God is doing big things in a small town!
I want to tell you about a church in the small town of Owatonna, Minnesota, where God is at work doing big things!
What started as a Bible study in the basement of Christian and Erica Kohs’ home has continued to grow until the official launch of Redemption Church on September 9, 2018. In 2019 they celebrated 33 baptisms. God is at work!
Christian says in an email, “When we started a Bible study with a bunch of non-Christians, I never thought we would have the opportunity to see the transformation of lives like we saw in 2019! Many of these people are hungry to be discipled and are usually the ones taking the most avid notes on a Sunday during the message.”
Since they moved into their new space, Redemption Church has had two or three new visitors every Sunday. Having a space of their own has allowed them to serve their city and offer mid-week programs for children and classes for adults. They plan to start a men’s ministry in February and have four more people who want to be baptized.
Rick Eshbaugh, Central District Conference minister, says, “When they were renting space from a local church they had limited access to the building. Now that they have their own space in a retail mall, it allows them to meet anytime and has given them greater visibility in the community. It has also seemed to legitimize them as a “real” church. We hope to visit soon.”
Recently, USMB provided $6,000 to help Redemption obtain some items they needed as they began using their new space. It’s a joy to see how many people have been baptized. Adding experienced Central District Conference pastoral couple Mike and Dianne Petts to the mix has also been a joy to watch as they appear to be a great fit.
“Non-Christians keep coming and meeting Jesus and then inviting their friends,” Christian says. “It’s an amazing season!”
Christian’s wife, Erica, adds, “People stepping up to serve in the kid’s ministry has allowed me to meet the church family and has helped me to actually be a part of the church. An increase in leaders has really helped Christian have the help he has needed for so long; it has really helped our family find good healthy rhythms again.”
This spring they are focused on increasing their number of small groups and getting people plugged in. They are training leaders, which requires a lot of Christian’s time. They are also challenging people to be in their Bibles on a daily basis, using the SHAPE tool. The church leadership team is beginning to talk about church membership and what that would look like at Redemption Church.
Christian and Erica share several areas they are praying about and they welcome your prayers for them:
- Pray they find the balance between ministering to broken people and offering the space and programs for others to get plugged in.
- Pray for generous giving and serving. January was one of their best months yet!
- Pray they are loving to every person who walks through the doors, while holding fast to biblical convictions and speaking the truth in love, even in difficult situations.
- With Easter approaching, pray the Lord will increase growth and momentum into the summer months.
- Pray for the church leadership as they discuss membership.
“We want to be a welcoming church where people can come as they are, but we are not going to be a church that lets you stay where you are, no matter where you are in life,” Erica says. “This has led to a lot of conversations and discussions that Christian never thought he would have; but it shows the opportunity that we have to speak the gospel into a very broken world we all live in.”
Please join me in continuing to pray for and encourage the leaders at Redemption Church. God is doing big things in this small town!
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