One critical factor to getting a group to work together well is helping people connect socially. This is the reason for “icebreaker” games and questions. They help break the social “ice” and get people talking to one another. But most of the time icebreakers are just silly. They’re almost as embarrassing to ask as they are to answer.
I keep a book handy on my e-reader called What’s Your Story?: Icebreaker Questions for Small Groups by Cheryl Shireman. In the introduction Cheryl says, “You don’t know a person until you know their story.” The author, who has extensive experience working with church small groups, knows everyone has a story. So her questions are designed to “prompt us to tell our stories.”
She divides the book into three categories of questions: Getting to Know You (factual, surface level), Getting to Know What You Thihnk (experiences, thoughts on various subjects) and Getting to Know What You Feel (more thought and reflection required). Some of Cheryl’s questions fall into that “too cheesy to mention” category, but many of them are funny, interesting, and effective. She has literally hundreds of questions, but here are 20 icebreaker questions you may actually use.
- What is your middle name and is there a story behind it?
- What was the last movie you watched?
- What do you love about your job?
- Who was your favorite teacher and why?
- What bones have you broken, and how?
- What is a waste of time?
- What perfume or cologne do you wear?
- Where were you born?
- If you could afford to, what would you pay someone else to do for you?
- Have you ever won any type of competition?
- What was your first job?
- What is the most physically demanding thing you’ve ever done?
- If you could possess the singing ability of any singer, who would it be?
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- What was one of the best phone calls you ever received?
- What topic is too serious to joke about?
- If you could witness any one event from the past, what would it be?
- If you could learn to do anything what would you do?
- When you review your life what amazes you most?
- What lesson does God have to teach you over and over again?
Which questions on the list above are your favorite? What are some icebreaker questions you would add?