Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

Save a Life Sunday

Our church mission is to be a church without walls, a church of Christ-followers serving and intentionally growing disciples. I look at this mission statement every day and I often wrestle with it as I am working through my usual tasks.

This exact situation came to fruition when I was thumbing through a catalog trying to find a perfect Mother’s Day gift for all the incredible women in our church. So, there I am trying to decide between a pin and a pen when all of sudden it hits me: Is this in alignment with what God is calling the church to?

Of course, the answer was no, and from there the idea to have Save a Life Sunday was born. This is about giving a gift to moms that honors the very essence of what a mom embodies – self-sacrificing, unconditional love.  So, instead of a gift that would be something that we might remember for months after the event, we have elected to fully live into our mission statement and give a gift that can save a life.

Malaria is a curable disease that is wrecking Africa. Every 60 seconds someone dies from malaria in sub-Sahara Africa, and the most targeted population is children. This Mother’s Day we took up a special offering to support the United Methodist’s initiative to end malaria. It was amazing to see all that our church family was able to do in the most giving way possible. We raised nearly $2,500 to support the cause of ending this terrible disease.

I was humbled by the response of our church family and it really got me thinking: Selfless love is a gift both for the person receiving it and the person giving it. It doesn’t make it any less hard, and it doesn’t make it any less painful, but it is still a gift for both people.

Being a church without walls changes the church as much as it changes the community. It changes everything, and I think it changes it in the way that God had always hoped it always would.

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