The Dwelling, a church where you can “come as you are.”
The Dwelling’s dress code? “Wear some clothes!” Cool tattoos? “This church thinks they’re awesome!” Whether it’s what you’re wearing, whatever the color of your skin, or what you see as your identity, The Dwelling really is a church where people can come as they are! This doesn’t mean God wants people to stay the same and not change, it just means God wants to be the one who comes to dwell in the midst of his people, as imperfect and broken as they might be! He himself comes to us, bringing not only salvation but also newness of life! This is what our God has been doing from the beginning, and He continues to do even today!
Begun as a cooperative venture between Christ the King in Kingwood and Lamb of God in Humble, The Dwelling is a new church plant in New Caney, just off of I-69. The congregation meets in a wedding reception hall and God continues to do things beyond what could have been imagined.
“Disconnected to disciple” is the mission focus for The Dwelling. Whether people are disconnected from Jesus or from a local church body, this congregation wants to help people move away from being disconnected to actually being a disciple of Jesus. Just one year after his placement in the Houston area after his graduation from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Pastor Seth Kunze, the congregation’s planter, says he’s “blown away” by the difference the Gospel makes in the lives of people.
Pastor Seth tells the story of how recently at one of their “new to the church” classes, as people were going around the room sharing a little bit about themselves, one person shared she was looking for a Lutheran congregation, another lady opened up about how she was an atheist, another gentleman shared he was pretty skeptical and had a lot of questions, another shared how much she loved God, and two other women revealed struggles with their sexuality. Seth shares, “Come as you are sounds nice and cute, but putting this into practice, walking with people right where they are, and allowing God to do the real work in people’s lives is really hard, but it’s also what gets me the most excited! I pray Jesus would see me fit to continue in this mission and vision!”
Commenting on his congregation’s participation in the plant, Christ the King’s pastor, Rev. Al Doering notes how this “planting journey” has been blessed. Evident blessings include:
a) the Texas District’s encouragement, guidance and support;
b) the positive partnership with Lamb of God;
c) the freedom given to Pastor Seth to freely recruit people from both churches;
d) the joyful sending of the launch team; and
e) the current conversation about a second plant in partnership with The Dwelling and Resurrection, Spring.
Pastor Mark Brunette, who assisted Lamb of God’s contribution to the partnership as its senior pastor added, “What a joy and blessing it is to partner with Christ the King in the new church plant, The Dwelling! We asked for the Lord’s direction and He did lead us! We called the right person, had the right plan, and have chosen the right place. I would recommend this model for any church!”
And what’s next? Pastors Brunette, Doering, Kunze, and now Steve Sohns of Resurrection Lutheran Church believe the next step is to plant yet another congregation—soon—in Houston’s fast-growing northeast side. There are so many disconnected people who need Jesus!
By Rev. Jon Braunersreuther
Mission and Ministry Facilitator, Area D