Icebreakers are a good way for people to get to know each other and become more comfortable in a group. You can use Bible games as icebreakers for new Sunday School classes, retreats, new study groups or new prayer groups. Many traditional icebreakers can be adapted to use the holy text of nearly any religion so long as it is done in a manner that respects the scripture.
Before the group gathers, prepare several pieces of paper with Bible characters, objects or phrases on them. Divide the group into two teams and play a game of charades with each "actor" trying to get the group to figure out what is on the piece of paper. If the actor's team cannot guess after two minutes, the other team gets to try to guess.
Have everyone get up and start walking around. Tell them that you're going to call out a category and then everyone will need to quickly organize themselves into groups according to those categories. You can start out with simple categories such as men and women to practice. Then try categories such as "older or younger than Jesus when he died" or "has visited the country where Joseph was taken as a slave" or "has read the entire Bible, has read parts of it or hasn't read any of it" or "could recite five verses from memory, 20 verses from memory or 100 verses from memory." You could also do categories such as "what is your favorite book of the Bible?" or "Who is your favorite woman from the Bible?" Give them a few moments to introduce themselves to others in their group before moving on to the next category.
Fill a bag with Scrabble tiles or write the letters of the alphabet on separate pieces of paper. Divide participants into small groups. Randomly draw a letter and give each group three minutes to write as many words from the Bible that they can think of that start with that letter. Have each group read their lists aloud. Any words that are duplicated by other groups must be crossed off the list. Each person in the group scores one point for every word left. Then have two people from each group move to two different groups and draw another letter and repeat the process.
Have everyone form two circles with equal numbers of people. One circle should form inside the other circle. Play a recording of religious music and have the two circles walk in opposite directions in their circle until the music stops. Everyone then faces the person in the other circle and talks for 30 seconds on a topic you call out. Alternate whether the inner circle or outer circle will talk for the 30 seconds. Choose Biblical topics such as, "If you could have lunch with any person from the Bible, who would it be and why?" or "If you could change any part of the Bible, what would you change?" or "What is your favorite verse in the Bible?" or "What is the first Bible story you remember being told?"
As a professional writer since 1985, Bridgette Redman's career has included journalism, educational writing, book authoring and training. She's worked for daily newspapers, an educational publisher, websites, nonprofit associations and individuals. She is the author of two blogs, reviews live theater and has a weekly column in the "Lansing State Journal." She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University.
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