Jerry Hill, on his perspective on church buildings and what they did in Guatemala:
Where do church buildings fit in? They are not mentioned in the New Testament. With “all creation” as the goal, God’s army moved swiftly over the earth, leaving behind Christ’s church meeting in homes. Financial resources went to preaching and to helping circumstance-stricken people. World evangelism was accomplished. Since then, our systems have not duplicated that all-important feat. Respectfully speaking, church buildings and the struggle to get the gospel to every human are comparable to a pentagonal, permanent structure in Washington and the invasion of Normandy. I think a better question would be, How fast do you want to move? In our preaching in Guatemala, we opted to leave the decision of a meeting place up to the troops.
From his book on the first years of their work in Guatemala, unavailable on the internet or in print form, as far as we could discover.
Jerry Hill, again, in his book about their work in Guatemala, which I’m enjoying:
A chain of events like this begins with someone preaching the gospel. It is predictable that important reactions will occur. It is impossible to know what they will be, whom they will involve or where they may lead. The preacher will be disappointed at times that his plans for certain people in certain places were not realized. But he will be elated many times over when the unpredicted events bring in people, at places, and with results that no one foresaw. I believe this is fundamental to preaching the gospel to all the world in each generation: preach, and follow the leads! p. 44.
Great advice! God will open doors that we never dreamed of.
We haven’t learned this lesson yet. Actually, it’s ignored. There are unspiritual interests behind this practice that continue to harm the church.
By that time, we had heard of others who had been sent to the U. S. to study who would not go back home. We began thinking that it was not a good idea to educate our converts in the U. S. For one thing, you lose all they could have contributed to the local work during the time they were gone. Too, the local studies would be tailored to local needs, while in a foreign college, the foreign curriculum would be followed. And if they didn’t come back at all? Or if they came back with an attitude? No, we thought the church would be better off if we taught them ourselves.
Jerry Hill shared a negative experience that convinced them of this.