Lock-In Ideas

Robert Thomas Quiring —  September 2, 2015

Tis the season… Lock-In season! Lock-Ins are a really amazing tool in the youth ministry tool box. My motto is don’t take it too seriously and learn from each one – even if it is your 100th. Here are some fun and serious Lock-In activities I’ve added in recent years:


Fun Ideas

  1. Whip Cream Toss – did you know when you squirt some whipped cream in your hand and fling it up in the air it Whipped Cream Tosswill fly as one cohesive unit? Split youth into pairs, give each person a can of whipped cream, and then have them take turns trying to fling the whipped cream into each other’s mouths. It is a beautiful site to see. Warning: this can turn into a rather messy affair.
  2. Frozen T-shirts – put a T-shirt in a gallon zip lock bag. Fill the bag with water. Throw it in the freezer for 24 hours. Split youth up into small teams and then give them the frozen zip locked T-shirt. The first team to put the shirt on with the body, head, and arms in all the correct holes wins. I always say they can only use their hands and the sidewalk. I use some personal old T-shirts because these shirts will be destroyed.
  3. Pizza Delivery Race – a cool way to make snack time into an activity is to have a pizza delivery race.
    • Find 3-5 pizza delivery places – write out their phone number and what you want the youth to order on separate sheets of paper.
    • Split the group up so that there is a group rooting for each pizza place.
    • Have all of the orders placed at the same time.
    • Wait and cheer as each delivery person arrives as you are doing a different activity.

    Warning: If you are going to do this for dinner then remember that if the youth whose pizza place arrives first get to eat first and the youth whose pizza place arrives last get to eat last – you will have some grumpy youth. So, plan accordingly.

Serious Ideas

  1. Midnight Worship – I use worship as the focus point of the Lock-In in several ways.
    • It has become a “good” tradition. My youth know and expect we will have worship at midnight, so it is not seen as “a surprise or interruption to fun.”
    • We have a theme for each lock-in and so the scripture and testimonies are based on the theme our youth leadership team has chosen (sometimes it is our theme for the entire semester).
    • We have 1-2 youth give testimonies during worship on the theme.
    • It separates the night into two parts – before worship everyone is doing the same thing together. After worship we have different stations to choose from.
    • All the late comers have arrived and are there for the most important part of the night.
  2. Bible Study or Brainstorming Session –
    • take an hour and have a Bible Study on your theme OR
    • lead a brain storming session for topics youth want to discuss in the coming months or empower youth to create service projects ideas you could do down the road.

Happy Lock-Inning friends!

Do you have any cool Lock-In ideas? What activities have worked well in your ministry setting?

Robert Thomas Quiring

Posts Twitter Facebook

Robert is currently serving as an Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Pensacola, Florida. Robert is a husband, father, pastor, sweet tea lover, technology enthusiast-er, and webmaster of Masterin' the Pastorin'.