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Matt Redman
World News

Matt Redman: ‘Mike Pilavachi had many opportunities to change but nothing was done'

by Kelly Valencia

Soul Survivor founder Mike Pilavachi was confronted about his behaviour by numerous people throughout the years, according to worship leader Matt Redman.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Premier Christianity Magazine, the Grammy-award-winning singer said that while he understands the ongoing scrutiny must be “crazily uncomfortable” for Pilavachi, had these confrontations been addressed differently, the current situation might have been avoided.

Redman and his wife Beth were speaking following the release of the couple’s 30-minute video documentary, which detailed the abuse they both experienced under Mike Pilavachi’s leadership.

Reflecting on Pilavachi's reluctance to address concerns, Matt Redman said Pilavachi had “many opportunities along the way to change”, but “nothing was done”.

He added: “It must be so crazily uncomfortable for Mike right now because this is a very harsh light upon him. You know, people speaking on social media and things like the Let There Be Light documentary coming out… That's a much harsher process than maybe it needed to be. And if I look back, I can see so many times but from people who loved him and with kindness in the mix, he was confronted but he chose to try and silence those people. And that's why we are where we are now.”

The film, published on Redman's Youtube channel, has been widely praised with many commending their “bravery” in coming forward with their experiences.

In their interview with Premier, the couple admitted struggling to reconcile Soul Survivor's success with Pilavachi's actions but encouraged people to “hold on to the good” of the movement.

Redman said: “We may never get to the bottom of how God is doing all this amazing stuff, and yet, at the heart of it, there’s this massive compromise of character in the person leading the whole thing. I struggle to understand it myself, honestly.

“In one sense, I was getting mentored but, at the same time, I’ve been told by several professionals that I was being groomed. I don’t understand how those two things can coexist, but I do understand that, somehow, in his beautiful grace, God plants stuff in the soil of our suffering. I would encourage anyone who’s struggling with that kind of tension to hold on to the good. Don’t throw it out. There’s been so much good through Soul Survivor.”

The couple also highlighted the silence by church leaders in calling out Pilavachi’s behaviour. Beth Redman said that while she understood it can take time to process, the fact that it has been a year since allegations first surfaced and no senior leader has condemned Pilavachi’s actions, “underlines how this was allowed to go on so long”.

When asked about the impact they hope the documentary makes, Beth Redman said: “It’s important that the people who speak out are not just supported and validated, but there is justice. Please can we create systems where leaders are accountable, where there’s follow through? That’s what is so important about the review by Fiona Scolding KC. Who should have acted? Who failed to act? Who knew about this? It is important those people are also held to account.”

The full interview is available on Premier's Soul Survivors podcast. 


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