MIKE Pilavachi is the co-founder and leader of Soul Survivor, a Christian charity which oversees Christian events for young people. He is also Senior Pastor of the Soul Survivor Watford church in the UK.
Mike is single. Here are some of the things he has said about the gift of celibacy:*
“Why don’t we be the prophetic generation who says that you can live in a sexualised society and world and live a whole, meaningful, satisfying, fulfilled life without sex?
When we don’t immerse ourselves in the Word of God, we are shaped by our consumerist, individualist and totally sexualised culture. People think they can only find intimacy in sex (a lie).
There is a tyranny in the world which bombards us from books, the TV, films and magazines: ‘you are less than a human being if you are not sleeping with anyone.’ Sex defines you …but that’s not what defines a follower of Jesus.
Young people long for relationships where hearts touch heart; often they think that the only way to find those relationships is to give their bodies – that’s so wrong. In the church community we can create relationships that are healthy, intimate and full of appropriate affection – and that brings wholeness and healing.
Celibacy is a valid alternative to marriage and a gift. It’s a gift if you embrace it; if you don’t embrace it, it’s a curse!
We can make an idol out of marriage: ‘I can’t live till I’m married’ – and we waste our lives. We can also make an idol out of singleness: ‘Thank goodness I’m not married; I can come and go as I want; I can spend money on what I want, go on holiday where I want.’ Our freedom can be just selfishness. We are disciples of Jesus! My gift of singleness sets me free to serve others and invest in many others; it feeds me. It’s life to me.
God sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:5). Whether married or single, we are enriched when we realise that we are called to the great community of God’s people. It is in this committed community we get healed and find relationships.
I have deep, satisfying and wonderful friendships with couples in their 70s, young men and women, middle-aged people, all sorts and all over the world. I can give myself to these relationships in a way I may not be able to if I was married. I’ve found the most amazing friendships you can ever hope for – as a single person. There’s a real positive.”
*This was taken from an interview with Mike here