spoonsLock-ins. Over-nighters. The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’ve? heard lock-ins referred to by many names; some are printable.

Lock-ins are a youth ministry staple, legend, tradition, albatross, kid magnet, adult dread lock, yada-yada. As soon as you claim, “I’m never doing a lock-in again!” – one of your kids looks at you with those hormonal puppy dogs eyes, pouts a little and begs, “Just one more…cause you’re the coolest youth pastor ever!” I, the sucker, falls for it again.

And so I found myself this past weekend drinking the coffee, swigging? the red bull and pumping up for yet another 12 hour marathon. As I was putting together my kids’ “Lock-in survival bags” (items they would need through out the night but had no idea why: a spoon, playdoh, napkin, whoppers, etc.), I actually started getting a little excited. This was my sfirst lock-in with a smaller size group. How would it be different?

Overnighters with #150 kids vs #15 kids? WAY different and WAY cool. 1) At Midnight as we devo’d in front of the altar, I heard what every kid had to say when they shared their holiday heart. 2) There were few enough cars on our “drive-thru progressive dinner” that we could carol the drive thru peeps at once. 3) We could all squeeze together on a few couches to watch Elf -? again.? 4) For once, I? was actually the Spoons champion! I can be a little agressive in that genre.

Way less “bad cop” needed from me and a lot more “kinda still rockin’ the lock-in” youth chick. It was the best!