An effective ice-breaker question can make or break most Bible studies. It is important to start off on the right foot with your group members, and a well-crafted ice-breaker question can help you do just that. Ice-breaker questions have a few important characteristics:
- A good ice-breaker question will have no wrong answer. Can you imagine the sheer panic a group member or a guest might feel if you started the Bible study with a complex question? Or how about starting the study with a question that requires a high degree of biblical knowledge? Most people would simply sit that out and let other people answer. They would be afraid they would get the answer wrong and prove their lack of knowledge. A good ice-breaker will not have a wrong answer. It encourages people to share an answer because they know they won’t be embarrassed by giving an incorrect one.
- A good ice-breaker question will encourage people to share stories. A good ice-breaker will lead people to share bits and pieces of their lives as they respond. By crafting ice-breakers that have this quality, the relationships of group members are strengthened as they respond with personal stories. These stories allow them to connect at the heart level, and that’s great for building biblical community.
- A good ice-breaker question will be open-ended. As you develop an ice-breaker question, make sure it ends up being an open-ended question. Don’t ask a question that takes your group to a dead-end. Don’t ask a question that looks like you’re fishing for a particular answer.
- A good ice-breaker question will incline people’s hearts toward the topic of the Bible study. A good ice-breaker question will not only get people talking, but will also direct people’s attention towards the topic of the Bible study. As the study progresses, group members will begin to realize how the opening question created a bridge to the lesson. Good ice-breakers help people organize their thoughts, share stories, experience success (no wrong answers), and focus attention on the topic at hand.
Here are few examples of good and bad ice-breakers:
- Why did Jesus tell Peter to feed His sheep 3 times?
- Do you enjoy watching movies at home or in the theater?
- In light of your understanding of first-century customs, why is it significant that Jesus spoke to the woman at the well?
- If you had one big mistake you could re-do, which one would it be?
- What’s the most courageous act you’ve ever seen?
- What are some employee benefits you’d get excited about?
- What often gets you sidetracked during the day?
- When have you been entrusted with an important task?