Canada church creates thriving online congregation

Canada church creates thriving online congregation

by
Daniel Sperry for Nazarene News
| 13 May 2022
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OxNazOnline

Oxford Church of the Nazarene in Nova Scotia, Canada, has a physical building and an in-person congregation of about 100 people. The church’s most unique feature, however, is its thriving online congregation.

Oxford Nazarene planted an online congregation called OxNazOnline in 2021 after the COVID-19 pandemic revealed a need for digital connection. Lead Pastor Jodi Getson has seen the Lord move immensely through that plant in the last year. 

“Instead of just kind of hoping for the best and throwing our services online, this has been a strategic, intentional endeavor,” Getson said. 

The sermons and services that appear on the OxNazOnline Facebook page are filmed separately in the church’s studio and are produced with online viewers as the target audience. Getson considers the Facebook page a “digital church building.”

OxNazOnline has over 6,000 followers, including 900 in a daily devotions group that has a nearly 50 percent daily participation rate. For Getson’s sermons, the church has had 20,000 complete video views and a total of 998,600 minutes of video watched by users in the last year. 

After each week’s sermon is posted, viewers use multiple breakout groups to dive deeper. The breakout rooms are key to further developing the faith of those who are tuning in, and they help the physical and online congregations to grow together through the church’s seven core values: connecting, learning, gathering, praying, giving, serving, and reaching.

There are groups that encourage weekly and daily service or outreach activities as well as groups for prayer and discussion. A couple of people have become regular tithers, and others have started attending the physical church because of OxNazOnline.

One of the biggest victories has been the six new believers that accepted Christ through OxNazOnline.

“I thank God for having met with you,” Rick* said. “My life has changed completely. I received Jesus as King and Lord here online.”

People like Rick aren’t the only ones who benefit from the online congregation. Recently, church members raised money to purchase a Bible and send it to a man from Uganda who had joined the congregation. He uses it to teach his friends, and he leads a Bible study in his local area using content from OxNazOnline’s devotionals.

Getson says they may never really know just how far the OxNazOnline services will reach.

“We’re just going for it,” Getson said. “It’s an offering, and whatever God does with it, He does.”

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