By Rev. Dr. Sunny Brown Farley
The congregation and leadership at Klein United Methodist Church in Spring is unashamedly welcoming and unapologetically United Methodist.
The church has seen an influx of more than a hundred new members in the past year and senior pastor Rev. Lawrence Young says this can be attributed to the culture of the congregation.
Klein prides itself on being a place where “strangers become friends and friends become family,” Young said. “We have a clear identity. When people check our web site, worship and messaging, they realize everyone is welcome and ‘all’ really does mean all.”
The demographics at Klein are diverse. The congregation is predominantly white, but has members who are Hispanic, African American, African and Asian. The church also has a healthy percentage of young families.
The church, which launched 27 years ago, averages 400-500 in worship each week.
Young said those who are coming to visit the church seem to be looking for a safe place to call home.
“We created a strong emphasis around hospitality,” he said. “We raised the level of sensitivity and put strategies in place to be more welcoming and assimilating.”
Those strategies include new nametags designed to unify members and two new Sunday School classes for young families. The congregation also has a growing pre-school.
The church is also heavily involved in the surrounding community – partnering with arts and theater groups, local schools and healthcare providers. “We are known throughout the community as the church that says ‘Yes’,” Young said.
As new members join, they are encouraged to get busy in ministry.
“We name many of them to leadership and committees,” Young said. “We want our new people to serve because they bring so much with them.”
One couple recently joined the church and the wife is now a candidate for ordained ministry. Young said she plans to attend the upcoming Candidacy Summit, which is a springboard to the candidacy process in the Texas Annual Conference.
“Klein takes seriously their call to be the hands and feet of Christ to everybody and they mean everybody. They love on me, they love on each other and they love on this community,” Young said. “I have been here more than five-and-a-half years and it still seems like I just got here. There is a culture of abundance and excitement. It’s a constant love fest.”
He said the growth at Klein shows no signs of slowing. To learn more about Klein United Methodist Church, check out the church’s web page at www.kleinumc.org. The church is also on Facebook and Instagram.