michael larkin

our best practices (1 of 7) by Michael
September 18, 2008, 10:12 am
Filed under: church launch, Innovative Churches

OK, so it may sound very odd that a church that still hasn’t launched is listing their best practices.  I know, it is a little odd.  With that said, here are a few reasons that I decided to post our best practices.  First, we are learning.  If what we are learning can somehow help anyone, that would be awesome.  Second, we are just starting, BUT we have still managed to find a way to be the church and be the vision (not just talk about vision and what will be).  Third, this blog helps me.  So, if no one else benefits from this it is good for me to write things down, and to be able to look back at all this craziness once our church does launch.

A huge disclaimer…these are OUR best practices. Some of these things definitely will not work in other church plants and other contexts.  They just happen to have worked really well for us.

So, our first best practice (but really not in any particular order)….

Devour blogs, attend conferences, enroll in coaching networks!

We devour everything worth watching.  If a church or a leader is getting it done…I watch them religiously!  One of the best resources is…blogs!  They are free, frequent, and immediate.  Books are good, but blogs are real, and usually give a great look at the day by day journey.  It is awesome to watch what others are doing.  Blogs have helped our church learn strategies, have stretched me in so many areas, have increased vision and increased faith.  In fact, one of the things that started me down this path was a blog.  While at Thomas Road Baptist Church there was a guy I shared an office with.  He worked with the high schoolers and I worked with the middle schoolers.  He recently started a church in North Carolina.  Since then that church has exploded!  He has been on NBC Nightly News.  More importantly this church plant, that just recently celebrated its one year anniversary, is reaching a community.  I have learned a ton from his blog.  In fact, I think what Tadd is doing was one of the first things that God used to begin to move in my heart about launching a church in Connecticut.  I love to follow blogs written by church planters who are getting it done!  Some of my favorite blogs are written by: Gary Lamb, Michael L., Tadd Grandstaff, Nelson Searcy and Buddy Cremeans.  All have recently launched churches, all changing their community!

We go to every conference that we possibly can!  We have partnered with ARC.  We have already been to some coaching and teaching events, and will continue to go through ARC for coaching and teaching.  There are other coaching networks that we are planning to be a part of.  Some of our team took a huge trip to Georgia for the Evolve Conference.  In a few weeks 10 of us will be going to Catalyst.  Some of our team was able to go to the Fusion Seminar when it was right here in our backyard.  After we get back from Georgia we are going to C3 Conference in New York.  There are other conferences that we will definitely go to.  I feel conferences are crucial.  I love that so many of our people are going with us to these conferences!  I can’t wait to see the vision of our team increased.  I am anxiously waiting to be able to apply some of the practices we learn as a team to our unique environment.  I can’t wait to continue to learn together.


You need to read this by Michael
September 7, 2008, 5:50 am
Filed under: Church Launch Team, Cinema Church, Innovative Churches, Random Goodness

Let me start by saying that I have been planted in my current church for over 10 years. I deeply believe in the value of staying in the church that God plants you in rather than just leaving as soon as you get offended. That said, I have lived in a few different cities and have visited quite a few churches in each one when trying to find out where to land. I have seen some wonderful things and I have seen some things that made me want to run for the doors.

These are the things that caused me to run for the door:

Everything was mediocre. Mediocrity has been too prevalent in the church today. Be it marketing, music, teaching, evangelism or anything else, it should be excellent. Just a few hundred years ago the greatest music, paintings, literature, etc. were glorifying God. It offends me that the word “Christian” is used as an adjective that is synonymous with mediocre by some non-Christians. It should not be.


I found that somewhere and wanted to share it.  We, Cinema Church, have to get serious about reaching our financial goals!  THERE IS NO WAY WE CAN BE A PART OF, OR CONTRIBUTE TO, PEOPLE ASSOCIATING MEDIOCRITY WITH THE LOCAL CHURCH!

Let’s do this.  Let’s “sacrifice”.  Let’s be a church that changes the way people view church!  It starts with us.

from out of no where by Michael
August 28, 2008, 7:00 pm
Filed under: church launch, Innovative Churches, Random Goodness

Today God has answered a huge prayer request!

We have several ridiculous things that we have been courageously asking God for.

One of the things we are desperately in need of is office space.  I know it doesn’t sound like much, but to get people more involved, and to be more organized, an office space is crucial.  A huge mentor of mine recently told me that an office space was what took his leadership and church to a whole new level.  Since that meeting we have been praying even harder for our own office space.  BUT not just for any office space.  We have been praying a huge prayer, and asking God to give us an office space… for FREE!

Today, I went over to East Hampton Bible Church…to look at our new office space.  SERIOUSLY!  What an amazing church with a Kingdom vision.  They have designated a room and given it to Cinema Church.  I am blown away at the generosity of this church.  It is clear that God’s hand is all over this church, and it is obvious why.  They have a huge heart for people, the church, and the Kingdom.  East Hampton Bible has also just recently announced that they are selling their property and going portable to reach more people.  That is crazy courage!

A huge thanks from Cinema Church to East Hampton Bible for their generosity, Kingdom mindedness, and courage.  And a special thanks to all of you who have been giving up part of your Saturday morning to meet and pray audacious prayers.

It is awesome to be on this journey WITH you.  I can’t wait to see how God continues to work in and through you.  I love our church and how God is moving.  I also love that God is working in the Central Connecticut area.  We have recently found two churches that I would, without hesitation, recommend to anyone currently looking for a church:  East Hampton Bible and Calvary Fellowship.  Thanks for leading the way and we hope to partner with you soon to help change Connecticut.

big announcement by Michael
August 14, 2008, 9:49 pm
Filed under: church launch, Church Launch Team, Innovative Churches

OK, so if you don’t like change, you must hate me, or you soon will.  Things are always changing.  As you probably know we missed our first class to Georgia. Because of this and the subsequent conversations, the guy who runs the class seriously thinks it would be a waste of time and money to go that far for this particular class.  I was wondering about the same thing, and even talked to a few people trying to figure out if the money would be better spent on things like marketing.  The leader of the school brought this up to me and suggested that the money would go farther in outreach and marketing. Needless to say we will not be going to Georgia for this church planting class.

I still have take a trip to Georgia to pick up our media equipment…
Catalyst Conference is in Georgia in October…
Needless to say, I am inviting everyone to take a trip to Georgia with me and attend Catalyst Conference. The video below should convince you that this is a huge opportunity for you, our church, and our community.   If you have the ability to run to Georgia and back this could be huge, and I would love it if you would at least consider trying to go with us.

how cool is this… by Michael
August 1, 2008, 12:15 am
Filed under: Innovative Churches

My hero, as everyone who knows me knows, is Louie Gigglio.

How cool is it that he is starting a church about the same time we are!

Can’t wait to see this develop.

It was good to hear what he is going through, and how similar some of the things hes facing are to what we are facing.

Check it out HERE.

Cinema Church people start praying by Michael
July 7, 2008, 4:53 pm
Filed under: church launch, Church Launch Team, Innovative Churches

On our trip down south we visited Oak Leaf Church.  We were drooling (at least I was) over their 3 screen set up, computers, switchers, and case.

ALL of that stuff is now on sale!

We could have top of the line crazy stuff.  We could save $11,000!!!

We need to start praying and see what God will do on our behalf.

Here are some pics of our trip to Oak Leaf along with several shots of the 3 sceens and equipment needed to run all three screens.

Here is the blog that lists all of the items for sale!

My bet…the trailer will be returned…today by Michael
July 3, 2008, 1:27 pm
Filed under: Innovative Churches

Check this out.  Messed up story, but I love this guy and how he’s handling it.


Really do hope it gets returned TODAY.