When getting together for a women's club or Bible study group, it may be important to you to start your night off with a fun activity to help everyone get to know one another and facilitate discussion. While you can definitely branch out or adjust the activities to fit your group, use these suggestions to get started. You are only limited by your creativity.
Have the women partner up. Ask one woman to volunteer to be without sight. Either supply blindfolds or have the women close their eyes. Ask the sighted partner to lead the blindfolded woman to a tree (if outside) or an object in the room. Ask the blindfolded partner to feel the object or tree, then have everyone led back in the middle. Then ask everyone to open their eyes. Have the women who were blindfolded try and guess which object they were led to. Use this as a springboard for a discussion about how Christ sometimes leads us to places we do not expect and how we have to use guesswork and reliance on friends and family to get through these times.
This activity should be done only by those who feel they are able. This activity would not be appropriate with physically disabled or elderly members.
Have the women pair off and have one woman volunteer to fall and the other volunteer to catch. Tell the woman who will be falling to turn her back to her partner and ask the catcher to raise her arms and get ready. When the faller is ready, have her lean back to fall into her partner's arms. Use this activity to discuss the importance of relying on Christ when we feel blinded by circumstances beyond our control. You can also discuss the importance of relying on girlfriends and other Christian women during times that test your faith.
Throwing a Ball
A rather simple game, this can be used as an icebreaker for everyone to get to know each other's names. Have the women stand in a circle. Pass a small (and soft) ball around the circle, asking each woman to say her name. Once the ball has gone around, throw the ball to someone, but first say her name and make eye contact with her. The rule is that you cannot throw the ball before saying someone's name and making eye contact with her. Afterward, discuss the importance of individuality and the church. How important is it to feel included and called by name when you come together to pray or come to church?
On small index cards, write labels you might give to a woman in idle gossip--for example, "snobby," "rude," "nerd," "arrogant" or "queen bee". Tape one to everyone's back, making sure each player has not seen what was put on her back. For about two minutes, ask the women to mingle, treating each other like the label the woman has on her back but not revealing the word. After the two minutes, have the women look at their cards. Discuss acceptance and the importance Jesus places on it. Have them talk about how it felt to be labeled as something they were not aware of or what factors get in the way of accepting others fully.
If you are interested in more games to play at your church meetings, try reading Augusto Boal's games for actors and non-actors. Boal's techniques are meant to facilitate conversation about the world around us through "drama games" just like the ones above. While not all of his exercises will be appropriate for all groups, many can be modified to fit your group and start poignant discussions.
Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on Overstock.com, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.