OPINION: Church is more than the buildings; worship where you are

Larry Litton built a family chapel on his property in Cleveland.

By Larry Litton

A few years ago, I moved a small building to our place in Cleveland we call “the farm.”  The old building with wooden walls and floors required some refurbishing.  I added a steeple and then placed an old wooden church pew and a pulpit stand in the interior next to a communion table and an antique working pump organ.   

Suddenly, the quaint little building became known as “the family chapel.”  It sits next to a fully stocked pond and has its own flag pole and lots of roses to brighten the exterior, and it has a small covered outdoor patio area nearby. I love the family chapel, and in my view it’s picturesque and serves as a memorial to faith and trust in God.  I am so undeserving, yet so blessed!

It doesn’t have to be a family chapel or a building of any size or type to serve as the place where we worship.  It may be a spot in your home like a recliner or a comfortable place on the sofa.  It may be on your knees or lying in your bed. I learned that fact many years ago as I dealt with a serious health issue.  I believed and trusted in God’s word that through faith all things are possible. I learned to pray without ceasing.  As I was in my hospital bed or at home recovering, every second of every minute in my mind I was praying for God’s healing.

With all the disruptions in our lives over the past few weeks, reality has significantly changed for most of us.  As an older parent to four grown children and two teenaged sons with disabilities, I have heard loud and clear the safeguards to follow to stay healthy during this trying time. 

Dining-out consists of fast food or carry-out, and just a trip to the grocery store puts you at risk while trying to get essential items that you realize are all sold out.  Now there’s talk about a special time on a specific day for us old folks to shop to minimize the risk and perhaps arrive before the shelves are emptied. 

Church congregations have had to find other ways to worship together while practicing “social distancing.”  Some churches have praise and worship and sermons available online, some congregations use outdoor settings similar to drive-in movie theaters, and some people prayerfully participate through television and radio broadcasts, as well as by many other means. 

Church buildings and facilities will reopen and we will again be able to physically worship together in congregational settings.  However, as believers and followers of Christ, we must remember that church is not the only place we worship.  Let us continue to be faithful in our worship while we pray for and help others, and remember that this pandemic, too, shall pass.


  1. Thankyou for sharing this beautiful story. I live in cleveland tx for 30 years I love it here the presence of god is here. He is protecting us. Cleveland is. Growing. That is a beautiful church thankyou

  2. Amen, Thank you for reminding us that were the children of God are. There he is also.
    Matthew 7:7-8 (KJV)
    7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
    8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

  3. We are called to gather and meet together and worship Christ. As you pointed out, the worship may take place anywhere. Gather and worship at your home, at a friends, at the church building… In these trying times we need to find safe ways to come together and worship. But please don’t stop coming together and worshiping.

    Hebrews 10:24-25
    And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

  4. Any preacher who holds a service where people get the virus and die should be charged with manslaughter. Any person than knowingly goes to a service and carries the virus out in the community to someone that dies should be denied a place in Heaven.
    God doesn’t want his children killed just to please and enrich a preacher.

  5. This is beautiful Larry. I just love your article. You are a very special person and your family is very close to me heart. Please stay staff.

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