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Icebreakers, Planning May 13, 2014

10 Things Icebreakers Should Not Do

My love for icebreakers has never been a secret.

I even recently shared Why Women’s Ministry Events Need Great Icebreakers.

Here’s the thing though, not all icebreakers are great.

Not all icebreakers are fun.

Some even make the participants feel stupid.

10 Things Icebreakers Should Not Do - Tips on keeping your icebreakers from failing.

I was at an event a while back and we played several individual icebreaker games – the winners each received a door prize.

One particular game ruffled my feathers. We were given approximately 10 really hard, random trivia questions to answer.

Two were Bible based, so if your Bible knowledge is lacking you were at a disadvantage.

I heard many others around me grumbling about how hard it was.

Instead of being fun, it was frustrating.

If we had played in teams, rather than individually, I think the response would have been much different.

That got me to thinking about other ways that icebreakers “go wrong”.

I hope this list of 10 Things Icebreakers Should Not Do will prevent any icebreakers you do from being a “fail”.

Icebreakers should not:

1. Make anyone feel stupid

  • Trivia-type games should be played in teams
  • Assume there are women in attendance with little to no Bible knowledge

2. Humiliate anyone

  • Always ask for volunteers
  • For something really silly/messy recruit a willing friend

3. Cause division

  • Prizes should be minimal to eliminate any jealousy (such as small candies)
  • Create new teams for each icebreaker
  • Stay far away from controversial topics (breastfeeding, politics, homeschooling, etc.)

4. Exclude someone from participation

  • Take into account the physical limitations of your specific group

5. Reinforce cliques

  • Divide your women into teams – by color, numbers, stickers, etc.

6. Be boring

  • Your icebreaker coordinator needs to be exciting and fun
  • Choose an icebreaker you would want to do and sell it!

7. Take time away from the speaker/program for the evening

  • Know the time you have and plan accordingly
  • Wrap things up quickly if things get out of control in any way
  • Be prepared – have supplies ready to go and practice the icebreaker if needed

8. Encourage the sharing of secrets or lies

  • It’s just not Biblical
  • Be prepared to squelch any “over-sharing”

9. Cause discomfort or anxiety

  • Always give them the option to choose another question or skip an item
  • Take care not to put anyone on the spot

10. Violate any church policies

  • If you’d be embarrassed if the pastor came in during the icebreaker – don’t do it!
  • Use wisdom when choosing music, content, video clips, etc.

Looking for great icebreakers?

You’ll find lots more here and on my Pinterest page.

Follow wmtoolbox’s board wmtoolbox – icebreakers and games on Pinterest.

Icebreakers, Planning April 29, 2014

Why Women’s Ministry Events Need Great Icebreakers

As Women’s Ministries strive to be more relevant some have chosen to eliminate icebreakers and games.

Can I suggest that we not be so hasty?

While I do believe we should update many games and handouts, there is still a time and place for an intentional icebreaker or game.

Why Women's Ministry Events Need Great Icebreakers

Here are 6 reasons Why Women’s Ministry Events Need Great Icebreakers:

    1. Women need a reason to mix and mingle with others outside of their social circles. Let’s face it – it’s so much easier for women to visit with old friends. Great good can come from forcing them outside of their group for a few minutes.
    2. God can use icebreakers to make connections among the women at your event. Details are shared that might never be otherwise. Whether it’s the love of the same hobby, a shared travel destination, or a Christmas tradition, creating means for such details to be shared reveals similar hearts and journeys. God may even reveal a potential mentoring relationship.
    3. You are creating a memorable experience for that group of women to share. Our MOPS team will never forget the wealth of items found in Stephanie’s car during the Car Scavenger Hunt.
    4. It will fill their mouths with laughter (Psalm 126:2). Give your women a reason to smile and laugh. Our entire group got tickled over the team that listed a cabana boy as one of their items when we played “Marooned
    5. Mental breaks are needed during retreats, conferences, and other longer events. Your women will absorb more of God’s message for them after having an opportunity to move and laugh.
    6. Icebreakers can provide an active opportunity to reinforce the message of your event.

Purposeful icebreakers can provide great points of connection for the women attending your events.

Do you include icebreakers in your Women’s Ministry events?

How well are they received by your women?

Looking for additional icebreakers? You’ll find lots more here and on my Pinterest page.

Follow wmtoolbox’s board wmtoolbox – icebreakers and games on Pinterest.

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Valentine's January 28, 2014

Valentine Icebreaker Questions (Free Printable)

 Valentine Icebeaker Questions

I love a good set of icebreaker questions!

These Valentine Icebreaker Questions are perfect for:

  • Women’s Ministry Team Meeting
  • Women’s Ministry Fellowship
  • Bible Study Group
  • Small Group
  • College Group
  • Valentine Breakfast
  • Sweetheart Banquet
  • Valentine Party

Print and cut them out (click the link below for the free PDF) and place them in a Valentine-themed bag or bowl.

Valentine Icebreaker Questions

Have each participant to draw one slip to answer. In a smaller group setting you may wish to have everyone answer the same 3-5 questions.

However you choose to use them, the goal is to get the group to share and connect with each other.

Sometimes the silliest answers will provide a great point of connection for two people who didn’t know they had that common bond.

Sometimes questions trigger a sad or difficult memory. Other times questinos just draw a blank. I like to give the option of drawing one new question to help folks through the stumbling blocks.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope your group has fun with the questions and gets to know one another better!

You may also want to check out:

5 Keys to a Successful Sweetheart Banquet
10 Things I’ve Learned About Sweetheart Banquets
Not-so Newlywed Game Script
10 Sweetheart Banquet Ideas
The Great Valentine Candy Pass
Free Printable Valentine Verses

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