The Newest Mission Field

This article is about an extraordinary opportunity that may be emerging before our very eyes. You may, at first, not take it seriously. But keep reading. After a few minutes, your stomach will tighten and go sour as you realize that God may call your children or grandchildren to boldly go where no others have gone before.

So here we go… How would you like to lead a team on mission to Mars? Think mid 2030s…that’s more or less the time frame that tech visionary Elon Musk has in mind to begin the colonization of Mars.


We’re not talking here of a skeleton crew of a half dozen making a voyage to Mars and back. We’re talking about one million citizens of earth with a one way ticket.

Don’t doubt it. The race for Mars is on. India just placed a satellite in Mars orbit last month. Elon Musk, who owns SpaceX, has previously set the year 2026 as the target date for a manned excursion to the Red Planet. The Mars One project has received some 200,000 applicants for their colonization strategy. They plan to start sending crews of 4 starting in 2024. Now, recently, Elon Musk has called for a Million Person March to Mars.

Imagine sending people, one hundred at a time, to terra-form, raise families, live out their lives, and finally die upon another planet. If anything like this happens, Elon Musk may be the most significant leader of the 21st century. And he may be creating one of the greatest mission opportunities of the 22nd century. In the same way that we challenge our young adults to relocate around the world that they might benefit the nations, we should begin to cultivate among our youth the skills to be among the One Million.

I wrote Makers of Fire to help reorient the church towards the future.

I wrote Makers of Fire to help reorient the church towards the future that we might have greater impact in the present. Alex McManus

Perhaps now, when someone feels called to service, we should point them towards cross disciplinary programs that include the sciences. We should encourage them to master their bodies, so that they are fit enough to endure the hazardous journey between our two planets, to immerse themselves in the STEM disciplines, and to master wilderness survival strategies and techniques. (Though, the Mars colony, to be sure, will also need artists!) Whether or not they ever leave this planet, this will benefit the church. Especially those churches that are left behind on Earth (no reference to the movie intended).

Many Christians today live in the world as if it were 1858 – the year before Darwin published On the Origin of Species. Many of them believe the earth is young, that animals didn’t suffer and die for millions of years before “the fall,” and that humans are not part of the animal kingdom.

They haven’t grasped the fact that evolutionary theory strengthens and gains explanatory power with every passing year. And the world has moved far beyond just evolutionary biology and space travel. The race for genetic enhancements will be to the 21st century what the race to the moon was to the 20th. The age of the X-men is here. We will continue to see a merger between humans and technology, the organic with the synthetic. This is what I call the Orgathetic Future.

This may lead to the creation of different species of humans in the future, as there were in the past. We will see the resurrection of extinct species and we may discover signs of extraterrestrial life on one of the many Earth-like planets now being discovered. Robust Human rejuvenation may extend our life spans into the hundreds of years and beyond.

Because parts of the church resisted the new discoveries being made about God’s world and universe, others were able to frame these discoveries along secular lines. As a result, the church is unintelligible to many who do not yet believe. In fact, I wrote a book that is scheduled to come out November 15 titled, MAKERS OF FIRE: the spirituality of leading from the future, because many churches are drowning and need the air that turning towards the future will bring.

So here is another chance to move the church into the 21st century and beyond. As we become a multi-planetary species, the church will become multi-planetary as well. But we have to refresh and update our love for science and engage this science with open minds and hearts empowered by the spirit. Our theology, the way we talk about our story and the unique and precious journey we are on with Christ, needs to match the moment. Rather than resisting, let’s go mobile. Let’s follow Christ… to Mars and beyond. Alex McManus Author, Makers of Fire: the spirituality of leading from the future

What’s happening in the mystic…

Welcome back. You belong here.

Lots of ways for you to connect …

New Article How Leaders help Others Grow
The IMN Strengths Center Dale Swinburne joins the IMN staff as the director of the IMN Strengths Center. The post above is the first step in helping you discover, develop and deploy your super strengths.
Online Class An Orientation to the Strengths Finder hosted by IMN Mentor, Dale Swinburne, Director of the IMN Strengths Center, and led by Strengths Coach, Joe Dworak. The learning environment opens at 10AM (ET) on Monday, December 4, and closes at 5PM (PT) on Thursday, December 7. Tuition is $99.00. Register online.
HUMANA 2.0 Finally, in one place, get your head and heart around mosaic, house church, cyber community, and market place mission. Join Erwin, Alex McManus, and others in Orlando, Florida on February 7-8, for a convergence of missional leaders. Details at
7-Day Mentoring Immersion Enroll now for the IMN 7-Day Mentoring Immersion in Orlando (February 2-8) or Los Angeles (Aril 27 -May 3).
IMN ALUMNI Join us again for the 2007 cohort and take the quantum leap.


I’ve been meeting with a couple of hundred women and men,
some deeply embedded in dangerous and harsh fields.

I’ve listened to first hand accounts of Muslims traveling
by the cover of night for a chance to hear of the mystic…

of mystic warriors traveling by camel over the most
hostile terrains for the chance to guide others towards the mystic…

of soldiers blinded by a mystic light and kept from
seeing recent converts hiding in nearby quarters for months at a time…

of radically converted guides changing from one set of clothes to another seconds before authorities came to arrest them…and escaping capture.

I’ve been teaching on the subject of spiritual warfare and spiritual wellness…

but I’ve been learning too. And remembering.

VOX of the day: Top 10 Reasons to go to ORIGINS

photos: giraffes running; me on safari in search of the mystic; death waiting; chameleon; tall tree; red tree. photos: Lucas McManus, Alex McManus.

into the mystic…

Alex McManus

The Way of The Mystic — Glossary

Welcome back.

I’m at London’s Heathrow airport on my way to Kenya. We flew in overnight from LA on a British Airways 747. The pic below is me and youngest son, Lucas Daniel, during our four wait for our flight to Nairobi. Here are some thoughts from a recently discovered and little known source called The Way of The Mystic.

The Way of The Mystic –Glossary

mys·ti·cism n 1. the belief that personal communication or union with the divine is achieved through intuition, faith, ecstasy, or sudden insight rather than through rational thought 2. a system of religious belief or practice that people follow to achieve personal communication or union with the divine 3. vague or unsubstantiated thought or speculation about something (The Encarta World English Dictionary)

The Way of The Mystic: on Mysticism…
Within the world of the mystic, however, there is as much distaste for “unsubstantiated thought or speculation” as there is for blind faith in “rationalism”. The mystic warrior becomes a mystic because he must …based on a supernatural connection with the primal heartbeat of the universe. The simple fact they live with is that what they have come to know is a gift. Their way has been given to them. (Source: The Way of The Mystic)

Coming up:

  • The Way of The Mystic Glossary: Rationalism, Bibliolatry
  • The Mystic Leader’s Crash Course –Part 5: Clouds

VOX of the Day: A Missional Response to the Gospel of Judas by Brian Russell.

into the mystic…

Alex McManus
copyright, 2006.

List for the Day

mystic church In search of the mystic. Can you find the sign?

Welcome back. You belong here.

Here’s a list…

erica.JPG Erica at work writing.

  • MUST SEE movie/documentary: Born Into Brothels -2005 rated R . If you appreciated Crash, you will be m o v e d by Born Into Brothels. It will help you remember why doing something to make the world a better place matters.

behindthemyst21.jpg in search between Brussels and London.

into the mystic…

Alex McManus

2005-04-02 16:35:00

Ground speed: 475 miles per hour.
Altitude: 36,000 feet
Outside Temperature: -76 degrees Fahrenheit

Thursday: Lufthansa Airlines is the first airline in the world to offer in-flight wireless Internet. However, my battery is about out so I’ll have to finish this and send it a bit later. At this writing I’m somewhere over the mid Atlantic on my way home to Los Angeles from Germany. Except for a day and a half of sickness, I had an excellent time in Europe. Met with a very cool group of world changers there. Looking forward to telling you all about it and seeing some of them join our growing community here at my blog.

Friday: Starting Monday…the seven distinct “action logics” of leadership.

into the mystic…

Alex McManus


meet our new friend, aksana. we met her today on our train ride to zurich.

she’s russian and has lived in germany for 14 years. she is traveling to bern, switzerland to visit her boyfriend who is from iran.

her grandmother, mother and father are “evangelische”. aksana, however, doesn’t go to church. too slow. too boring.

one day, there will be a mosaic in munich for people like her. who will go to start the work? whom shall we send?

into the mystic…

alex mcmanus
zurich, switzerland


michael in front of our hotel in munich

sitting side by side with michael at a bistro and internet cafe. we
both brought our laptops but couldn’t connect wirelessly. so we’re both
a computer terminals. unfortunately i can’t remember how to access my
webmail so here i am bloggin away.

tomorrow we take off for zurich.
i’ll be directing people to my band’s new website ( and
handing out demos – (btw, mel, how’s the site coming?) – as well as
connecting with church planters along the way. i’m sure that soon we’ll
have for our european contacts a cool page at least and maybe some place where we can place
fotos, video and music, along with a gig alert calendar.

train leaves at 8.14 am –line 19

well gotta go buy train tickets.

into the mystic…

alex mcmanus
munich, germany

Red Carpet Room

this picture isn’t blurry. we were simply vibrating at a different frequency
when it was taken. afm

London, England
4.44 PM

most of us believe what we think we see.

erica, my 14 year old daughter, and i were outbound on a mission into the heart of europe, and passed the time chatting as we walked through the los angeles international airport.

…its like drawing, she said.

yes, drawing is all about seeing, i said. most of us sketch by looking more at our work on the paper than the subject we are sketching. we try to draw by memory rather than by observation, by what we think we see rather than what we see. learning to draw is all about learning to see. [yes, we often talk like this in the mcmanus home. like my daughter says, strange is not a crime].

for example, erica,â i said, as we walked towards the gates. most people in this airport don’t know about the red carpet rooms.â

what’s that?

they’re lounges used by frequent flyers and business people,â i said. suddenly, as if coordinated by the finger of God, the wall to our left opened. there,â i said feeling quite like a magician.

we looked through the wall into a room of comfortable chairs with a bar and tvs.

whoa, she said. the sliding doors closed. what was that?

the doors were painted in such a way that it blended with the walls on both sides well. one would have to “see” it to know it was there. [Or perhaps, one would have to know it was there to see it.]

i looked up to read the signs to make sure we’re going in the right direction.

gates 70-77
red carpet room

suddenly all of the clues began to pop up and out. the world was new. she knew what she was seeing. a whole new world existed behind this wall that was not a wall but a door, a sliding door.

red carpet room, erica said.

i love it when she nods her head and gets this smile on her face, like she’s been let in on a little mystery. red carpet room, i said.

people draw what they think they see not what they’re looking at. learning to draw and learning to live have this in common: it’s all about learning to see.

into the mystic…

© alex mcmanus, 2005