20 Christian Icebreakers for Small and Big Groups of All Ages
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. For this reason, Christian icebreakers prove useful, no matter you want to accommodate small or large groups of teens or adults.
We have talked about icebreaker games many times before, mostly because they make an excellent method to spark up conversations and build interpersonal relationships. Before we begin, we recommend you check out our guide on the best youth group icebreakers for examples and inspiration. You can adapt many of them into Christian youth icebreakers and turn any meeting into a success.
As we all know, icebreakers are one way to get the talks flowing no matter the makeup of the group or the topics to be studied or covered. There are a number of Christian-oriented icebreakers for you to use at church, workshops, or meetings that you can use with almost any age group. See below our collection of 15 Christian icebreakers suggested today.
15 Christian Icebreakers for Small or Big Groups of Any Age
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.
You can use and adapt the same idea focusing on 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 a family tradition of assigning and carrying on names. We also recommend you to check out our guide on icebreaker games for high school students. For instance, you can start with the Crossword Names game and spin it so that it works great for the “What Makes Me Blessed” game as well.
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.
This icebreaker works excellently with teens – as young peoples’ innocent yet profound questions might surprise even the most seasoned of pastors or facilitators. On the other hand, it works especially well with adults, whose questions could spark not only the conversation per se but also constructive debates.
When it comes to getting your inspiration to build interesting Christian icebreakers for adults, we recommend you to take a look at our guide on icebreaker games for adults. For instance, as a facilitator, you could start with a spin on the game “All My Neighbors” and give it a Christian connotation. The game helps the group understand better the values and world views of the other participants in a fun, relaxed way.
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. It is also one of the best Christian icebreakers for kids, as the little ones are familiar since the earliest ages with iconic Biblical figures.
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.
The main takeaway here is that you can adjust the difficulty of this Christian icebreaker to the age group that you work with, its size, and its Biblical studies levels of knowledge.
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? As Christian icebreakers for kids, teens, or adults go, this game is a fantastic way to verify your group’s knowledge, boost their imagination, and allow each member to express their deepest thoughts and feelings towards some of the most crucial Biblical events.
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 think 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 on Christianity and all of its branches. You could research some well-known Christian personalities from other lesser-known countries, such as the ones from Eastern Europe. There are many regions on this globe where Christianity is taken seriously and where you can find a lot of inspirational figures.
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? This isn’t just a fun icebreaker, but also a great exercise in strengthening your faith, solidifying your beliefs, and turning yourself into a better person. You could also try to do it alone at home when you feel like it so that you can try and be more sincere with yourself than you would normally tend to be surrounded by many people (and especially by people you barely even know).
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. Not only that, but you can make the game about anything that might have to do with your faith one way or another. Try, for example, thinking about a job that was described in the Bible, such as carpentry. How did working as a carpenter lead you to Christianity? See what we mean? You can ask yourself multiple such questions if you’re feeling creative enough.
10. What’s My Line
The old television program from the 50’s and late ’60s provides interesting input for Christian icebreakers. Everyone in the group should 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.
This activity is a variation of the game “Tow Truths and a Lie” and works very well with small and medium groups of adults. As Christian icebreakers go, you can adapt it so that people say two true things about their beliefs or spiritual life and one lie. While it is a fun game, it can also open the door for more profound discussions about shared life experiences, concerns, and ideas.
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. Then, discuss those works, debate, and compare notes. It is a great way to encourage people to share opinions and different, maybe divergent points of view. Moreover, finding other people who share common interests is great for each group member. Who knows, maybe some people in the group start a book or movie club, strengthen friendships, and make new acquaintances.
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. Challenge a group of teens or adults to answer such questions and offer their own take on things. The conversation really gets interesting once people start mentioning Judas or other “negative” characters. How so? Well, there are a lot of things you can learn about human nature by theoretically speaking to, let’s say, Doubtful Thomas or Pontius Pilate.
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. Starting from here, the group can learn plenty about its members, share similar or divergent opinions, start a constructive debate, and bond through shared emotions and experiences. It’s fun and you might be able to discover things that you’ve never even thought about before.
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. As a facilitator, make sure this icebreaker does not turn into an intense political debate that splits the group, angers people, or deters the shy ones from speaking out. It’s better to be safe than sorry. And while venting out anger is often beneficial, it can also stir a lot of trouble if left unchecked. We can’t stress this enough, but you’ll have to be very careful with how you question the people in your group and how you interpret their answers so that you can all avoid meaningless fights.
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. Positive thoughts deserve to be shared with others, as they can have a powerful influence on the individual.
Other Adapted Christian Icebreakers You Can Try
There are hundreds of ideas and variations of ideas and activities that you can use as icebreakers for almost any Christian gathering. They usually take up a small amount of time at the beginning of a get-together. Their purpose is to put those in attendance at ease and make them more comfortable with the subject matter that is going to be discussed or studied later on in the meeting. Evidently, you can adapt many other games and group activities to become Christian icebreakers as well. Here are some more ideas and examples:
- The Christian adaptation of the Icebreaker Bingo game;
- The “Ask a Question” game, inspired by team-building icebreakers; it is a simple exercise you could try with a group of teens who are generally shy;
- The “Would You Rather” game, inspired by team icebreakers, where the members of the group should answer questions along the lines of “would you rather be there when Jesus performed miracles or when Noah built the Ark?” Discussing why would people choose one against the other option is an excellent conversation and debate starter;
- A “Never Have I Ever” game with Christian, church, or spiritual themes that brings people together, allows them to share experiences, have some fun, and begin more serious constructive debates on how to be a better Christian in everyday life.
- The classic game of 20 Questions, one of the most popular “Get to Know You” games and activities that you can use as a facilitator to break the ice and allow people to become more comfortable with each other, especially if this is their first group meeting.
Christian Icebreakers: Bottom Line
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 gets off to a good start. Religion and beliefs can spark heated conversations, so as a facilitator, make sure you have all things under control. Keep your group open to communication and sharing, emphasizing and praising the things that brought them together while respecting and even celebrating the things that set them apart.
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