Maddox 1Selena MaddoxMs. TilleryBritish Literature11 October 2011 Planning a Church Lock-in Children these days feel like they are being left out. One thing they want is to beconsidered preteens. They are too young to attend parties, to old to be treated like babies, and tohigh strung to be left alone. There are not many places for them to go and just be preteens theyare. One place for them to go is a church lock-in. A lock-in is another way of saying a churchsleepover, even though the goal is to stay up all night. A lock-in is a great way for children to interact with each other and at the same time letthem act their age and not be judged. They consist of games, food, fellowship, movies, andtrying to stay up all night long. Preteens really enjoy attending lock-ins because they feel likethey are not constantly getting harassed by adults. Also because they get to stay up all night andplay games and be with other children their age. Lock-ins sound like a simple event to puttogether, but there is a lot of thing to take into consideration. Planning a lock-in takes time and organization. A well organized and determined personshould not have much trouble when trying to plan and host a church lock-in for a group ofpreteens. Things like advertisement, prices, food, games and activities, devotion, and theschedule is just a few topics that have to be thought out and discussed before a lock-in can beestablished. This may seem like a lot of little details to think about, but without them a lock-inwould fail.
Maddox 2 One of the important questions to ask when starting to plan a lock-in is “What is theexpected actual cost of the lock-in and activities?” (Sapp). When calculating how much moneyit would cost to host a lock-in, the price could turn out to be very substantial. The place/venue,food, supplies, and other elements like these are just a few of the points that need to be plannedfor cost wise. Money is something that is a big issue, but a great way to off set the cost is to askpeople in the church, like parents, to bring food and other little supplies needed for the lock-in(“How to Plan a Lock in for Kids at Church”). Food and drinks are not the easiest items to plan for. This is because the number ofchildren and the cost of the food could very. Like stated before, having food and drinks donatedwould save money. Another way to save money would be to charge the children an entry fee toattend the lock-in. Depending on how many children attend, no more then ten dollars should becharged as an entry fee. Having a dead line for when the entry fee due will ensure that one willhave the money needed to pay for everything on time (Sapp). Deciding what food would work best to make and serve also should be thought out.Pizza, sandwiches, mini hamburgers, and/or hot dogs would be easy to set up and clean up fordinner (“How to Plan a Lock in for Kids at Church”). For breakfast, cereal, doughnuts, fruit,beacon, eggs, and/or toast would be a good variety to have. Have snack foods like chips,cookies, popcorn, and finger foods set out periodically thought out the night will keep thechildren satisfied till the next big meal. A good problem to face is having way too much foodthen not enough food to last the whole night (“Lock-In Ideas”). The most powerful part of a lock-in is a devotional message. This is because thedevotion is one of the main events of the night and it is the reason a lock-in is composed.Deciding what to speak about is not the easiest topics to compose. If a person wants to write
Maddox 3about a topic they feel is important, then they should write from personal experiences that theyhave encountered (Bettencourt). Starting a devotion with a fact or something to get the audienceattention is always good. An example could be like “Lightning strikes the Earth over 100,000times a day. Of these, 10-20% causes a fire” (“11 Facts about Wildfires”). Julia Bettencourt said“When you first begin writing you may find yourself writing in long paragraphs. If you are goingto share your devotion, break those up into points.” Remembering that devotions are not morethat fifth teen minutes or less is important in keeping the attention of an audience. Having a theme for a lock-in is a great way for the children to get more implicated withthe event and those attending. An excellent example of a theme would be “Being on fire forGod.” Establish a passage from the Bible to support the theme and have the children memorizeit. “Scriptures on the Fire of God” is a great website that has many different excerpts from theBible on the topic of being on fire for God. By choosing a creative theme, a lot of differentactivates can be incorporated into the theme (“Tips for Planning a Youth Lock-in”). There are just a few more details left for planning the lock-in. Games are a big part of thelock-in because they let the children express their imagination. “Play is an essential part ofgrowing up and researchers believe its critical to ensure children reach their full potential in life”(Dixon). Finding games that let the children open up and be apart of the group are great to startout the night. A great example is have the children sit in a circle, have a bowl of starburst and letthem get as many as they want (limit the maximum to about ten), then tell them before they caneat there candy they need to share a fact about themselves, do this for each piece of candy(“Starburst Get To Know You Ice Breaker”). Other great ideas for game would be outsidegames, make sure it is lighted, and relay games. Also have the children split up into team at the
Maddox 4beginning of the lock-in and have them play different types of game, they will earn points andthe team with the most points at the end of the lock-in will win a prize. Crafts are another great way to let the children express their personality and be creative.“Have children create “quilt pieces” by painting or drawing pictures on plain paper. Punch a holein all four sides of each piece of artwork and connect them all with yarn, tying bows at eachhole... Then, hang the “quilt” on the bulletin board or wall for display” (Simmons). This funcraft shows the children it is ok to be different because when they come together they can togreat things. Incorporate this to the theme and have them make a quilt that goes along with thetheme. A great idea to help the children remember all the exciting events that took place duringthe lock-in is having a t-shirt for them to wear. T-shirts are a cheep and awesome way to tell thechildren thank you and remind them of the lock-in. By putting the theme and the Bible verse onthe shirt will help the children recall the devotion and the central goal of the lock-in. Also, putthe date on the front of the shirt and a symbol that correlates with the theme on the back of theshirt. The lock-in is coming together with the prices calculated, food and drinks determined,devotion wrote, and games and crafts planned. One of the last things that are still needed to bedone is laying out the schedule. Over planning and have alternatives is crucial in laying out theschedule. Take weather and other circumstances that could affect the lock-in into considerationwhen planning schedule. If there were games planed to play outside and it starts to rain, try tofind a big indoor space to play it or find another game they could play indoors. Also, justbecause the children try to stay up all night does not mean they will all will. Having a “bedtime” set will help them settle down and rest before going home. Set a time for them to wake up
Maddox 5so the children have time to eat breakfast and help clean up before they leave. Plan for thechildren to have free time to just be around the other children and play games or talk. The lock-in has been planned and there is only one problem. No one knows about thelock-in so it needs to be published. A few ways to let people know would be fliers, initiations,emails, and posting it in the church bulletin and on the church website (Sapp). A lock-in wouldbe a failure if there were not any children their or adults to help run the event. Also asking forvolunteers to help out would be a good idea because they can do other things that need to betaken care of. Before the lock-in starts meet with all the volunteers and go over the schedule andrules and ask if they have ant questions. Also, give them their assignments so they know whatthey will be doing before the lock-in starts. A lock-in is a great way for children to be around others their age and act like their self.Planning a lock-in can be a lot of work, but the end result can be very good. The children willhave a great time and be very thankful of all the hard work put into it. The feeling after planninga lock-in is a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction because everyone takes something awayfrom it.
Maddox 6 Work CitedBettencourt, Julia. “Developing A Devotional.” Creative Ladies Ministry. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2011. <http://www.juliabettencourt.com/articles/devotionalwriting.htmlDixon, Ellie. “Importance of Play in Child Development.” Child-Development-Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. <http://www.child-development-guide.com/importance-of-play.html“11 Facts About Wildfires.” Do Something. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-wildfire“How to Plan a Lock in for Kids at Church.” Free Article Catalogue. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2011. <http://www.iberciberonline.com/other/how_to_plan_a_lock_in_for_kids_at_church“Lock-In Ideas .” Evangelical Lutheran Synod. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <http://www.evangelicallutheransynod.org/our-work/youth/fyi/lockins>.Sapp, Ken. “Lock-in Checklist.” Creative Youth Ideas. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2011. <http://www.creativeyouthideas.com/blog/youth_ministry/lockin_checklist.html>.“Scriptures on the Fire of God.” Tripod. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <http://tcpiii.tripod.com/fireofgod.htm>.Simmons, Angela. “Paper Quilt.” Children’s Ministry Inspiration Vault. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <http://childrensministryvault.com/ministry-lessons-ideas-training/123/paper-quilt/ >.“Starburst Get To Know You Ice Breaker.” Youth Ministry Icebreakers. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <http://www.youthministryideas.net/2011/01/17/1212/>.
Maddox 7“Tips for Planning a Youth Lock-in.” On Earth Peace . N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <http://www.onearthpeace.org/new-generations/youth-retreats/tips-planning-youth-lock>. this website has great tips and ideas on what to do at and for a lock-in.