Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hosting a Reformation Day Lock-In

Apologies for the long gap between posts! This summer, I got married, moved to Wisconsin, and started an internship as a Director of Family Life Ministries at a local Missouri Synod Lutheran church.

In just over two months, my internship church will be hosting a Reformation Day lock-in! Why Reformation Day? I'm glad you asked! Reformation Day falls on the same date as All Saints' Day, October 31st, but many people will know it better as Halloween. When discussing Halloween among Christians, three groups tend to arise.

To some Christians, Halloween is perfectly fine as a fun opportunity for children to dress up and get candy.
To some Christians, Halloween is a morally grey area.
To some Christians, Halloween is a temptation toward idolatry, satanic arts, and other

If you are in the third party, non-participation in Halloween is obviously the best choice. For those in the first and second parties, I would like to direct you to 1 Corinthians 8 as you determine whether you will participate in or host Halloween festivities. Verses 12 and 13 of that chapter states, "Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is week, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble."

Though participation in Halloween activities may not cause you to stumble personally, for the church to participate or host these festivities could cause one of our Christian brothers and sisters to stumble, and as such, I propose that congregations replace Halloween activities with an opportunity to teach others about the foundation of our faith and to share the Gospel. What better way to do this than by spending the entire night in celebration and learning based on the origins of the Lutheran Church?

Following is a suggested schedule for the lock-in, which can be tailored to suit any age level. Games are written in blue and devotions and worship are in red. Game descriptions are at the bottom, and supplies are listed here also.

God's blessings,

Sample of Reformation Day Lock-In Flyer

 7:00 Arrive and check in
7:15 Form teams, make flags
 7:45 Tell Martin Luther’s story
 8:00 Underground Church
8:30 Reformation Jeopardy
9:00 Devotion (Grace Alone)
9:15 Small groups
9:30 Pin Sir George in the Castle
10:00 Make your own stained glass
10:30 Reformation Rap-Off
10:45 Food time
11:30 Worship (led by Pastor)
12:00 Finish the Bible Verse
12:30 Diet of Worms
1:00 Bible Myth Balloon Pop
1:30 Devotion (Faith Alone)
1:45 Small groups
2:00 Hymn Scramble Relay
2:30 Mighty Fortress building contest
3:00 Name that Tune
3:30 Turn on Luther, open gym time
6:00 Devotion (Scripture Alone)
6:30 Announce winning team and pass out prizes, clean up
7:00 Go home

Food and drinks
  • Pretzels
  • Hard rolls
  • Cider
  • Sausage
  • Schnitzel
  • Diet of Worms (gummy worms in chocolate pudding)
Supplies to buy
  • Flashlight
  • Watercolor stained glass hangings
  • Watercolor paint for stained glass
  • Lots of gummy worms
  • 1-2 bags of balloons
  • Tinfoil (for Mighty Fortress)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Tape
  • Construction paper
  • Cardboard
  • Prizes
Supplies to print, make, or find online
  • Unfinished Bible verses PowerPoint
  • Reformation trivia PowerPoint
  • Hymn scramble titles
  • Melodies for Name that Tune
  • Picture of Wartburg Castle
  • Pictures of Martin Luther (at least 1 per student)
  • Martin Luther/Reformation Rap (can be found on YouTube)
  • Rap Battle beat/music (can be found on YouTube)
  • Underground Church:
  • Reformation Jeopardy PowerPoint
  • Pin Sir George in the Castle
    • A picture of Wartburg Castle is taped to a door or wall
    • Each student gets picture of Martin Luther (Sir George) with tape on the back
    • Students are spun around blindfolded
    • They must try to put Sir George as close to the x-marked spot on the castle while blindfolded
  • Make your own stained glass: Students are given watercolor glass window hangings to paint while we discuss the fact that some of Luther’s followers broke into churches and destroyed the sanctuaries and stained glass windows in them.
  • Finish the Bible Verse
  • Diet of Worms: Gummy worm eating contest
  • Bible Myth Balloon Pop
    • Write on large number of balloons unscriptural teachings taught in the Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation
    • Write on other balloons Scripturally correct teachings
    • Teams in relay style send one person to pick three balloons
    • Correct balloons are placed in tote
    • Incorrect balloons are popped by sitting on them
    • Students trade off relay-style until only correct balloons are left
  • Hymn Scramble Relay
    • Students have ten hymn titles in front of them cut up into separate words
    • One student must unscramble the words to form one hymn title, run back to team
    • Next student unscrambles words to find another hymn title, runs back
    • So on until all ten hymn titles are unscrambled
    • Once all hymns are unscrambled, team must all sit down to win
  • Mighty Fortress Building Contest
    • Each team is given a number of building/craft supplies
    • They must use the supplies to make a castle/fortress
    • Once all are built, other teams will have chance to try to knock down the opposing team’s castle WITHOUT TOUCHING IT
    • Last castle standing wins
  • Name that Tune: Hymn Edition
    • Hymn melody played on computer, piano, or organ
    • Students must run to front and sit in chair to name the hymn
    • First student to answer the question correctly wins point for their team
  • Reformation Rap-Off:
    • Show Martin Luther Reformation Rap on YouTube
    • Each group will have five minutes to discuss which member will rap and what they should put into the rap
    • Rapper for each group will then have 1 minute each to rap about the Reformation