Christian and Erica Kohs are passionate about God’s work through the local church and have spent the last decade serving in pastoral ministry in a variety of capacities, ranging from church planting to missionary work, and in diverse settings, from southern Minnesota to the Pacific Northwest.
The Kohs are currently leading Redemption Church, a new church plant in Owatonna, Minn., that joined the USMB Central District Conference (CDC) in November 2017. Redemption began as a Bible study in the Kohs’ home and transitioned April 8 to meeting Sunday morning in the basement of the home of Kohs’ neighbors, who are involved in the fledgling church’s leadership team.
“Christian is passionate about seeing people meet Jesus, teaching the Bible, connecting within the community and seeing people encounter the radical love and grace of God in Jesus,” says Don Morris, USMB national director.
Describing his call to plant a new church in Owatonna, population 25,599, Kohs says, “After nearly a decade of ministry, including a previous church plant, I found myself in a season of simple vocational work. It was through this time that God took my heart and truly prepared me for a lifetime of pastoral ministry. As we began gathering a group in our basement to study the Bible together, people started meeting Jesus and learning to truly love one another as the Bible speaks about. Jesus knocked on the door of our hearts and told us to plant a church here in this city that we had fallen in love with.”
Kohs says the church plant’s target group is adults age 19 to 45 and includes couples, singles, widows and divorcees and their families. Summarizing his vision for this new congregation, Kohs says, “Redemption Church exists to be a joy-filled, life-giving place that helps people take their next step toward Jesus, so they can change the way people think about church and live out their new identity as God’s sons and daughters.”
Kohs says he greatly appreciates the support of the CDC, USMB and C2C. “The financial assistance is a gigantic piece,” he says. “But more than that is to simply be part of the family for a long time to come. From texts and emails checking in to the speaking engagements I have been able to do, they have made my family and me feel just like that—part of the family. My hope and prayer is that as Redemption grows, I can begin to pour back into these men and women who are pouring into me, my family and my church.”
On a personal level, Kohs says working with the CDC, USMB and C2C has helped him regain his confidence as a pastor and church planter.
“My coaching through C2C with Scott Thomas and the leadership of my task force has been huge in keeping me accountable and humble as I make the decisions needed to start a new church in a country that has such a consumer mindset,” he says.
Kohs asks readers to daily pray with and for this new church. “There is much spiritual opposition, relational tension, financial strain and physical hardship involved in planting a church. Please join us in prayer to our God who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask, think or imagine (Eph. 3:20),” says Kohs.