Synchronous Life Model: Six Domains of Human Flourishing
Integrity. Vitality. Harmony.
The Synchronous Life is one in which all the aspects of our lives integrate and harmonize so that we can flourish and grow toward the fullness of the image of Christ (Eph 4:13). This is accomplished, or at least approached, as we find our way of living out God’s call on our lives, in each area of our lives. Paul describes the Body of Christ with allusion to the human body, and makes clear that wholeness is only found when each part is working properly, doing that for which it has been created. This can only be true of the church (in any manifestation) if it is first true of the human person. These notions of individuality, uniqueness, and “what is fitting to each” require that we see clearly ourselves, those around us, and our context. Our ministry leadership, whatever the setting, deserves our best. We cannot give to others what we ourselves lack. We must drink from the well if living water is to flow forth from us to the world.
Six Domains of Human Flourishing is the model by which we map the interrelated facets of who we are and how we show up in the world. We work with three internal/external pairs: Spiritual / Physical; Emotional / Relational; Intellectual / Occupational.
This model of Wholeness is rooted in the creation stories from Genesis 1-3. Also from these stories we learn that human kind is created in God’s image, celebrated by God as good. Central to God’s expressed nature is God’s Word, which creates new things when sent forth into the world. As creatures made in the imago dei, we share this gift – the capacity (and responsibility?) to thoughtfully and imaginatively create through how we express ourselves in the world. This is the true meaning of vocation – the voice with which our lives speak to and into the world. We can only grow toward maturity in Christ, toward sanctification, by living into this truth individually and in community.
We apply the Synchronous Life Model by asking a series of reflective questions in each of the six domains. How we answer these questions, and how our responses relate to and inform each other, becomes the basis for pursuing an integrated self. Remember your past experience, become fully aware of your present state, and envision likely and preferred futures in each domain. Attend to your attitudes, thoughts, words and actions, whether spontaneous or habitual. When you feel strong, confident, content, whole and hopeful, what else is present? When you are weak, at dis-ease, fearful, fretful, depleted or discouraged, what else is going on? Focus initially more on correlation than cause and effect. Don’t judge or prescribe – just be aware. Then sit with this awareness, listen to it, inquire of it what it might teach you. Let your own inner wisdom and the Spirit work together to bring new insight, which can lead to new action and transformation. Whatever else may be true, recognize that you have agency and choice in your life, you can act upon the world and your circumstances to bring about good for yourself and others.