Pastors, Christian youth groups, and women's and men's fellowship leaders at one time or another need quick ideas or activities to provide a little relaxation, inspiration and stimulation for their members or group participants. Icebreakers are one way to get the juices flowing no matter the makeup of the group or the topics to be studied or covered. There are a number of Christian-oriented icebreakers that can be used with almost any aged group and 15 suggested ones are listed here.
1. What Makes Me Blessed?
In order to put group participants at ease and to help them get acquainted with others in the group, particularly with those who may only know one another casually, good Christian icebreakers initially involve getting to know others and creating a level of comfort for whatever the group is going to be discussing or the time allotted.
One of several ways way to do that is to ask everyone in the group what makes them blessed? Ask them to write out the first letters of their name on a colorful piece of paper or on a white erase board. If need be, let each person pair off with another in the group so they can strategize for words with their names that equate with being blessed, such as the name Joan = joyful, Fred = fortunate, Aaron = anointed.
The same idea can be used with how the letters of a given name describe the person personally. Tom = Talkative, Objective and Motivated. Provide dictionaries and thesauruses for extra word help.
One more twist on this icebreaker is asking group members whether their first or middle names have major significance in any way such as whether their first or middle name was taken from another family name or family tradition of assigning and carrying on names.
2. The God Question
Asking God questions is another good approach to easing awkwardness in a group setting as everyone wants answers to questions that remain unanswered, particularly in the most blatant of circumstances and situations. This activity could be done individually, with a partner or as a group with everyone providing an answer and an appointed person writing out the questions on a white erase or chalkboard with discussions that follow.
3. The Lottery
Winning the lottery and what a person would do with the winnings seems to be a universal kind of icebreaker. The question could be administered individually or done on a group basis with everyone providing answers as to what a person would, should or could do with a major win. A second part of the question could include whether a winner should tithe (10%) of the winnings to a Christian organization?
4. Bible Character and Scripture Matching
Christian icebreakers usually involve activities affiliated with the Bible and scriptures, and one idea that is always enjoyable to use with members of younger groups is identifying bible characters through specific scriptures and actual character cutouts.
Biblical characters, such as Moses holding the Ten Commandments, can be placed on a magnetic board and a scripture attributed to them matched with the character. Ask group members to identify the character and put the right figure with the quoted scripture. Mix and match a number of characters and scriptures to make the activity varied and fun. For example, take the scripture from Exodus 9:1 “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me." In this case, the character being instructed is Moses.
Another take off on scripture matching is to provide more prominent scripture passages with a significant word or words left out one within the scripture. Ask group members to fill in and provide the missing word. This activity can be accomplished more quickly in pairs using a white erase board and access to scriptures with a matching word list for access with the appropriate fill in words.
5. Miraculous Happenings
If you could be part of any miraculous or other happening recorded in Christian history, what would it be and why? For example, how would you feel if you were in Bethlehem at the time of the birth of Jesus, or in the midst of the parting of the Red Sea or amongst those who were miraculously healed at the Grotto in Lourdes, France in the 19th Century and beyond?
6. God Thoughts
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of God? This could be another activity where everyone participates on both an individual and group basis with either writing out the answer on a separate sheet of paper or on a white erase or chalkboard with answers being given in a spontaneous fashion. A twist with this activity would be what was your first thought of God as a child?
7. Greatest Christians (past and present)
Who do you were some of the greatest Christians alive today or from the past. With this question, the answers can span from the time of the New Testament to the 21st Century. Examples could include great pastors, prophets, theologians, saints, etc. For example, Billy Graham, Mother Teresa and Norman Vincent Peale. Try to come up with at least ten (10) individuals from the past and present that have had major influences in Christianity.
8. Me, Myself and I
In looking at yourself in general, what are three things you really like about yourself? Another twist on this same topic could include what would you change about yourself that would help you become a better Christian?
What event, occurrence, or circumstance in your life led you to become a Christian? Was there a major turning point that led to acceptance? This could be either an individual or group activity that would help to put others at ease and to compare answers that might be similar in nature.
10. What's My Line
The old television program from the 50's and late 60's provides interesting input for Christian icebreakers. Everyone in the group is asked to jot down three different things about themselves and their line of work or vocation that is unknown to the others in the group. At least two of the items are true and one is not. Each group member presents their facts to the group and then everyone takes a vote as to which item about the person is not true. This activity can have surprising turnarounds as well as help others to get to know one another. It can be done with an erase board approach or with individual note cards or colored paper.
11. Christian Books & Movies
What Christian book or movie that you read or viewed recently, or in the past, would you recommend to others in the group that best represents Christian life today and true biblical history? Let the whole group brainstorm and come up with the top five books and movies that have had a major impact on Christians and others.
12. Biblical Person Encounter
If you were able to visit heaven, what biblical person would you talk to besides Jesus? For example, the Apostle Paul would be someone from the New Testament era that would provide hours of dialogue and inspiration.
13. Christian Influence
What Christian person that you have met and known has had the most influence in your life and why? That person could be a pastor, close friend, stranger, or mentor. Think about whether that individual caused a turning point in your Christian walk.
14. Christian Church Dilemmas
Today's Christian church faces many problems. If you were able to have influence over just one of those problems, what would that problem be and how would you try to change it? Many would probably want to talk about the persecution that Christians face around the world today, the banishment of prayer or the tearing down of Christian monuments.
15. Weekly High-point
Looking back on your week (or the past few days), what was the most enlightening event or encounter that struck you as memorable and lasting? Perhaps a smile, handshake or a few encouraging words brought a feeling of well-being and confidence to your week. Maybe interfacing with a less fortunate person in a positive way or helping someone facing difficulty would be a reminder of what a Christian outlook can do for others outside of your inner circle
There are hundreds of ideas and variations of ideas and activities that can be used as icebreakers for most any Christian gathering. They usually take up a small amount of time at the beginning of a get-together but are meant to put those in attendance at ease and more comfortable with the subject matter that is going to be discussed or studied later on in the meeting. One way to help people to intermingle with one another and know more about each other is with the use of short and interactive activities, and some of those listed here can help get a group get off to a good start.
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