On a retreat, God promised Christian Selvaratnam that he would make him famous for his spiritual children. As church planter and leader of G2, a café style approach to church planting, Christian trains church planters using the ancient model of master, apprentice and interns.
“The best way to train a pioneer is to have an expert pioneer watch them,” Christian said.
For his Doctor of Ministry dissertation, Christian is researching “The Craft of Church Planting,” to make relevant the ancient practice of apprenticeship within church planting.
Christian’s church began in 2005 with a team of 12 people committed to serving, leading, giving and inviting people. The church now has two services and unlike a traditional service, G2 invites discussion and interaction as part of the sermon.
“The whole proposal of the church was an experiment,” Christian said. “We didn’t know who we might reach, [but wanted a place] for people just trying to dip into church.”
Three times each year, the church does Ignition Sunday. Following Paul’s admonition to Timothy to “ignite the gift that’s within you,” the church leadership invites four people who haven’t spoken before to share for five minutes. Each person receives a coach that helps them gain confidence sharing with others.
“This is one of the favorite Sundays,” Christian said.
A few times per year, G2 also hosts the Mosaic service, which offers a variety of activities around a particular theme, such as Bible reading and prayer. Participants can go from room to room to engage in activities or presentations.
“When you come on Mosaic Sunday, we give you a buffet menu, and you can choose where you want to go,” Christian said.
Christian is also tackling the challenge of training future church planters, helping them to couple a theological degree with practical skills.
“My heart is to help our church to be strong in mission,” he said. “There’s an army of young leaders that need to be raised up. Millennials are missing from the church…because they’re not being engaged. If they’re engaged and someone believes in them, they give their life to it.”
Even before starting his D.Min., Christian mentored future preachers by meeting with them, helping them develop a sermon, providing practice sessions, and offering helpful critique following the message.
“Churches could be the centers of excellence where a master could train up church planters and help them perfect their skills under supervision,” Christian said.
Christian is a priest in the Church of England and an Ordained Pioneer Minister. Christian is married to Amanda and they have 3 children.
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