Back to the Mars Mission…

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a hard time waiting to get back to our Mars Mission. Thank you all so very much for your participation in this so far; you are all amazing!

paulfg posted a wonderful comment the other day, and since it came on Saturday, I thought that a lot of people might have missed it, and frankly, Paul came right to the heart of where our discussion about our plans for worship should probably go at this point.

Here is what Paul wrote… thank you Paul!

Dear fellow colonists, may I be allowed to make an observation of love and affection?

One of us asked a question based very much on current “church think”. Yet all of us fell into line and followed suit. If we are to begin again as colonists of Mars – then either the current earthly church-think is the best that “corporate worship” can be, or we are too ingrained in that tradition to leave our comfortable “habits of form” behind.

I have a suggestion.

That we are as “shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” in this debate – or else we may find we also – unintentionally – take all the division and dissent of current church-think with us as well. Thank you.

Everyone sits quietly for a moment. Then all eyes turn to you because you are next up. What are your thoughts?

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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37 Responses to Back to the Mars Mission…

  1. Matt Brumage says:

    One of us asked a question based very much on current “church think”. Yet all of us fell into line and followed suit.

    I did see Paul’s comment, but I have to plead ignorance. I went back and looked through the comments, and wasn’t sure which question he referred to. If it’s agreeable to accommodate my lack, would someone chime in with the specific question that was based very much on current “church think”?

    Thank you,


    • paulfg says:

      Matt, it was at the bottom of Don’s last “Mars post” …

      “OK, as we continue our discussion, someone says, “Maybe we should agree what Sunday worship looks like. For example, do we need music? How about Communion? Will there be a sermon or homily? Do we need prayer books? Will our worship be formal and traditional; that might be tough to pull off in that environment since we can’t have anything with an open flame (candles).”

      OK colonists, this time you get to go first… What does corporate worship need to look like? Maybe we should take something with us after all…?”

      (I think Don asked the question really 🙂)

  2. Tom says:

    As human beings we have to take experience with us to some degree or more. What needs to happen is to take that experience and improve in it, to make the next experience better.

    The best way to do that is to die to self and allow God to lead the way. God’s ways and thoughts are above ours. I believe He can bring His people together, when all will die to self and put Him and others first. Seek His guidance and trust it.
    Now that is easier said than done…a constant work in progress.

  3. What all those likes and no comments yet? I like Paul’s position, but am at a loss right now on where we go from here. Truthfully, I have only once experienced what I would consider true worship. We were on a tour of Israel with a group from my AOG church at the time. We entered a church near the Pool of Shalom (sp) and an African tour group was inside worshipping in their own language and we all joined in in our own heavenly language. It was marvelous!

  4. pipermac5 says:

    Let us leave all “denominationalism” behind, and focus on building the church as the apostles did.

  5. DWMartens says:

    Someone pointed out years ago that man can never really leave Earth. If we go into parts of the Universe that are alien to what we were created for, we have to take some of Earth with us: air, food and drink, air pressure, waste handling facilities, etc. And, it seems that we are inclined to take more than what is necessary for the mere maintenance of physical life. I’m sure this is because we are more than animals for whom simply maintaining life is pretty much what seems to matter to them.

    As those created “in the image of God” for fellowship with God, there is more to our “life” than that. Thus, the question of what we need for worship of God in such a colony as proposed here, involves what is required for our human life designed by God for fellowship with him. How much of Earth do we need to transport to the new environs to truly worship him? There are always things we would “like” that we’ve become accustomed to having, but are they what we need to sustain the life God gave us to live for him, and to worship him “in spirit and truth”? In light of Matthew 28:18-20, we might even ask why we would have applied to be on the mission to Mars as Christians, anyway. “Go into all the Universe” where there aren’t any fields “ripe for harvest”?

    I’m not trying to answer any of the questions posed; just trying to define them in my head.

    Thanks for listening to my thinking.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Well, right now we’ll have a captive mission field of 13 and maybe more will come, one way or another… Even so, you bring up a great battery of observations and questions…

    • paulfg says:

      DW, you unlodge a thought I never knew I had.

      If “dying to self” and “dying for real dying” are seen as releasing the spirit to be at One with God – why not try “dying for real dying – not”? Would we each be able to “release” our spirit anyway – and if not why not?

      As for why apply to go to Mars? Why not!! 🙂

      • DWMartens says:


        Don has a gift for making people think, and I have appreciated the many comments his challenge has generated. I’m not grasping what you are saying in your, “If ‘dying to self’ and …” paragraph, but I’m glad you had the thought “unlodged” for you. My idea of why, or why not, go to Mars is from my own inclinations, and others are more inclined to that sort of thing than I am. Thankfully, we are not all inclined the same, so lots of different things get done that one cannot do alone. It seems to me that Don used the new colony situation to get us to put our preconceived notions aside to get a fresh perspective on worship; then we might learn to put aside our preconceived notions whenever we are judging debated ideas and practices.

        I think I’ll just read and enjoy further comments on this topic (including your interesting comments), and not comment further myself.

        • Don Merritt says:

          Dennis! (sorry Paul, gotta jump in here) No! You and Paul both have a unique way of getting to heart of things, each from your own unique viewpoints- please keep at it, for you guys both help others to see important things, people that I may not reach… (carry on Paul 😊 )

        • paulfg says:

          Hiya Dennis – Don has a real gift for this!

          And my comfort in all of this is not that we are off to Mars (personally I struggle to leave our family and grandchildren for a holiday let alone Mars!). My comfort is being invited to relinquish all the trapping of “earthly worship” absorbed by osmosis since I was a wee child.

          If I have moved you towards keeping your thoughts to yourself – I apologise without reservation. Your gift was to make me think thoughts I hadn’t before – and that is a real gift! Please keep on giving.

          Thank you ((hugs))

  6. paulfg says:

    I wonder if we are approaching this back to front. A list of “what works for me” is what we are ach presenting – which is a list destined to become as divisive as all the lists across all the churches right now.

    Might not a better way be to list our “divisive dislikes”? To identify what we do not want to take, and to find through such a list commonalities of dislike – which might point us all towards a commonality of like.

    After all, we will be preaching to the converted! 😂😂😂

    • Don Merritt says:

      That’s a very interesting idea Paul, and I’m tempted to paste it into my next post- maybe I will. If our group is diverse enough, I’m sure that we can develop a list that will give everyone an excuse to drop “church” entirely and fly alone from now on, and wouldn’t that be a fascinating theory to put to the test? Hmm… mulling.

  7. Beth Ann says:

    I like the first comment by Kathryn and I said on the first round that I would only bring my Bible. With a bit more thought I might bring a hymnal just so we could remember the words to the old favorites. No instruments needed (even though I play one!).

    I believe that everything you do everyday is worship to God. If we live our lives directed toward God then that is who we worship, everyday. I have to say here that as sinful broken people, we don’t ever do this perfectly, but every day is a new day to keep on trying!

    Having said all that (I will get to the point soon, I promise!) I feel that if we all come together with this in mind, we wouldn’t need the “structure” that the church has now (church-think?). We could meet together, share a meal, pray together, read scripture, sing a hymn and there you have it.

    There isn’t any way that as a group we wouldn’t bring our experiences with us so it may be a bit strange at first, but if we all keep Jesus at the center it should smooth out.

  8. Though I was one of those “likes” I have been hesitant only because back in the mid 80’s to early 90’s I was actually a “worship pastor” at a church in Tucson, Arizona. It’s a lengthy story, so I won’t go into a lot of detail, BUT the Pastor on my very first visit, told me that the Holy Spirit pointed me out to him as I walked through the door. He didn’t know me from Adam, but shared some things I had been kind of running from back then. The Lord CALLED me to that position for a season and with the Pastor’s teaching and my LEARNING what corporate worship was in that setting and place and teaching it to the congregation, our church truly became a CHURCH with each member being one with another. The worship though, the TRUE worship didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t reliant (totally) on the music or the preaching for that matter.
    When corporate worship really started taking place (after the learning and the teaching — God teaches the “leader” before the “leader” can forward that teaching) it was when we learned to put our daily cares, our concerns about the next workday, our SINS (yes sins) and other natural thoughts at the entrance to the Church vestibule and didn’t pick them up again until the service was over and we had met the Lord with open hearts and minds. Many times, because we truly did worship, (show the Lord WORTHSHIP) those cares and concerns in our natural life were not even picked up again. We made sure our hearts were cleansed with prayer BEFORE we entered the church building. It was an AMAZING few years and I have not experienced it to that degree since. You CAN’T rely on programs and schedules (we didn’t run much longer than normal) but we MET the presence of the Lord and needs were met, financial, physical, emotional and spiritual and many times without the Pastor or myself having to actually call people out for prayer.
    Now in closing, before you get the wrong idea; yes this WAS a Charismatic independent church, BUT it NEVER became a side show and more often than not, it was the Holy Spirit’s presence moving through the congregation meeting needs and though I truly believe in Spiritual gifts, there were hardly any of the vocal gifts used during this time. It became a time where the Holy Spirit met and counseled with our spirits individually yet in a corporate setting.
    Here was an added side bonus: The message from the Word of God that our Pastor preached was usually far more anointed than at a time when the Spirit’s presence wasn’t manifested, AND we couldn’t wait to get back together. We didn’t NEED the middle of the week EMOTIONAL boost to get us through the remainder of the week!
    It was all because, we had one vision, Christ Jesus was the Head and the “program” and everyone got on board preparing their hearts before coming through the church doors! I’ve seen and been a part of some churches that have come close to that, but have never (in my experiences – they’re out there I know) come equal to those few years!! Those years shaped my teaching and my preaching and changed my life, all because the Holy Spirit chose to use a runaway (spiritually) who was told he could never be used of the Lord!!!!

  9. Pingback: Back to the Mars mission … | Church Set Free

  10. Pete says:

    I like what Beth said. Our lives are our worship. Everything we do and say should glorify God in some way. An encouraging word, a job well done, a post well written. They all become our worship.

    As colonists it is no different. When we come together we share what God has done through our lives, not necessarily what He has done for us. We sing a song, maybe a new song (He gives me these all the time) we share meat for both the spirit and the body. It’s a time of fellowship.

  11. paulfg says:

    Don, is it just me, or is there the beginning of something in common in a lot of the comments here? A stepping away from the physical and stepping into the spiritual.

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