24th August 2016: Soul Survivor and Momentum 2016 welcomed over 26,000 young people and saw 1527 make commitments to follow Jesus. Across the events we’ve explored God’s love and grace, dealing with anxiety, living all out for God, praying in tongues, and what it means to love others in Jesus’ name. We’ve been joined by some dear friends including Rend Collective, Tim Ross from Texas, Miriam Swaffield, and Mike Hands from Australia. We’ve had moments when God took over and meeting plans were abandoned as the Holy Spirit moved in power, healing and changing us as we prayed and worshipped; plus we’ve had huge praise parties, rejoicing with new Christians as they’ve met with their Saviour. Our seminar programme covered a wide variety of topics including evangelism, being a Christian at university, healing from rejection, science, purpose, heaven and hell, and mission. During Week A in Stafford we sent out over 600 young people in small groups to work with local churches and organisations on projects to bless their communities. They got involved in everything from baking bread for people who are homeless to creating a community garden.
Mike Pilavachi said, “We have loved seeing how God has met with young people this summer and nothing beats seeing people meet him for the very first time. Another highlight was welcoming the Archbishop of Canterbury to Week A who was incredibly honest when I interviewed him in the main meeting, paving the way for the young people to be open and vulnerable during the ministry that followed. It was also wonderful having the LIV choir join us from South Africa. These young people have come from some horrendously traumatic and tragic backgrounds but are being loved and restored at LIV Village. To have them leading our young people in worship and being so warmly welcomed was incredibly touching.”
In July we held our last Momentum summer event and the 20s and 30s who came were passionate worshippers, keen to do business with God from the start. God met with us in wonderful ways, healing us, equipping and empowering us to go out and live in the power of his Holy Spirit. We’re looking forward to continuing to journey with this age group, alongside the whole church, at our new Naturally Supernatural summer event in 2017.
Mike continued, “We are more convinced than ever of the need for a Naturally Supernatural conference for the whole church. We love seeing the young people stepping out in praying for one another, in hearing from God and in receiving the gift of tongues but our passion is to see the Holy Spirit moving in powerful ways in churches throughout the UK and beyond. We’re longing to help equip all of God’s people so that we might all grow in confidence in moving in God’s power in our everyday lives.”
Week C of Soul Survivor 2016 was the final event at the Bath & West Showground after 24 years. We’re so thankful for all that God has done here and we’re looking forward to a new chapter when we move Weeks B and C to the more easily accessible location of the Peterborough Arena in 2017.
Other key event info:
· *Each event was hosted by Mike Pilavachi, Ali Martin and Andy Croft
· *Worship leaders included Tom Smith, Rend Collective, Beth Croft and Sam Bailey
· *Soul Survivor Scotland ran for the third year and saw a further increase in attendance
· *Community events included a giant pulled-pork picnic at Momentum, silent discos, UV parties, a huge ceilidh in Scotland, and Colour Chaos dry paint parties
· *Seminar speakers included Krish Kandiah, Rachel Gardner, Martin Saunders, Bishop Graham Cray, Simon Holley and Ness Wilson
A selection of photos from the events are available to download here: www.dropbox.com/s/8v5a4q84hjk5j6t/Soul%20Survivor%202017.zip?dl=0
Soul Survivor 2017 dates
*New event* Naturally Supernatural 22nd – 27th July, Stafford Showground
Week A, Stafford Showground, 28th July – 1st August
Soul Survivor Scotland, Kinross, 5th – 9th August
*New location* Soul Survivor B, Peterborough Arena, 19th – 23rd August
*New location* Soul Survivor C, Peterborough Arena, 25th – 29th August
“I was a bit nervous about going to Soul Survivor and didn’t really know what to expect. I thought it would just be camping in a wet field and going to church every day but I was completely wrong! I never knew that worship could be so amazing; I had a real sense of being closer to God. I have learnt more about God, to stay strong in my faith and to realise that in whatever circumstances I am in, God is always with me. Soul Survivor really gave me the chance to see how God can change people’s lives and made me feel amazed about what my God can do through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“Having gone through tough times such as drug addiction, homelessness and mental health issues I felt lost, confused and didn’t know why I was here on this earth. Coming to Soul Survivor I heard God speak to me. He reassured me, he showed me I was loved and my fears and anxiousness totally vanished! I heard God say to me ‘I’ve got you and I love you. You’re not and never will be on your own.’”
“It was my first time coming to Soul Survivor and it was amazing. I got to know God a lot better and I gave my life to Jesus on the last night after sitting on the fence for a few years with religion – it’s truly been a life changing experience. I can’t wait for next year!”
“Since coming to Soul Survivor I am now more confident with both other people and my faith. I had a severe lapse in faith recently when a friend committed suicide, I also struggled with anxiety, but my time at Soul Survivor has restored my faith and guided me towards my calling. Thank you God!”
“I have an addiction to alcohol and I’ve tried so hard and so many times to sort it out on my own, but during Week B I was able to let God in to help and he has. I woke up this morning feeling like the weight of addiction was going. I now know that God is here for me and will always be here to help.”
“God met with everyone in my group of 18 people! I feel changed from time spent with God in the meetings. I am inspired to reach out more and feel better equipped after going to several seminars. I am trying to pray in tongues every day, and encouraging others in my group to do the same and see what God will do!”