Seeking God’s spirit and truth

Published 4:25 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My mind is still racing with images of Guatemala. We just arrived home on Saturday night. Eight of us from this community spent one week helping churches reach their communities in the rural Mayan mountains of Guatemala, where there is very little knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus. We installed a water filtration system and a drop-ceiling in the mission home. We held sports camps and shared the Gospel during breaks. 

I want to focus on one event that continues to grip me.

Pastor Ron, our missionary leader from Florida, has good relations in the community and was invited to preach at a neighboring church. The church building was beautiful, with an ornate roof just built. The people were gifted in musical talent, with the guitar, keyboard, drums and singers producing that unique Latin sound. The congregants would fall to their knees as they entered the service, spending time at their chairs praying before standing up and singing. 

By the initial appearance, this church had much to be proud of. They had about 100 people in attendance while most other churches had much less in the area. They had beautiful music while many churches had no instruments and sang acapella. They enjoyed a large building while many other meeting places were smaller. But, yet, after Pastor Ron preached, something surprising transpired.

With the entire congregation watching, the leaders of the church were called to the front. They sat Pastor Ron down and talked with him for about 10 minutes. We could all see the conversation, but we could not hear the conversation. The congregants were waiting with anticipation. Once the conversation ended and the service closed, I asked Pastor Ron what that was all about. He explained the current pastor and leadership of the church wanted his help. They admitted that they do not know much about the Bible. They get together and sing simple songs, but their understanding of God was very limited.  The leadership was delighted and agreed to meet with Pastor Ron at the mission home for a biblical training course that is offered so that they can better understand the Bible to lead their congregation.

What strikes me is the hunger and humility of these people. I’ve been to this corner of Guatemala five times. This was the best church gathering in appearance I have ever been to, if the rubric was building size, attendance and music. But yet, the leaders were humble enough to admit that while they were ready to worship in spirit, they were not up to par to worship in truth. 

Jesus stated in John 4:24 that “those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 

Friends, success must not be merely defined by the size of our buildings or congregations. It should be defined by faithfulness to the Bible. But, in order to be faithful to the Bible, we must know the Bible. It took a lot of humility and thirst for God’s word for these leaders to seek help. Will we humble ourselves? 

Matthew Homan is the pastor of Eureka Baptist Church. His email address is