The 10 Best Icebreaker Questions

The 10 Best Icebreaker Questions

When people come to your small group, their hearts and minds are all over the place. Maybe they are afraid of losing their job, maybe they just had an argument with their spouse, perhaps they are concerned about a wayward teenage child, or they are just excited about their favorite sports team winning a crucial game. Or, maybe they are seeking a new relationship with God and this is their first time at your group.

Because people are thinking about all kinds of different things, it’s helpful near the beginning of the meeting to ask a simple opening question to break the ice. Icebreaker questions, whether shallow or deep, goofy or profound, all have potential to help people to relax, learn to know one another better, and get ready for a great small group meeting.

Here are my current favorite 10 small group icebreaker questions.

  1. What has been a recent high point and low point in your life? This question, in my opinion, might be the best icebreaker question because it reveals what is going on right now in people’s lives and its answer constantly changes. I use this question more than any other. I’ve led groups where we ask this question every week at the beginning of our meetings.
  2. What are you thankful for today? No matter what is going on in people’s lives, everyone has so very much to be thankful for. Asking this question has the same effect as singing a God-centered worship song. It points people’s minds and hearts to his goodness at the onset of your meeting.
  3. Describe your past week in weather terms. (Was it stormy, cloudy, foggy, mostly sunny or what?) This fun icebreaker invites people to quickly describe what is happening in their lives.
  4. What is a challenge you are facing right now? (How could we help you?) Almost everyone is facing some kind of challenge right now, but often they don’t have a reason or an invitation to share it. This question brings it to the surface and then reveals ways that others help and support them.
  5. What is one thing you are looking forward to? All your group members are looking forward to something big or small right now. It’s fascinating to find out what it is.
  6. What is one thing you like to do when you have free time? It’s interesting to learn what people do to relax. Asking this question helps your members and guests learn about an important dimension of one another’s lives.
  7. What is one thing you are really good at? Everyone has something that they are really good at. This question invites them to share that and have a little fun bragging about it.
  8. One fact about me that might surprise you is… What are interesting facts about your members that you are totally unaware of? This question will reveal them.
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up? Do you remember how you used to get asked this question when you were little? But probably no one has asked you it recently. So it’s fun to ask, and to learn what people’s hopes and dreams are.
  10. When did God become more than a word to you? This is the final question of “The Quaker Questions” and is often preceded by several progressively deeper questions. People’s answers are consistently fascinating and faith-building.

I’m always looking for great opening questions. If you want to see my collection of several hundred, head to smallgroupicebreakers.com. Here’s my icebreaker question for you: What is one of your favorite icebreaker questions? I’d love to know. Please share it with us.

This article originally appeared here.

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jimegli@churchleaders.com'
Jim Egli is the Leadership & Missions Pastor at the Vineyard Church in Urbana, IL. He blogs on small groups, discipleship and multisite church ministry at JimEgli.com.