Last weekend our student ministry hosted a Lock-in. This is an event that we do about every other year. So, what is it? And…why do we do it?
For our lock-in, we rent out a local sports complex—this year it was the Rec-Plex. Students are then free to play the whole night and sleep is highly discouraged. We schedule a night of events, activities, and tournaments. We provide prizes. We find a bunch of crazy adults that want to hang out with a couple hundred teenagers. Oh, this also happens from 9PM-7AM.
All night long, students are running around from activity to activity. Throughout, there are opportunities for 3 on 3 basketball, dodgeball tournaments, and broomball. Note: broomball is like field hockey…but on ice. Or ice hockey…without skates. Just google it. I also saw an incredibly impressive belly flop at 4 in the morning. A large group of leaders ate Dip ‘n’ Dots at 4:30 AM which I now understand is the best time to eat them. All of that to say, a lot of exciting stuff happens in an overnight lock-in with a bunch of students. The night ended with a huge dodgeball game between the two churches. It is important for me to mention that the winning church was FBC Wentzville. The groups make their way back to their churches to sleepily eat a donut until they got picked up to go home and sleep the rest of the day.
So, then the question is…why? Why would someone volunteer to help with this? The answer—the gospel.
When the students got to the church to check-in, before we bussed them out to the Rec-Plex, we all gathered in the Worship Center. FBC Wentzville students and FBC O’Fallon students, over 230 in number, worshipped together, and heard the gospel—shared by Jeremy Shirley who used an illustration of handcuffing a student to himself for several minutes. Thought that was worth mentioning. As a result, seven students indicated that they started a relationship with Jesus for the first time that night.
This whole event exists as a tool for students to have something to invite their friends to, where their friends can hear the gospel. Yes, it’s a ton of fun. Yes, it’s incredibly memorable. Yes, it’s cool to work alongside another student ministry. But, all of that is minimal compared to providing an opportunity for students, whose friends may not be willing to show up on a Sunday morning, to bring others to an event where the gospel is preached and there is an opportunity for lives to be changed.
As a church, continue to pray for the students that have just made this huge decision. Pray for the students that are asking questions and searching. Pray for the students that are still opposed to the gospel.
Also, pray for all of the adult volunteers to catch back up on their sleep…eventually.