My wife, Paula, and I were relaxing one evening, sharing thoughts about the success of a missional event in which our church participated. I was expecting Paula to be happy with our outreach effort; I know I sure was.

Ron Flores

Instead, she said, “We need to do another one—real soon!” I wasn’t quite ready for her reply, and I said: “Sheesh! How much is enough? How many people do we need in church for you to be satisfied?”

At this time, we had around 150 people in the church, which for me was huge. In our first 15 years as pastors, we averaged fewer than 100 souls on any given Sunday.

We were seeing a number double the size we’d had for 15 years. I would congratulate myself saying, “We’re double Foursquare’s national average!”

But Paula wasn’t impressed with my math. “Ron, I don’t know how much is enough,” she told me. “But I know this: This is not it!”

I was humbled by Paula’s simple challenge. And it turns out she was right— I would soon learn that she and the Holy Spirit were in cahoots, because our church hadn’t yet reached its full potential.

After 15 years as a pastor, I asked the Lord, “How many people have You graced me to pastor?” You see, I had an aversion to attendance goals (which, by the way, I still do). So, I asked the Lord, “What’s my grace capacity?” In other words, how many people can I pastor effectively? How has God blessed me? How has He wired me? What does He expect from my efforts without shipwrecking my marriage, kids, health or church?

Soon, a specific number was made very clear to me. I then had a measurable number that wasn’t in competition with others in my city or with my denomination. And it wasn’t an arbitrary number from other pastors; I no longer had to compete with the national average. It was a personal number.

So how do you arrive at a healthy, missional, growing church even if you aren’t packing out stadiums? What about the other 90 percent of pastors?

I thank God for the champions of the church. I appreciate our authentic church superstars, pastors who can take a church from zero to hero with what seems like little effort. But the average size of a church in the U.S. proves they aren’t the vast majority.

When it comes to church size, most of us are either moved by guilt or moved by pride. But when we hear from God and see how He has gifted us, our motivation becomes obedience covered with gratitude. Then, we can simply focus on hearing those long-awaited words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21, NKJV).

What is your grace capacity?

  • Pray that God will show you what your personal grace capacity is, who He made you to be.
  • Pray that more pastors will lead with the grace He has given us in these last days.
  • Pray that we will seek ways to take risks again and to dream again, to use everything we have for the kingdom’s sake.

¿Cuánto Es Suficiente?

Mi esposa, Paula, y yo compartíamos pensamientos acerca del éxito de un evento misional en el que nuestra iglesia había participado. Ella dijo: “¡Tenemos que realizar otro!” Le pregunté: “¿Cuántas personas necesitamos en la iglesia para que te sientas satisfecha?”

En ese momento teníamos alrededor de 150 personas en la iglesia. Estábamos viendo un número el doble del tamaño que habíamos tenido por 15 años. “Ron, no sé cuánto es su ciente”, dijo Paula. “Pero sé esto: ¡esto no lo es!”

Después de 15 años como pastor, le pregunté al Señor: “¿Para cuántas personas me has dado gracia para pastorear? ¿Cuál es la capacidad de mi gracia? En otras palabras, ¿a cuántas personas puedo pastorear efectivamente?

Pronto, un número especí co se me hizo bien claro. Entonces tuve un número medible que no estaba en competencia con otros en mi ciudad o dentro de mi denominación.

Así que, ¿cómo llegamos a tener una iglesia saludable, creciente y missional, aunque no estemos llenado estadios? Cuuando se trata del tamaño de la iglesia, la Cuando se trata del mayoría de nosotros somos movidos por la culpa o por el orgullo. Pero cuando escuchamos de Dios y vemos cómo Él nos ha dotado, nuestra motivación se convierte en obediencia cubierta con gratitud. Entonces podemos enfocarnos simplemente en oír estas tan esperadas palabras, “Bien, siervo bueno y fiel” (Mateo 25:21, RV60).

¿Cuál es la capacidad de su gracia?

  • Ore que Dios le muestre la capacidad personal de su gracia, y quién nos hizo para ser.
  • Ore que más pastores puedan dirigir con la gracia que Él nos ha dado en estos últimos días.
  • Ore que busquemos formas de tomar riesgos de nuevo y soñar otra vez, de usar todo lo que tenemos por el bien del reino.

—Ron Flores es el co-pastor de Meadows Christian Fellowship (Las Vegas 6 Foursquare Church), además sirve como supervisor asociado de distrito del Distrito Pacific Southwest