50 Icebreaker Questions for Church Small Groups
Icebreaker questions can provide groundwork for later conversations — both serious and fun. ("Weren't you the one whose favorite snack is raw oysters?!") Use them thoughtfully as your church small group grows closer, moving from easier questions to more probing. Asking good questions and allowing honest answers without judgment allows your members to grow and flourish together in a small group setting.
On the Surface
- What is the story behind the time you went the longest without sleep?
- What is a quirky or unusual fear that you have?
- What's something in you house you want to get rid of but can't? (Please no naming your spouse or children!)
- What is the biggest way you've changed since you were a child? In what way are you still the same?
- If you are at the zoo, what animal do you enjoy watching most and why?
- Have you ever bought something matching with someone or were forced by a family member to wear matching outfits?
- What was your best/worst surprise?
- What is one of your biggest pet peeves?
- What was your first vehicle?
- As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?
- If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- What has been your favorite road trip or vacation?
Organize Bible Study snacks with an online sign up! SAMPLE.
- How would you describe your favorite meal — appetizer, drink, entree and/or dessert?
- If they were to make a documentary about your life, what would be your favorite scene?
- What is one fictional character that you wish was a real person?
- What is an item of clothing you wore over and over as a kid?
- If you had to do your prom or wedding over again, what would you change? (Besides your date or spouse!)
- What is the messiest job you've ever had or the biggest mess you've ever cleaned up? (If you are eating, you may want to save this question for last.)
- What movie or book does everyone love that you don't like at all?
- It's Friday night after a terribly busy week, how do you spend it?
- What is one favorite activity from childhood you wish you could do now?
- What is your favorite mode of transportation: plane, train, automobile, bike or boat?
- What is the most unique thing you have every ordered online or had to go shopping to find?
- What is a home project, craft or hobby that you tried that didn't go so well?
- A favorite icebreaker is putting one person on the "hot seat" (with their permission) and asking them a series of questions quickly, such as:
- What is your favorite road trip snack?
- Three apps on your phone you can't live without?
- What is one thing you are passionate about?
A Little Deeper
- Who has been a spiritual hero in your life?
- What's one unique role you had in the family you were brought up in? (For example: oldest, baby, funny person, organizer, peacemaker, black sheep.)
- If you got something spiritual tattooed on your body, what it would be and what would it symbolize? If you already have a spiritual tattoo, why did you get it? What does it symbolize?
- If you are married, what was the moment you knew you were in love with your spouse? If you are single, what's an important trait you look for in a partner?
- What is something important a grandparent or older mentor taught you?
- What book or story has had the biggest impact on you (aside from the Bible)?
- In the Bible, God give some figures "new names." What would you want your new name to be and why? (These can be characteristics, something funny or even just a favorite name with a good association.)
Plan a small group potluck with an online sign up! SAMPLE.
- What is one spiritual tradition you have or always have wanted to have in your life or family?
- What is one worship song or lyric that has really spoken to your heart?
- What is a comfort item you had as a child or something you loved about your bedroom that comforted you?
- Even if you have moved a lot, everyone has a "heart home." What is that place for you?
- Take a minute to brag about yourself. What is one accomplishment people might not know about that makes you proud?
- If you were going on a spiritual retreat, what three things (besides your Bible) would you take and why?
- What would your perfect day look like?
- John 14:2 tells us "My Father's house has many rooms …" What would your heavenly room be like?
Schedule a prayer chain vigil with an online sign up! SAMPLE.
- What is a hard-learned lesson from your life?
- What prayer have you been praying the longest? Alternately, what prayer has been answered for you recently?
- If you could ask Jesus to change one problem in the world today, which problem would you pick?
- Tell us about the most inspirational thing you have experienced (Bible verse, artwork, book, nature, person)?
- What is a memorable quote or scripture verse that has changed you?
- As you grow older, what is one quality you hope to retain (besides a sound mind)?
- What is a trip or experience that had a big spiritual impact on you and why?
- Finish this sentence, "In order for a small group to feel safe, I need …"
- Think about your best spiritual friend. What do they do to encourage you?
- When was a time when someone showed you deep compassion/love like Jesus?
There's no need to start your church small group out with awkward silence. Most everyone loves the chance to talk about themselves (even if other people need to go first!), so warm up your small group with a few of these fun and thought-provoking icebreaker questions.
Julie David is married to a worship pastor and after 20 years in ministry together with three daughters, she is still developing the tender balance of thick skin and gracious heart. She currently leads a small group of high school girls.