I’ll be honest. When God called me to pastoral ministry, I didn’t sign up for church revitalization. I had never even heard that term when I became a pastor. Now, twelve years into pastoral ministry, revitalization is all I’ve ever known. Many pastors can say the same.
I now know that revitalization is the process by which God moves a spiritually unhealthy church toward spiritual vitality. A church needs revitalization when it is plateaued, declining, dying, or dead. From 1996 to 2016, there was an average net loss of 3,500 churches per year in the US.  More recently, that number has climbed to 7,000.  And 800-900 of these 7,000 are SBC churches.  These statistics are staggering and prove that the need for revitalization is great.
In revitalization, God uses pastors to lead spiritually unhealthy churches to acknowledge, accept, and act on their need to regain spiritual life through a strategic process rooted in God’s Word and saturated with humble prayer. From my study of Scripture and from twelve years on the frontlines of revitalization, I have developed a process to help churches heal from spiritual sickness and grow toward biblical health.  What follows in this post and the next two is by no means a magic formula. Remember that the ultimate revitalizer is the Holy Spirit (John 6:63), while we are simply God’s servants, stewards, and co-laborers (1 Corinthians 3:9; 4:1). Neither is this plan exhaustive. A book could be written for each of the following points; I merely highlight each here. This is a big picture of the revitalization process which you can utilize to help your church move toward spiritual health.
The process consists of six steps, which can be easily remembered through the acronym R-E-L-I-V-E: