The following is an excerpt from Jack Wilkie’s new book Church Reset: God’s Design for So Much More. To purchase or to learn more, click here.

“We don’t go to church, we are the church.”

The phrase has been around for as long as I can remember, but it’s rarely been more than just a vague saying that sounds nice but lacks any teeth. We can all agree the statement is true, but that still leaves us to decide what it means in practical terms. That’s why it’s so exciting to see a growing movement aimed at defining what it means to be the church and then acting on that definition. It’s my prayer that this book is another step in that direction for each reader.

Change is hard to come by, though. Many struggle with great discomfort at the very thought of change, resisting it at every turn. At some point most Christians have likely heard the phrase “We’ve always done it that way” used as a reason to not rethink methods of the past. Many are also protective of their traditions, because the longer a tradition has been in place, the easier it is to think of as a Scriptural necessity. But God does not have to be hindered by our stubbornness. Sometimes when we’re shaken out of our comfort zones He takes the opportunity to do some of His best work. I do not presume to speak for God, but that may very well be what He’s doing in real time as I write this conclusion. 

I began writing Church Reset around September 2019. When I began, plenty of rethinking and changing were taking place, but nobody could have predicted what was going to happen in our world in the months to come. As words and phrases like “coronavirus,” COVID-19,” “social distancing,” and “an abundance of caution” entered our vocabulary, church life got turned on its head. Though I have no way of knowing what the future holds on the other side of the quarantine, I have hope that God will bring wonderful changes to His church through this time.

The situation has already been a catalyst for readjusting our focus on what is really important. As we’ve lost access to our buildings we’ve realized that church never was the building. As we’ve watched worship services online we’ve figured out just how hollow that experience can be without each other’s presence. As our church events have been canceled and plans have been changed we’ve had a chance to see that the real work of the church is found in the way we connect with each other and those around us. All of this represents an opportunity to begin applying the principles we know to be true.