One of the hardest things about leading student small groups is starting off on the right foot. Usually you have one or two students who are the life of the party. They feel comfortable talking and being the center of conversation. But then you have a few students that are shy or maybe they don’t feel comfortable enough with the group to join in the conversation. So how do you start your student small group off on the right foot in a way that makes all the students comfortable. Also, how do you get them interacting and listening to each other. A great way to do this is ask icebreaker questions. Questions that pull students out of their comfort zones and answering funny (or sometime serious) questions that usually helps the group laugh or interact with each other. I want to share with you three great resources that I have used to get my students interacting, laughing, and listening to each other during small groups.
Icebreaker Questions iPhone App. I ran across this app on the More Than Dodgeball blog. It’s a handy iPhone app that has tons of icebreaker questions for your students. It even has questions to use with kid and adult small groups. All you do is open the app, pick am age group (kids, students, or adults), and start asking the questions. The app cost $0.99 in the app store, but is worth it.
The Complete Book of Questions: 1001 Conversation Starts for Any Occasion. My campus pastor pulled this book out a few months ago before a staff meeting and since then I have used it with my middle school guys small group. This helpful book is packed with tons of questions that help start funny and serious conversations with your students. What I like about this book is it’s split up between starter, funny, serious, and spiritual questions. Out of the three resources in this blog this is the one I would recommend most. It’s a great book to have handy when you want to break the ice with your students at small group.
Throw and Tell Balls from Group. I purchased one of these balls a few years ago at SYMC and didn’t realize how much my students would enjoy it. Basically it’s a blow up, beach ball sized ball that has a ton of questions on it. You throw the ball around the group and make the students answer which ever question one of their fingers lands on (I usually say right pointer finger, but you can do whatever you want). Group has made two versions of this ball: icebreaker and storytellers. The icebreaker ball is covered with simple icebreaker questions and the storytellers ball is covered with questions that make the student answer in story mode.
I hope you find a few of these resources helpful when it comes to leading student small groups. If you have another resource that you find helpful please share it below in the comment section.