadership. His work planted seeds of change that continue bearing fruit to this day.

The style of leadership Greenleaf reacted to—authoritarian, top-down—was the style Jesus identified in His day among Gentile rulers: They “lord it over” and “exercise authority over” their subjects (Mark 10:42). But Jesus demonstrated a different style: He came not to be served by others but to serve those He came to save. And His style was evident throughout His life and ministry. His service was sacrificial, costly, and humble—but it changed the world. And God “highly exalted Him” and lifted up His Name (Philippians 2:9).

Look for ways today to lead by serving. It’s a simple but powerful way to show Jesus to the world.  Our humility serves us falsely when it leads us to shrink from any duty.  (J. R. Miller)

Turning Point Ministry