Planting an International Church in Stockholm to reach Sweden with the Gospel
After serving as Assemblies of God pastors in the USA for 20 years, Brian and Caroline Dunn have returned to Caroline’s native Sweden to plant an international church in Stockholm, where Caroline grew up. Caroline is serving as lead pastor of the church while Brian works at an international school. Read on to learn more from Caroline about their ministry story, their call to Sweden and how Stockholm Community Church is doing since launching in March, 2019.
Share some of your background with us: where you are from, your call to missions, and what you did before missions.
Brian grew up in Rockford, Illinois, and I grew up in Sweden but have lived in the USA for over 20 years. Brian served as a youth pastor for over 12 years in Wisconsin and Ohio and then as a Lead Pastor for 5.5 years in Ohio. I have a Bachelors Degree in Business with a focus on Human Resource Management.
I ran a consulting firm for several years in which I did training for Fortune 100 companies while working part-time as a pastor alongside Brian. We have always had a heart for missions and made it a key part of our ministries. One could say that I was a missionary to the USA for over 20 years. We have always worked together as a team and take a team approach in ministry.
Share with us about your call to Europe.
We had always talked about one day moving to Sweden and had actually tried about 15 years ago but God closed that door and we knew it wasn’t the right time. It was at the end of 2014 where we really felt God saying: Now is your season. Go! God started stirring in both of our hearts to reach Sweden with the Gospel.
How would you characterize Sweden and Stockholm in particular in terms of ‘international-ness’.
Stockhold has a large population of internationals. There are many start-up tech companies and large Swedish corporations in Stockholm that attract people from all over the world. Everywhere you go in the city you will see internationals.
Tell us about your call to the city of Stockholm.
I grew up in Stockholm, so for me it was coming home. What happens in Stockholm impacts the rest of the nation. So we are believing that as lives are transformed by the Gospel in Stockholm that the rest of the country will be impacted as well.
Describe the spiritual environment of Sweden and in particular, Stockholm.
The current statistic is that in Stockholm less than 1% are evangelical born again Christians. It is an incredibly secular city. We are praying and believing that this number is going to change because of what God is doing in and through Stockholm Community Church. With so few Christians one can really feel the secularisation in politics, education, culture, and values.
How is the church plant going?
We held our first service in March. We started out with 17 people on our launch team. Today we have over 40 regular volunteers. Every week we have new visitors and people accepting Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. We feel like we have great momentum and an incredible opportunity to reach Internationals and Swedes with the Gospel. This past Sunday we had over 80 adults and kids in attendance.
What are your current needs and how can fellow FEIC churches pray for you guys?
We are currently in need of a Worship Pastor to lead the worship team and develop this ministry. We also need more Swedish speakers in our church. Our adult services are in English but children’s ministry is in Swedish. We need volunteers who can speak in Swedish.
Is there anything else you’d like to share or mention?
I (Caroline) am serving the church as the Lead Pastor while Brian is working at an international school. We are both pastors with the Assemblies of God in the USA but in this season I am taking the Lead Pastor role while Brian works a secular job. We feel it is important for us to be in the church but also working in an international community to build relationships. We have seen many come to the church because of Brian working at the international school.
Names: Caroline and Brian Dunn
Facebook: Stockholm Community, Caroline Zetterberg Dunn, Brian Dunn