michael larkin

Revolution church by Michael

My mind is still spinning from last weeks adventure to Georgia.  If you haven’t been reading our blog we went to Georgia to be assessed by ARC (more on that later).  The whole assessment was a VERY stressful event.  There was one thing that I was extremely excited about.  We decided to go to Georgia early so that we could visit Revolution Church in Canton Georgia!  They did not disappoint.  In fact, it may become a requirement of anyone planning to help lead Cinema Church to take the 1200 mile trip from Connecticut to Canton to check out Revolution Church!  Yeah, it was that good!

Things that I loved about Revolution Church:

  • Gary Lamb.  While he did not speak (bummer was looking forward to that…the fill-in was OK 🙂 ), he did share his vision for a community project that he and another church are directly involved with.  It is no wonder why God’s hand is all over this church.  This dude is the real deal!  I am really hoping to connect with him big time.
  • They meet in a movie theater!  Quite possibly the best church currently meeting in a movie theater.  I loved everything they did, and how they utilized a theater to its full potential.
  • I love how involved they are in the community, and how fully focused they are on targeting those far from God.  There may be no church in America that is so focused on reaching people.
  • They had a ton of signs outside and inside.  I believe you can never have too many signs directing people and helping people feel more comfortable.  They did a good job with this.
  • I really loved how they had the hallway leading to the children’s environments well lit up.  This is probably the biggest obstacle to being in a theater.  I am probably going to copy exactly what they did to bring light to the walkway leading to the children’s environments.
  • Loved their check in process.  A really friendly lady walked us to each area that we needed to go.  And, maybe most important to us was the “security guard” making sure no one went into the kids area if they didn’t have a child to pick up.  Cannot say enough about how that makes parents feel.
  • Loved the ushers with lights helping people find their seats.  Again huge in a dark movie theater setting.
  • Their worship space was out of this world.  Again a ton of things that we are just going to copy.  I liked the truss holding projectors and lights.  Awesome idea.  The stage was simple but at the same time very cool.
  • I loved what they did with lighting.  We are going to have to find a way to connect with their lighting people and learn a ton from them.  Definite road trip for all those planning to be involved in our lighting.
  • The band sounded great together.  Loved how the people were crazy worshiping God.  Just another great side effect from seeing people give their lives to Christ and not reaching out and targeting casual Christians.
  • Love that this freak and his team were given iPhones.  How the crap did he pull that off?  We definitely need to connect cause I gotta know how to make that happen!

Additional photos of Revolution Church.

Some photos of other churches we have visited.


Will Connecticut ever change? by Michael

If you follow this blog at all then you know that I really believe that the answer is YES!

I had lunch this week with the pastor who planted THIS church under 3 years ago. I love hanging out with him. I love to hear about what God is doing in his life and in his church. We visited his church for one of their Easter services this year. Somehow they had like 250 people at the two services. They did all of that miraculously in under 3 years, with 1 staff member, and NO band! Wild stuff.

I love hanging out with people like this. People who firmly believe, and act on the belief, that God is beginning something wild in this crazy state. Actually, we talked about setting up a CT Pastors Roundtable Gathering. One thing that CT is desperately missing is a network of like minded pastors who can meet together to encourage, increase vision, and learn from each other. I can’t wait until this becomes a reality!

I can’t wait to meet with pastors (FROM THIS STATE!!!) who believe that God isn’t limited in Connecticut. Who believe that the God of the South is also the God of New England. Who refuse to issue comments like “No, that can’t be done” or “No, that just won’t work here.” Who are on the cutting edge of ministry. Who believe that God will do His part when we do our part. Who love to act on ideas and not just comment and dream about ideas. I cant wait until this pastors group is a reality.

Our state is going to change! Are you on board and ready to be a part of something bigger than anyone could ever imagine?

my life lately by Michael
April 3, 2008, 11:29 am
Filed under: church launch, Churches we visited, Creative, Innovative Churches

Just some random things that may interest you (or may put you to sleep).

  • Hung out with Josh last night. Tons of fun. Glad it happened. Good friends are hard to find and I’m glad God has put him in my life.
  • While hanging out with Josh he was asking about people on this church plant team. Man was it good to be able to reflect and talk about some incredible stories. Stories of how God brought them to partner with this crazy idea. Stories about how gifted and amazing the people on this team really are. It was good to think and verbalize some of that. These guys on this team are truly out of this world amazing and I’m excited to have each and every one of them on board!!!
  • Found out that I was accepted to THIS school. Really pumped about that. Took a ton of tests that I had to pay for. Would have been a bummer if I wasn’t one of the 12. Some of the guys that I have really been watching went through this school so that is sick to be able to learn in the same environment they did. This is going to be huge for our church and Connecticut!
    Also, found that they may move the length of the school from 10 months to 5. That would be incredible. The classes would be longer, but I’d have to travel less times to Georgia which equals far less money out of my pocket. Also, I’d have information available 5 months earlier. God rocked my world when I found I was accepted, and then to see Him maybe working this deal out really rocks.
  • Bit of an obstacle with this one. Myself and Rob went to check out the smart car that I talked about HERE. That car is wild. We have to find a way to get it. There is one problem…it takes 10-14 months to order them. I have an idea that I am going to try and work out this weekend when I see Mike Harris (name drop in case his wife is reading…I’m sure she runs the house anyway so if I can get her on board maybe God will work some miracle through Mike). Stay tuned!
  • Went and had lunch with Rob, Ray, and this GUY. He is doing some great things in West Hartford. I loved hanging out with him. It is awesome to see so many incredible churches in Connecticut. Can’t wait to spend more time with him and learn from him and do this journey together.
  • I got home the next day and found that he had sent THIS book to my address. Love this book and am blown away by his graciousness.
  • While hanging out with him a few things stuck out to me. We talked about everything, but one thing we talked about is how most churches are more concerned with losing people than reaching people. He made a comment something like this, “Funny thing about people…God keeps growing them.” Another comment was “the bad thing about planting a church is no building, no people, and no money. The good thing about planting a church is no building, no people, no money.” That is deep if you can unpack it. Final thought from our time together as we talked about vision went sort of like this “If volunteers are always late…If you can’t find volunteers…If people complain about things like the music being too loud…Then you don’t have a people problem, YOU have a casting vision problem.” Too often we blame people in the church…it’s time the leaders of the church took most or all of the blame!
  • Can’t wait to meet with our team again. I hope they aren’t worn out with our meetings. I would love to meet with them more! Have some ideas that I want to sit down with Rachel, Kyle, Faith, Joann, Ray, Josh, Brendan and some others about. Can’t wait! Did I mention I love our team?
  • Final thought. I think I have a really sick idea for the church and the website. I desperately need to find an area. Still very unclear about that. Was in love with Berlin, but it is possible that there are too many churches already in that area. IDK yet. Wondering about New Haven??? So lost with this and would love all the prayer and advice you may have. NOT OLD SAYBROOK kind of advice :).

Moutain Lake Church by Michael
February 21, 2008, 10:07 am
Filed under: church launch, Church Launch Team, Churches we visited, Photos

This is the church that hosted the Evolve Church Planters Conference.  I loved the conference.  Right now my brain is so fried that you will have to wait to hear all about the conference.  For now here are some PICS of the church.

Buckhead by Michael
February 17, 2008, 9:23 pm
Filed under: church launch, Churches we visited, Creative, Innovative Churches, Photos

OK so this church was really just for fun. They are in another atmosphere when it comes to church. It is really a production. And its better than Broadway or the Blue Man Group. I must admit that being here makes me tempted to become a Consumeristic Christian. I would love to go here. I would love to bring my family here.

But, how would that help the lost people in Connecticut? It wouldn’t at all. So, we are going to do our own thing in CT and rock our state. Jill, I know you are giving up a lot but I look forward to you leaving an amazing church to join what God will do in Connecticut.

Pics of Buckhead Church.

Oak Leaf Church by Michael
February 17, 2008, 9:15 pm
Filed under: church launch, Churches we visited, Creative, Innovative Churches, Photos

This morning we got to visit Oak Leaf Church. I have been watching this church, from a distance for a while, and I love what they are doing, what they are about, and how they are doing it!

I have to say I was VERY PROUD of our people. Myself, Zak, Donny, and Kyle made the trip to Georgia. We came mainly for a church planters conference, but along the way we checked out some rockin churches. It took us forever to get here, and we got little to no sleep. So, instead of sleeping in on Sunday morning…we got up at 5 am and drove to Oak Leaf to help them set up. Oak Leaf meets in a High School so they have to set up every Sunday and tear down every Sunday.

Because of the lack of sleep I had no idea how we would do. I have to say again I am proud of our guys! Not just for making the sacrifice to be here, but for doing an absolutely amazing job setting up! I think we were def a blessing to their set up team!

Any way the church is almost exactly like I would love our church to be. Things I loved:

  • Macs everywhere
  • 3 huge screens!!! LOVED THAT
  • Clear communication about where to go and where to bring children
  • Great worship band – perfect mix, no one was louder than anyone else, no one was great, but they were great together
  • Very loud LOVED THAT actually could have been louder
  • Children’s areas were off the hook
  • I love that they are portable. It takes a huge part of the church people working if there is even going to be church. I love that more than anything.
  • Very strategic and organized in everything. No one wandering around wondering what to do. Everyone was on the same page and worked to get it done.

Pictures of Oak Leaf Church.

Brentwood Church by Michael
February 17, 2008, 3:58 pm
Filed under: church launch, Churches we visited, Creative, Innovative Churches

We visited Brentwood Church in Lynchburg, VA yesterday.

I wasn’t sure what we would get out of it, mainly because it was Saturday and there are no Saturday services. I am sure glad we went to Brentwood. This place makes me want to have my own building! It is easy to see why they are blowing up. Everything is beautifully simple. I loved it.

Things I loved:

  • Kids areas…my son would love to go here (probably more than the mall). How insane would that be if your children were excited to go to church???
  • Details…some people are content with a good thing. They are great because every detail is taken as far as it can possibly go.
  • Very warm and inviting atmosphere.
  • The colors in the auditorium.
  • The auditorium ceiling, lighting, and stage lighting.
  • Prayer / band / team room by the front of stage.

Man I can’t wait to get started on our church!!! It is going to be off the freakin hook! I can’t wait for the day my son wants to go to church. I can’t wait till he throws a fit when it’s time to go. I can’t wait to see people connect with God in amazing ways.

The revolution is beginning…get on board now! Connecticut look out you are about to be rocked!

Pics of Brentwood Church