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Doing a 5 church lock-in this weekend...what is the purpose of Lock-ins as you see it? - MinistryQuestions.com | Ministry questions, answers, advice, and input from other ministry workers :: Answer
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Lock-ins are a great way to connect community students both attenders and non attenders. It is a safe, fun environment for a student to be. There are a lot of weekend events where students can get themselves into trouble. I like to consider it as a safe haven for students to be around quality adults and good supervision. I am almost 40 and I am not much of a fan of all nighters anymore, but the students love them and that's what matters.

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For us, lock-ins are generally about letting the kids spend time together. We don't have a lot of rec space and most of our kids are video gamers. So most of our lock-ins are all-night video game sessions. I've tried programming worship and Bible study into it (with a 5-church venture, this would be a good idea), but on our own, the kids are usually to hyped up to concentrate or focus on more spiritual stuff. Congrats to Stephanie for having kids who want a deep lock-in. One thing we've done to increase adult participation is we set up shifts 8-12,12-4,4-8. Obviously the 12-4 shift is hardest to fill. This way adults can work a few hours and still get sleep. I stay all night.

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For us, lock-ins are primarily about connecting students and adult leaders. That's all. When you do any event like that, you should really have a defined purpose. It doesn't have to be the same purpose as another youth ministry, but it should be strategic. Be mindful.

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Sadly, I'm only 25 and find I feel I'm "too old" to stay up so late! We do our lock-ins to give them some straight fellowship and bonding time. It's a great event for them to invite friends w/out pressure and just build friendships. Recently, it's also been a good chance for our student leaders to step up an plan games. Our last 2 lock-ins however, our kids surprised us by asking to have worship and watch To Save a Life and discuss some deep stuff. More than the fun aspect, I think it's been a neat opportunity for the kids to tell us what they need as a group for fellowship.

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We do them to give our students time to connect with each other and with our adult leaders. With school, extracurricular activities, sports, and families, it is difficult to find a lot of time to build connections. Lock-ins help us to accomplish that.