Icebreakers make the best beginning for any gathering. Be it an office meeting or a family get-together, a school reunion or a party, icebreaker activities serve as excellent energizers in gatherings of all kinds. They function as effective conversation starters and add to the fun element of a get-together. Let us look at some interesting ways of breaking the ice at a church gathering.
Knowledge of your Religion
This is one interesting icebreaker game, where each participant is asked quick questions revolving around the basic knowledge of Christianity. As an extension to this game, you can divide the guests into teams of 4 or 5 and provide each team with a handout carrying a pre-designed passage. Ask each team to select Bible-related terms or Bible characters from the given passage. The team that finds the maximum terms is declared as the winner.
You could encourage the participants to recite their favorite Bible verse or share something that they have learned from the Bible.
Which Biblical Figure You Are
Ask the participants which Biblical figure they associate themselves with the most and why. This activity needs them to think of the different characters in the Bible and their personalities, and which traits of theirs are similar to those of the Biblical figures. This is also a test of their study of the Bible.
Or you could give the team members names of biblical characters. Each member has to describe the character he is given and the others have to guess who he is. Vary this game by giving biblical names to members and having them describe the meanings of those names. This activity tests their knowledge of biblical characters.
And you could always organize common games like truth or dare, pass-the-parcel, musical chairs and Bingo as church gathering icebreakers to get the participants started.
Throw a rapid-fire questionnaire to the guests or allow each of them to take turns to answer some witty, funny icebreaker questions. Start by asking the guests to introduce themselves and gradually turn to some fun-questionnaires. Ask them to relate the most funny moment or the most memorable experience of their life. If you have a children's gathering, ask them about their favorite comic character, favorite food or their hobbies. Such questions allow the participants to know each other, making it easier for them to intermingle.
For this ice breaker activity, you could frame questions like, "Did you encounter God?" or "Which Bible character would you like to be?" or "Share a recently answered prayer." And you are sure to find some really interesting answers coming from the members. This also gives them a platform to share their spiritual experiences. Questions about divinity and spirituality can strike interesting conversations, thus serving as a good beginning for a church gathering.
'Knowing Each Other' Games
What Comes to Mind
This game is a great choice of an icebreaker activity. For this, the guests are divided into two teams such that each one gets a partner. Have one participant from each pair begin with a random word, to which the partner responds with the word that comes to his/her mind reflexively. Listening to different responses is fun, while it also speaks about a person's approach towards life.
Asking each participant to state two words that describe him/her best or to state one thing he loves or hates the most, are some other exercises that help people know each other. To help the kids mingle with each other, ask them to form groups based on those wearing the same color, or those sharing the same birth month, and so on. Group the kids together and help them start a conversation. You could choose to group them in any way, but make sure no one is made to feel excluded.
A game like 'tune in' is a fun way to form teams. Have songs written on pieces of paper and distribute them randomly to the participants. Each bears the name of a song. (The number of songs chosen should be equal to the number of teams you wish to have. Thus, there will be multiple chits with the same song written on them). Each participant has to hum the song written on his paper and go finding others humming the same. Participants with the same song form a team!
Don't let the icebreakers consume all the time of the church gathering. Make sure they are not so childish that the participants feel uncomfortable playing them. Also ensure that they don't make people tend to draw back. Keep the ice-breaking session short and simple. Icebreakers are like the first course of a meal; smaller the better!