When you hold a Christian ladies' retreat, you may have a large group of individuals who are unfamiliar with each other. As one of the purposes of most retreats is to build Christian fellowship and community, making efforts to achieve group cohesiveness is important. A simple way to do this is to lead the group in some ice breaker activities. These activities allow the ladies to get to know each other in fun, relaxed ways. The bonds formed during these activities can carry over throughout the rest of the retreat and beyond.
This activity allows the participants to get to know one other person in the group. To prepare for this activity, compile a brief list of unusual questions. Include questions such as, "What's your strangest talent?," "Which Biblical character are you most like and why?" and "Which compliment do you receive the most?" Instruct the ladies to choose one person in the group with whom they are not acquainted. Once everyone is paired (you may have one group of three if you have an odd number of women), have the ladies interview each other using the questions and write down their partners' responses. Set aside about 10 to 15 minutes for the interviews. Then reconvene and have the ladies share interesting things that they learned about their partners.
Blessings Seat Swap
This game is a way to reflect on God's blessings while getting to know each other. Have the ladies sit in chairs in a circle. There should be one fewer chair than the number of women present. The lady who does not have a chair stands in the middle of the circle to start the game. This person will say, "I am blessed because...," and the woman will fill in the blank. Anyone in the circle who feels she shares the same blessing must get up and move to a different seat. For instance, the woman in the middle might say, "I am blessed because I have kids." Then all of the women with kids would have to get up and move to a different seat. The lady in the middle will rush to find a seat as well. Whoever is left without a seat must move to the middle and go next. Encourage players to think of unusual, specific blessings that might even be humorous, such as being blessed with the ability to juggle or being blessed with five or more siblings.
This game helps emphasize Bible verses and allows time for meeting new people. Purchase some simple three-to-four-piece children's jigsaw puzzles, and spray paint them a solid, light color. Use a different color for each puzzle. Assemble the puzzles, then write a Bible verse on each one using a dark permanent marker. Dismantle the pieces and place the pieces for each puzzle into a separate bag. Randomly distribute one puzzle piece to each woman. Instruct the ladies to find the other women who have the same color piece they have. Tell the people with like-colored pieces to assemble their puzzle and share something about themselves as they add their own pieces to the puzzle. Once all the groups have finished, talk about how God made each person unique, yet each individual fits into the larger Christian body as a whole.
Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.