Tag Archives: Lock-In

The Lock-In (Part 4)

Posted on 11. Sep, 2009 by .


So, what ever will you do with a bunch of kids for 12-13 hours? We’re masters at programming for 60-90 minutes, but all night it totally different. Don’t worry, it’s not that hard. First of all, you need to think smaller. Think in 30 minute increments and it gets so much easier. Because registration can tend to take a long time, I usually try to start the evening off with a movie. Doing this gives everyone time to arrive, check-in and get to one place. A typical schedule would be to have the doors open at 6:45. While kids are registering and dropping off their sleeping bags and such, I’ll have an MC keeping things happening in the auditorium. I’ll do a short welcome at 7:20 and then start the movie at 7:30.… Read the rest

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The Lock-In (Part 3)

Posted on 10. Sep, 2009 by .


Structure and organization are necessary for fun. Without structure and organization, you’re volunteers are going to hate you. Without structure and organization, the kids will experience too much freedom which leads to fights, injuries and hurt feelings. In the end, they won’t have fun either. You must have this in place!

First of all, every minute of the lock-in must be scheduled. Your volunteers want a plan. They love a plan. The idea of being with all these kids all night scares them. They think in their heads, “what am I going to do with these kids all night?” However, when you give them their schedule which outlines a different activity to attend with their kids every thirty minutes, they can get excited about that.… Read the rest

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The Lock-In (Part 2)

Posted on 09. Sep, 2009 by .


I only have one ingredient to my recipe for success. All you need is the same ingredient and you’ll see success. Want to know what that ingredient is?

The ingredient is… FUN!

Okay, that sounds kinda obvious and cheesy, but I say it for a reason. I’ve seen a lot of church’s suck all the fun (or most of the fun) right out of an event like this. I’ll tell you what the fun-suckers tend to be.

  1. Over spiritualizing the event. Just because your event is a church event doesn’t mean you need to program it into a VBS/Sunday School/Kids Church filled event. I’m not saying any of those things aren’t fun. I’m just challenging you to the idea that you can gather a group of kids at your church and not do ANYTHING overtly spiritual.
  2. Read the rest

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The Lock-In (Part 1)

Posted on 08. Sep, 2009 by .


late-night1I have a love/hate relationship with lock-ins. I’ve been doing them since I became a children’s pastor over a decade ago. I’ve done small and highly unorganized ones (in the early years) as well as huge and highly organized ones (my biggest topped 300 kids) and I’ve learned a few things along the way.

So why do I hate them? They’re so FREAKIN’ long! Now that I’m in my 30′s, it takes me a week to recover. By the time it’s over, I just want parents to not be late so I can go home and fall asleep on my couch. Yes, this is selfish, but it’s a perfectly acceptable reason to hate lock-ins.

Why do I love them? Because kids FREAKIN’ love them!… Read the rest

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The Lock-In

Posted on 08. Sep, 2009 by .


lockintest21This week I’m doing a little series on Lock-Ins. Over the years I have found them to be incredibly powerful events for the Children’s Ministries I lead. I thought I’d write a quick series on why I do them and how to pull them off.

I’m going to include how we plan, what resources we use, how much they cost and everything else you might want to know. I’ve got a lot of information and I don’t think I’ve really blogged much about my lock-ins up to this point. So, if you’re interested in taking a peak behind the curtain, tune in to the posts this week about lock-ins.… Read the rest

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Lock-In graphic

Posted on 15. Jul, 2009 by .


We’re doing a lock-in just before school starts. We’re a little behind the eight ball. I designed two graphics that we’d use on the web and post cards to promote. What do you think? Which do you like?

lockintestlockintest2Read the rest

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The Ultimate Lock-In – Managing chaos!

Posted on 24. Apr, 2007 by .


One more Ultimate Lock-In… in the bag! As further detailed here, I carried out the 2007 Ultimate Lock-In on Friday, April 20. Probably due to my youth and my quest for fun, I keep my kids up late. Many times, my kindergartners start dropping like flies once we get past the 2:00 am threshold. It was great fun and I think I’d only change a few things.

Here’s the details:

  • $20 a kid ($15 each additional sibling)
  • 186 kids
  • 45 pizzas
  • 2 school busses
  • Read the rest

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Calculated Risk

Posted on 16. Apr, 2007 by .


In less than two months, I’ll be a father. Finally. For over ten years of ministry I’ve often gotten strange looks from parents or fellow leaders as a result of some plans or programs. Occasionally they would actually say, “one day, when you’re a parent, you’ll do these things differently.I know my life is about to change. I know everything is about to be different. But I’m really anxious to see if I’m really going to do some of these things differently. I’m not rebellious by any means. If anything, I’ve always been more of a people-pleaser. But sometimes when I get these strange looks and comments about not understanding, it drives me to want to really mix things up.Read the rest

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