By: Katherine Fedor
How can you make your LifeGroup gathering engaging and interesting from the very first few minutes? How do you get people to start talking and feel comfortable right away? Try some low-key, open-ended questions and some fun games!
Icebreakers can sometimes feel forced or uncomfortable, but leaning into them can be a great way to help your group make memories and get to know each other. Start breaking the ice, killing the awkward silence, and getting to know the people in your group in a fun way by pulling out these questions and games next time you meet.
15 Icebreaker Questions
- Do you (or would you) like to travel? What is a place you’ve always wanted to visit?
- What language would you learn if you could learn one instantly? Why that one?
- If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?
- Do you prefer sweet or salty for a snack? What’s a favorite treat for you?
- How did you get your first job? What did you learn from it? (Or what is a job you would like to have in the future?)
- What is your favorite holiday and why?
- What is your favorite movie genre? What type of character would you want to play if you had to act in a movie?
- Who would you choose to play you in a movie about your life?
- What was a favorite way to spend your free time when you were a kid?
- Do you prefer texting, social media messaging, emails, phone calls, or talking face to face?
- What are some pet peeves you have?
- What was your favorite class in school?
- If you had to choose one meal to eat every day for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?
- Did you have a pet growing up? What was it like?
- What’s the first thing you remember ever learning about Jesus? Where did you first hear about Him?
5 Fun and Easy Group Games
- Who am I? Place a name tag on everyone’s back as they come in the door with a famous person’s name on it (a well-known music artist, athlete, actor, book or movie character, biblical person, etc.). Have everyone ask yes/no questions of each other until they can guess whose name is on their back. Give extra clues to anyone who is stuck for too long.
- The Vegetable Game. Go around the circle and have each person say the name of a vegetable without letting their teeth show as they speak by keeping their lips curled over their teeth. No repeats. Keep going around until you can’t think of any more vegetables or people expire from laughter.
- I Like/You Like. Take turns going clockwise around the circle each saying something you like. It could be a food, an activity, a place, a movie, a book, a game, a music artist, an actor, something people do, etc. This will often generate discussion, with others who feel the same or feel differently speaking up. Go around the circle a few times without repeating any items. You could keep it as simple as that, or you could add complexity by then going counterclockwise around the circle and trying to say something that the person on your right previously said they like! (You like …)
- True For You
- Objective: Find something you have in common with someone else so you can sit in their spot.
- Gather a loose circle of seats so there’s a spot for everyone to sit except you.
- Have everyone else sit down while you stand in the middle of the circle.
- Explain that you will say something that is true for you (that they would not know just by looking at you), and then everyone else for whom the statement is also true will need to stand up immediately and find a different seat.
- When people get up to move, you try to sit in someone’s spot.
- Whoever is left without a chair stands in the middle and makes the next true statement about themselves. It can be anything true that you can’t tell by looking at them: I like strawberry ice cream; I’ve been to Colorado; My favorite color is blue; I enjoy swimming; I have a brother; I don’t like pickles, etc.
- You’ll learn what things various people in the group have in common, and you’ll get people laughing and active as they jump up and compete for seats. Continue as long as people are having fun.
- Ping Pong Air Hockey
- Objective: Keep the ping pong ball from falling off the table in your territory by blowing it away from you!
- You’ll need one ping pong ball and a table your group can gather around.
- Move chairs away from the table (a dining room table is perfect). Everyone stands or kneels evenly spread around the table and claims their fair part of the table edge with their hands placed to either side of where they are standing. The more people, the smaller each person’s territory will be. Each person will have the backs of their hands up against the backs of the hands of the person to their left and right, on the edge of the table.
- Place the ping pong ball in the center of the table, and on the count of three everyone starts blowing toward the ball, to keep it away from their section of the table edge.
- If the ball falls off the table between your hands, you’re out. You may not lean any part of your body against the table to block the ball (your hands only mark the border of your area). Once the ball has gone off the table, that one person steps away and everyone adjusts their hands to take a little more area so it’s evenly shared again.
- Keep playing until there are two people left and they each have half the table. Others who are watching can mark the boundaries with their hands for the final round because the remaining contestants will probably not be able to reach. May the strongest lungs win! Congratulate your winner and play again with everybody back in again.
Each person is unique and every group dynamic is different, even from week to week.
Asking non-threatening questions, playing easy-to-learn games, and laughing together can create strong bonds and open people’s hearts to share. Look around at your group members during the icebreaker questions and games and try to take stock of whether everyone is enjoying the activity. Make games shorter or longer based on how well they’re working. Every person is unique and every group dynamic is different, even from week to week. So, adapt to the mood and who’s there.
Help anyone who is struggling to come up with a contribution or answer or to play the game. Some people are more competitive than others, but the goal is really to get to know one another, deepen relationships, and make a safe space for everyone to be themselves. You’ve got this!