Every year, 800-900 SBC churches close their doors.  Beyond the SBC, Andy Davis points out that “while the US adult population has grown 15 percent over the last fifteen years, the number of unchurched adults has grown by 92 percent.”  While the population is on the rise, churches are on the decline. As Davis puts it, “The church scene of the West in the twenty-first century is not encouraging. Christianity is in a decaying orbit … The steep decline in the health and fruitfulness of many local churches is both a cause and an effect of this decaying orbit.” 
We must not look at these statistics and pretend that a great challenge does not lie ahead for plateaued, declining, dying, and dead churches. We must readily admit and be prepared to act on the need for revitalization—the process by which God moves spiritually unhealthy churches to experience new life again. The task will be difficult, but not impossible. For we are serving the God who glorifies himself by leading his people out of seemingly impossible situations.
Based on my understanding of Scripture and after twelve years of pastoring in revitalization contexts, I have produced a process to aid churches in recovering their spiritual vitality. That circular and ongoing process is easily remembered in the acronym R-E-L-I-V-E: