My internal lock-in detector started going off a few weeks ago. It’s fall in youth ministry, the time everyone starts to feel like their hitting a little groove in their work. And, you know, little grooves never last too long–most of us would prefer that they didn’t thrive into boredom, so we toss in a lock-in. Just like that. All of our excitements and fears all gnarled up together for a night of sheer energy, bliss, and terror (kidding about the terror, unless you are riding THE Tower of Terror, then it’s actually real terror–which we also willingly sign up for).

I searched the blog and realized that I’ve written quite a bit on lock-ins a lot over the years.

  • We’ve had the time of our lives, repeatedly riding a wooden roller coaster 16+ times in 2 hours.
  • We’ve seen kids vomit pizza-red bull-drink-goo because of it (i’ve never smelled anything like it)
  • I’ve done two lock-ins with child–as in STUPID UNCOMFORTABLE-pregnant (and it was still fun)
  • We wish we could unsee some of the things but we never want to forget most of the things
  • We’ve lost things and people, but more things than people
  • We learned big lessons about hiring drivers and not driving anything past 4AM (that’s an adult rule, but kids can’t drive the church bus either)
  • We learned that all of it is always worth it, especially when we’re being safe and having fun at the same time
  • We know that the time spent and the relationships built are sweeter than 5 pounds of cotton candy and the 5 pounds of paperwork we have to generate to make it all legal.

Maybe you’re facing your first lock-in (God bless your soul) or your 18th lock-in (you deserve a medal) or you’ve been honored (bribed) to go by your energetic youth pastor (you deserve free Starbucks), wherever you are, whatever you do, if that’s your reality, then these posts are for you.

Have fun.

Conquer The Youth Lock-In Before It Conquers You (This is the most important post. This advice might possibly save your marriage, your ministry, your life as you know it….or just make you feel more rested.)

Giddy Up, It’s Time for A Lock-In

The Reasons Why I Love Hate You

What makes your lock-in a success? Please comment and share it with the youth ministry nation. We could all use a little help!

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