a history lesson
Soul Survivor began in 1993 and was started by Mike Pilavachi. Mike was the youth worker at St Andrew’s Chorleywood under the leadership of Bishop David Pytches who began the New Wine family conferences. As the youth work grew at the New Wine events, Mike became keen to start a new event that would be aimed purely at teenagers and so Soul Survivor was born!
Here’s a little timeline of how things have progressed with a quick vid showing some footage of Mike looking very young!
The first conference hosted 1896 young people (Mike counted in each one!) and the events have grown each year since. Find out about this year’s conferences here.
First ‘Body Builder’ training course to equip young leaders. Soul Survivor has been involved in raising up many young leaders over the years and we now do this primarily through our Soul61 course.
With the summer conferences growing, we ran two events back to back in Somerset for the first time.
We began a stream of seminars for youth leaders at our summer events called SoulNet. This work has grown over the years and we now run a number of events throughout the year which you can find out about here.
With numbers continuing to grow, we added a third week to our summer conferences.
Our Week A and Week B summer events became ‘The Message’ which saw 12,000 young people descending on Manchester to clean up the streets and serve local communities.
More than 20,000 young people took part in our SOULINTHECITY London event where we gathered to serve the communities of our capital. The event lasted two weeks and culminated in prayer and worship in Trafalgar Square.
We also held a ‘Passion For Your Name’ conference for worship leaders. This went on to become Worship Central.
We started Momentum to meet the needs of Christians in their 20s and 30s. Many had grown up with Soul Survivor and still wanted to spend time in worship, teaching and ministry so starting Momentum gave us an opportunity to give them specific teaching more relevant to their life-stage.
We held a summer conference in Cheshire so that it would be easier for friends from the North of the country and Scotland to come along. This event has since found a home at the Stafford Showground and is the first event of the Soul Survivor summer each year. Find out about Week A here...
We took 350 young people to Durban, South Africa to serve churches, charities and projects working with the vulnerable and marginalized.
We’ve always spent a lot of time at our events waiting on the Holy Spirit as we know it is he who changes, encourages, equips and empowers us. In order to make more space for this, and to help encourage the Church to move in the power of the Holy Spirit in their everyday lives, we began a ‘Naturally Supernatural’ conference at our warehouse in Watford.
We are passionate about raising up young leaders of both sexes but became aware that a number of women weren’t being encouraged to use their gifts. We began Equal - a one-day conference looking at the theology of women in leadership and aiming to teach and encourage young female leaders. For 2013 we have made this an event open to both girls and guys.
In 2011 we also held our first Momentum weekend retreat for 20s and 30s at Center Parcs.
watch this vid...
To find out about all our current events please click here.
God has taken us on an amazing journey and we hope he’s not finished with us yet! We’re always praying and planning ways we can serve young people, Christians in their 20s and 30s, youth leaders and the wider church. If you’d like to support us in our work and help us do more to encourage and equip God’s people, please see our teams page and our fundraising section.
Mike's heading off to Durban next April and he wants to take a team with him!
Our friends at Hope Revolution are hosting a weekend of youth-led word and action mission and we can all get involved!
We need you!
If you share our vision to see young people meet with Jesus and live their whole lives for him, see how you can play your part in the Soul Survivor story...
Don't miss out on a cheaper place for our 2014 summer events! If you book & pay before the end of April you'll pay just £100 per person so get yourself booked on ASAP for Scotland, Week A in Stafford or Week B/C or Momentum in Somerset.
SUPPORT SOUL SURVIVOR!
We need your help if we're to continue doing what we do! If you share in our vision, would you consider giving to our work so we can do all the things we feel God is calling us to do? Follow the link to find out more and to donate online.
serve on a team