Pastor John Woolhouse with his wife Laurel

Pastor John Woolhouse’s church, Dorrigo Life Springs, is nestled in the small town of Dorrigo just up the mountain from Bellingen where my farm is.

Surprisingly in it’s almost 10 years of existence it has registered a zero growth rate. Why is this?

This is readily explained. Here are the reasons:

1. Lack of Prayer. There is no all church prayer meeting before the service or at any other time.

2. Pastor John doesn’t move in the gifts of the Holy Spirit like prophecy, public tongues, deliverance from evil spirits, word of knowledge and word of wisdom.

A Spirit-filled pastor needs to move in these to have any chance of success.

3. Zero or minimal care factor. Pastor John is aloof and it is hard to tell what he is thinking, let alone if he cares for you. Through lack of evidence one can only conclude that the care factor is missing in action or minimal.

4. Dominance of the pulpit. Pastor John doesn’t share the spotlight with anyone else except the occasional visiting speaker. In 10 years Pastor John has made no effort to raise up other leaders. He dominates that spot himself. He’s scared to delegate.

5. Compromise. Pastor John is so scared of offending anyone in Dorrigo that he waters down the gospel. By this I mean he shows tolerance even to Roman Catholic doctrine. The reality is that if you are going to have an effective ministry for Christ you will not win the popularity stakes.

6. Poor home fellowship structure. There is no strong home fellowship structure.

7. Nepotism. The leaders under Pastor John are so keen to keep his approval that there is a lack of any real soul-searching to try to find answers for the lack of success and lack of growth. They are basically sycophants.

8. Building Fund. There is no Building Fund or plans to own a building. If Dorrigo Life Springs owned its own building and did points 1 to 7 above, there would be immediate growth.

I was going to help them with getting their own building. The idea was put to Pastor John’s steering committee but there was a lack of vision and enthusiasm for this.