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What Do You Do at a Church Shut-In?

The youth ministries of churches across America often host youth activities, such as "lock-ins" (or "shut-ins"). During a lock-in, the teens are locked in the church all night, and while there perform a number of fun activities. These activities can range from movies to physical games.


Showing movies to teens is a popular activity for shut-ins. In fact, shut-ins can consist of all-night movie marathons. When considering a movie, make sure that it is rated G (or PG, if permitted by your church). Also, make sure that you have the proper equipment (a television and a DVD player) before the shut-in begins.

Un-Talent Show

To put on an un-talent show, separate the teens into groups and tell them to come up with the worst talent-show act they can think of; the groups will then perform the acts. If you wish, you can give a prize to the worst act of the night or give special prizes for meeting secret requirements (singing, dancing, etc.)

Jell-O Bobbing

For this activity, you must create a giant tub of Jell-O. However, you must place pieces of candy inside while mixing the Jell-O. Have the teens take turns sticking their heads into the tub; when a teen catches a piece of candy in his mouth, he is deemed successful and you can move to the next teen.

Table Games

Most table games are appropriate for church shut-ins. Many games can be played at once. Popular games such as Monopoly, Sorry, Uno, Boggle, and many others are suitable for the event.


Select a teen to be "it" and then have all the other teens find a hiding place in the church. Have the teen who is "it" search for the hiders. If the player who is "it" can find someone else, that person becomes "it" and the game starts over. If all the hiders are able to reach a "home base" point, the person who is "it" will be "it" for the next round.


A church also provides a suitable location for a karaoke party. If you have a karaoke machine and your song selection is suitable for a church, you can easily set up a party that can last for several hours.

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