By Dennis Franck
The Six Major Areas of Life
God created human beings to be multi-faceted creatures comprised of at least six dimensions: spiritual, social, mental, physical, relational and emotional. Each of these areas of life represents certain needs which can, in a large measure, be met by the Lord and people in and through the ministries of the Church. As stated in the book, Reaching Single Adults—An Essential Guide for Ministry, (2007, Baker Books--Dennis Franck) if these needs are not addressed by the Church, young adults and single adults may look in other places for their fulfillment; places that are not always spiritually, emotionally and relationally healthy.
Here is what I mean by the six dimensions of life:
1. Spiritual - Spiritual life pertains to helping a person develop their spirit and their relationship with God.
2. Social - Social life pertains to helping a person grow socially and establish healthy relationships with groups of people, both males and females.
3. Mental - Mental life pertains to helping a person continue learning in a variety of areas which will affect and increase their knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
4. Physical - Physical life pertains to helping a person develop physical skills and maintain relatively good physical fitness.
5. Relational - Relational life pertains to helping a person establish healthy relationships with individuals of the same and opposite sex.
6. Emotional - Emotional life pertains to helping a person understand and manage their emotions.
Each of these six areas can be targeted and developed in the lives of young adults and single adults by planning ministries which address the specific needs to be met and skills to be learned in each area. Chapter 7 of Reaching Single Adults identifies numerous programs and activities that fall under each life dimension.
The programs and activities in a multi-faceted, aggressive single adult or young adult ministry may need to be more varied and diverse than those in a youth, women’s, men’s, or senior’s ministry. Why, you may ask? Because of two distinct reasons:
Most leaders design ministries around age groups because of similar life circumstances and needs. For example, middle school teens have different needs and circumstances than high school teens, so teaching and activities may be different for the two groups. It is the same principle with single adults. A 25 year old male has different needs, interests and life issues than a 45 year old male. These men may desire and need different opportunities to meet their needs and discover and develop their skills.
The additional factor, however, which makes ministry to young adults and single adults even more challenging is the diverse types of people! These five distinct types listed in number two above each have similarities, but also have many differences which create the need for targeted programming and ministry opportunities (see chapter four of Reaching Single Adults). These diverse needs should be kept in mind when planning ministry which falls into the six dimensions of life.