Several years ago at our annual elders’ retreat, the discussion turned from our agenda to an unplanned, but absolutely crucial issue. How do you define what it means for a church or an individual to be spiritually healthy? Are there spiritual vital signs that expose the health or sickness of the soul? The result of that discussion was a brief list of essential spiritual priorities. Although they can be faked or fabricated, a person or church that is spiritually healthy will always have these vital signs.
We called these priorities—these spiritual vital signs—the essentials.