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Boxes or Spaghetti

The Mindset of Partnership by Stefanie Nicholson

Not too long after I got married, Bryan and I watched a great marriage seminar from Mark Gungor, “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage”. In one of the sessions Mark very humorously explained the way men and women’s brains are wired. Men have a box for everything: A work box, a family box, a sports box, even a nothing box. While women have spaghetti brains where everything is related and connected like a plate of spaghetti. Our brains have done a similar thing to missions. We have created a completely
different box for that, separate from the rest of the church’s strategy and vision.

Whether we have done it intentionally or not, there is an understood ‘US vs THEM’ thinking when it comes to missionaries and missions. “The local church work is for ‘us’ and the global work is for ‘them’”.

As we continue to develop our partnership mindset we need to be more like the plate of spaghetti; connecting every piece of missions to our entire church. How do we create a ‘Spaghetti’ plan for missions in our local churches?

Having a ‘spaghetti’ mindset church begins early by creating clear expectations and providing avenues of learning and practice as a regular part of who they are. Every area of ministry feeds into the idea that we are learning in order to serve, both in our everyday lives or as a profession. This type of ministry execution allows everyone to understand their role in evangelism and discipleship both near and far.

Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have when it comes to matters of the heart and the mind. If we ever want to have completely changed habits, we must ask God to  *‘[transform our hearts] by the renewing of our minds, so that we can discern what is good, pleasing and perfect will of God’.

*Matthew 24:14 lays out exactly just how big the task at hand is, “This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”  A vision this big requires everyone to be involved, not just a fraction of the church body.

Let’s begin to ask God where we can switch from the BOX mentality to the SPAGHETTI model of missions.

*Romans 12:2 CSB edition

*Matthew 24:14 CSB edition

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