Tony Uddin shares his admiration for a small church that has a big impact because of its commitment to the whole life – and soul – of every individual it meets.
I recently went along to the 15th anniversary service of Eleos Christian Church. Eleos is a small church in Bethnal Green that has a bigger impact on the lives of the people it serves than many churches six or seven times its size. OK, I may be biased (I worked there for six years between 1997-2003!) but I don’t think I’m exaggerating.
At the heart of Eleos is a desire to show God’s love and mercy to people in desperate need. Looking around the room at the celebration I saw many lives that had been profoundly changed. These are people who have not come from churched backgrounds, but rather have been sought out and brought into the kingdom of God by those who have experienced God’s mercy and want to show it to others. The church does some tremendous work amongst homeless people and runs the Church Without Walls in Victoria, on the streets every Saturday at 7am in the morning. The Church Without Walls is a vibrant expression of church that has seen many, many lives changed by God.
The thing that characterises the church and its Pastor, Kurt Erickson, is an understanding of the importance of the value of one soul. It’s the thing that has always struck me about Kurt. He will do whatever it takes to see an individual’s life impacted with the good news of Jesus. I use the word soul deliberately. Salvation is central. What I admire about Kurt is that he doesn’t just want to meet people’s practical needs. At the heart of what they do and completely integrated throughout every aspect of the ministry of Eleos, is the clear, upfront proclamation of the Word of God. It’s inspiring to see how seamlessly the handing out of a hearty breakfast is integrated with worship, prayer and preaching on the streets of central London.
I want to challenge you to think about what you are doing this week. Are you aware of the value that God places on each individual life? Are you and I prepared to live sacrificially so that others can see, hear and understand the good news of Jesus?
Check out Eleos yourself.