Tons of Free Icebreakers and Why They’re Effective (Newsletter 4-12)

Tons of Free Icebreakers and Why They’re Effective
Andrew Mason

When I prepare a small group outline according to the 4 W’s format, I always make sure to use an icebreaker during the “Welcome” segment. At the moment you are planning out your small group, the concept of an icebreaker can seem a little gimmicky or spiritually shallow. However, the moment you gather up your group to begin the meeting, the icebreaker is a highly effective tool in the small group leader’s tool belt.

In the preparation process, I usually develop the icebreaker last even though it comes before 95% of the small group content in regards to sequence. The reason I do this is so I can review the main content of the Word segment and attempt to create or use an icebreaker that will coincide and/or segue into it smoothly. I do not believe your icebreaker must relate to the main theme of your content. Many times, I have used icebreakers that are completely unrelated to what we’ll be discussing in our study. However, as I stated before, I leave the icebreaker creation as my last step to see if there’s a way to tie everything together.

Below is a link to a free download of over 150 Small Group Icebreakers. Before scrolling down furiously, let me encourage you to be patient and look over 3 Reasons Why Icebreakers Are Effective:

1. Icebreakers Acclimate Guests To The Group – I never know exactly who is going to show up to a small group meeting. Most of the time, I have at least one first time attendee present for a session. Icebreakers are a great way to start a meeting that allows a guest to relate to and connect with the rest of the group.

Icebreakers don’t require much relational history in order to engage and participate with. They break down the cold walls of unfamiliarity between people who have just met (hence the term icebreaker).

2. Icebreakers Initiate The Cycle of Dialogue – The goal for a successful small group meeting is participation! Hopefully each person will contribute to the exchange of perspectives and experiences and, Lord willing, people will open up a little towards the end and be vulnerable with each other.

Icebreakers are a strategic way to get people interacting with each other. When it comes to social intimacy you shouldn’t attempt to start your group off in the holy of holies. You got to work your way up to that, even within the context of a single meeting. Icebreakers encourage people to begin communicating on issues and topics that are user-friendly and above-the-surface.

3. Icebreakers Are Fun – Nothing breaks the ice like some laughter in the air. There’s nothing wrong with having serious moments in a small group, but it is helpful to start off on a positive note if possible.
Giving people a chance to talk about their quirkiness, and maybe poke a little fun at themselves, allows for people to get to know each other in an enjoyable way. An effective icebreaker is lighthearted and makes each person crack a smile at some point.

Without further delay, I want to give you access to our free download of over 150 Icebreakers by clicking here. FYI Sometimes I use these icebreakers verbatim when writing an outline and sometimes I scan through them to get my creative juices flowing before creating an original one for my lesson.

Got any effective icebreaker ideas you’ve used or found? Please contribute to the community and share below…

Andrew Mason is the Small Groups Pastor of Real Life Church, a family of churches in the Nor. CA region. He oversees Small Groups and Assimilation. He is Founder of, an online community of leaders dedicated to growing churches one small group at a time. Andrew resides in Sacramento, CA with his wife Camille and their two sons.

The above article, “Tons of Free Icebreakers & Why They’re Effective” was written by Andrew Mason. The article was excerpted from

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”