Evangelical Alliance Reacts to Mike Pilavachi Investigation Findings: Evangelical Alliance has reacted to the findings resulting from a four-month-long investigation into safeguarding concerns raised against Soul Survivor founder Mike Pilavachi earlier this year.
The National Safeguarding Team (NST) of the church of England revealed on Wednesday that Pilavachi had used his position of spiritual authority to “control people” and engaged in “inappropriate relationships, physical wrestling of youths and massaging of young male interns” over the course of the last 40 years.
Reacting to the findings, Evangelical Alliances warns that the UK evangelical church must address power abuse, prioritize victims, and combat self-promotion.
In a Thursday statement to Premier, Gavin Calver, CEO of the Evangelical Alliance, said the evangelical church in the UK “must do better.”
“Too often we are hearing stories of misuse and abuse of power in our churches and by our leaders. Too often we are hearing that individual power is being protected at the expense of victims being heard or believed, too often we are seeing accounts where faithful service to the gospel is being exchanged for platform and self-promotion,” Calver wrote.
“As painful as it is, we must not resist the work of God’s Spirit to bring to light that which has been hidden in the shadows,” he continued.
He went on to emphasize the need for the leaders including himself to “walk faithfully and humbly with Jesus, putting integrity above ease and popularity, listening to those with experience and wisdom on what needs to change and how.”
Acknowledging “the bravery” of those who shared their stories, he also stressed the need for the Evangelical Alliance to support all their members, love the church, and support those who have been victims of abuse.”
Church Network New Frontiers also expressed ‘ deep sadness at the news” in a Thursday statement posted to its website.
“We are grateful for those who have come forward and shared their experiences. We want to express our sympathy to them and assure them of our prayers,” it read.
“Because Mike is someone who has spoken in various Newfrontiers contexts over many years, we want to communicate our deep sadness at the news, our confidence in the process, and our heartfelt concern for those who have bravely come forward.”
“The church is called to be a place where people can find security, safety, and care. The kind of behavior detailed in the report should never be tolerated in the church, least of all by those in leadership.”