One of the best parts of my job of being a pastor is that I am able to lead two small groups. I have been a small group leader for about thirteen years as I believe strongly in the value and benefits of small groups. There are many things that I love about being involved in small groups but often the main reason that people join a group is to get to know other people better. Now don’t misunderstand me, I know that people join groups to learn and study the Bible  more and even to be involved in service projects and other activities, but I think that most people, deep down inside, join groups because they want and yearn to be closer connected to other people. In these groups friendships are often developed that help people grow together to be more like Jesus. I say all of that to tell you how committed that I am to small groups.
Small Group Leader
The small group leader is very important to the group. This sounds like a simple statement but it is oh so critical. I have the privilege of overseeing the small group ministry in our church and I love investing in the lives of our leaders. There are many key elements to being a good small group leader but one thing that is so important to the group is to have everyone be involved in every aspect of the group. This includes the Bible Study discussion and prayer time too. These reasons are why I am writing this article today.
I believe that having ice breakers in the beginning of a small group meeting will often help the discussion and prayer  time to be something that everyone will join in and be engaged with. A good ice breaker will get people talking and many times laughing and ultimately bonding with the other group members. When we use the emotions and laugh and cry together, we will begin to form and also continue to deepen our bonds with each other.
Ice Breaker Questions
- If your house was burning down, what three objects would you try to save?
- What comes to your mind when you think about God?
- Tell me the high point of your week.
- If you are at a friend or relative’s house for dinner and you find a hair in your salad, what would you do?
- If you could have dinner with any person alive in the world today, who would that be?
- If you could ask God one question right now, what would it be?
- Name one person that is not a family member that has had the greatest influence in your life.
- If you were banished to a dessert island, would you rather be there alone or with your worst enemy?
- If you could go back and visit any time period, what time would you travel to and why?
- If you had to give up one of your senses (hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling, tasting) which would it be and why?
- What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
- What is your favorite TV show and why?
- If you had to live this week over again, would you change anything? If so, what would that be?
- Talk about a purchase that you made sometime in your life that you regret.
- If you were a kitchen appliance, which one would you be and why?
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would that be?
- Tell everyone to write on a piece of paper 3 things about themselves which may not be known to the other members in the group. Two of these things are true and one is not. Have each person take turns and read out the three ‘facts’ about themselves. After this is done, have everyone vote as to which of the 3 is not true. There are always surprises when you do this. This activity is not about becoming a good liar but simply a fun ice breaker that helps the group and leaders get to know more about each other.
- Tell us about a book or movie that you have watched recently and would recommend to the group.
- If you could take a vacation right now, where would you go?
- If you could visit heaven right now and talk with one of the people of the Bible (other than Jesus), whom would you talk to?
- Name a gift you will never forget?
- If you had the power to change one problem in the world today, what would that problem be?
- What is one thing you really like about yourself?
- Does your first or middle name have any significance (or were you named after another family member)?
- Tell me the first thing that you ever remember in your life.
In my opinion, icebreakers are not just something to do once in a while to change things up. I try to use one before every group meeting. This list is just a starting point as there are many more. You will be amazed at the discussions and conversations that will be started by opening your group meeting with an ice breaker question. My guess is that the people that are reading this article are probably group leaders . If you are a group leader, you may have some others that you like better than these. I encourage you to bless us all and add any icebreaker you have in the comment section.
Leading a small group takes hard work and I believe this includes not just showing up with your study in hand but think through how you will get people talking and comfortable so that when you study the Bible later on in your group, everyone will feel welcome and encouraged to join in.
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