July 2001, by a former Potter's House member
I was once a member of the Potter’s House church in Australia from 1992-1996. After reading the articles posted at your Web page concerning the church, I felt my experience might help someone else who is struggling in one of these churches.
I agreed with a lot of the opinions expressed within my old church concerning the power of the pastor. But I don’t think it’s very biblical how some pastors in the church act like they can run the lives of members, especially when it comes to their time and money. Instead I believe in free will, and every Christian should have a choice. However, at the Potter’s House I found that the pastor almost had a monopoly of power when it came to controlling the activities of the church and how its members should behave. It was almost as if he wanted us to be a little replicas of himself and how he thought a Christian should behave.
But the bible says we should not teach our opinions as if it’s ‘The Word of God.’ Our opinions and the Word of God are two different things.
All in all, regardless of the flaws I saw in some areas of the church I belonged to, I still loved my pastor and the people of my church back then and still even today. I have respect for the pastor and what he was trying to achieve. I may not agree with some of his methods, but do believe in why he was doing it, which was to get more converts into Christianity. But it seems to me that the methods that we use to get the message across to the world is also very important. We should not follow man’s ideas and ways, but rather seek God’s ways and methods to do His work. After all, it’s God’s church, and it’s His work we are doing, not man’s or any person who is a pastor.
God is the ultimate judge, hence I do not judge the Potter’s House. Rather I believe that the church of Christ has many parts. The feet cannot say to the eyes that they are better, nor the mouth sat to the knees that it is superior. Each church has its own strengths and weaknesses, just as we humans do. We must remember that Jesus is the head of the church, let Him judge His body, and we as His servants should just serve Him the best we know how. We are all servants of Christ and so let us not be quick to find flaws in other churches, but instead first establish our ways and our methods before we make judgments about other churches and how they carry out their work.
I loved the people in the Potter’s House, but I wasn’t all too comfortable with the “controlling spirit” in the church. I have migrated back to my own country now of Samoa and my experiences with the Potter’s House were quite positive. I learned a lot from them.
Waymen Mitchell is a powerful preacher. I heard him myself in Perth, Australia at one of the conferences. I felt a powerful presence of the Lord when Waymen Mitchell was preaching.
Therefore, I do not think that the Potters House is evil. No, there are real genuine people there. The main thing is, if a person feels that they don’t belong there, they should remove themselves and find another church where they may feel closer to God.
Again,The church of Christ has many parts, but we are all part of the same work of the Lord. I respect my brothers and sisters still in that church who are trying to win souls for Jesus. But I believe a person must make up their own mind about which church they want to belong to. After all, in the end we will all face Jesus and no matter which church we belong to, all that will really matter is how we conducted ourselves concerning the call of God, which most often is personal and not about what church you attended.
My advice is that we must not judge or else we will be judged. I have too much fear of God to criticize the work of another brother or sister in the Lord, especially if they are doing something out of a pure heart.
My pastor at the Potter’s House wasn’t perfect, but I loved the man for teaching me the word of God. He was like a father to me. But last I heard he was not a pastor at the Christian Fellowship Churches any more, but was now at the Assemblies of God instead. Nevertheless, I pray for him and wish to thank him personally for the time he took to teach me the word. I plan to seek him out some day and thank him personally for his efforts in helping me become the man I am today.
Overall, we should never lose sight of why the church is here in this world. It is to magnify the Lord and to do the work of the Lord. The church is here to serve not to control its members lives.