A retreat is a great way to build relationships, enhance your faith, and create an environment for you to meet others. When a group is not acquainted with one another, the overall retreat experience can fall short of expectations. Breaking members out of their comfort zone and making new people feel welcome is not something everyone finds easy. Ice breakers and games are great for relaxing your group and creating an environment where the members can learn about one another in a fun and entertaining way. Unfortunately, adult groups can be more hesitant when they hear the word “games”. Just remember, it doesn’t have to be high energy to be fun. Some are designed to get your group mingling and connecting (and having fun at the same time). Here’s a few to get you started:
Finish the Sentence
This simple game is one that everyone will feel comfortable playing. Each member of the group will introduce themselves and finish a sentence you have prepared in advance such as, “I am blessed because . . .”
Finish the sentence is a good way to get to know what is important to the individuals in the group, but if you are looking for a way to get your group laughing, you may have them answer silly questions about themselves. The fun aspect of this game is you are able to pick the question. Some examples might be, “If you could choose your age forever, what age would you choose and why?”, “If you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be and why?”, “If you were a candy bar, which candy bar would you be and why?”, and “Are you spring, summer, fall or winter? Please share why.” Answering silly questions is fun for everyone in the group.
This game is a fun way to get your group connecting and thinking. To play, the group needs to sit in a circle. One person starts the game with whatever word they would like. The next person must add to that word. You continue the process until everyone has had a turn. For example, if the first person starts with the word yellow, the next person could say sun (yellow sun). The following person could say block (sun block), etc. To keep the game moving quickly you will want to limit the time each person has to come up with a word to a few seconds. You will be amazed by how creative some of the members of the group can be!
You don’t need to be creative to play Bible telephone, but the outcome of this game can be just as humorous as word link! Bible Telephone is just like telephone you may have played at parties when you were a child. Start by picking a short and simple Bible verse. Whisper the verse into the ear of the person next to you. They in turn whisper what they heard to the person next to them. Continue this process until everyone has heard the verse. The last person to hear the verse then says out loud what they heard. It is amusing how much the original verse can be distorted by the end of the game!
This game does require a little planning in advance. If you have ever played the game Pictionary, you know how entertaining it can be! Start by compiling a list of Bible scenes you would like to include in the game. Write each scene on a separate piece of paper. Fold the paper and put them all into a bowl. Separate the group into 2 teams. Each person on the team will have a chance to draw a scene picked from the bowl. As a member of the team is drawing, the rest of the group tries to determine the Bible scene depicted in the drawing. The team is awarded a point when they correctly identify the drawing in a predetermined about of time. The team that has the most points at the end of the game wins.
Winning all depends on the team leader! This game is a great way to get guests mingling. You start by handing out 10 to 15 paperclips to each person as they walk through the door. Designate the first few who enter the room as team leaders. The team leaders should be advised that they are not able to connect to each other. The goal for each team leader is to get the other members of the group to join their team. The team with the longest chain of paperclips wins the game.
There is no winning or losing when playing Bible Basketball, but it is a great way to engage members of a group. For this game, arrange the chairs in a square pattern so that there is an equal amount of chairs on each side. Place a large trash can in the middle. The game is started with a Bible related question. The first person to raise their hand attempts to answer the question. If the question is answered correctly, he or she attempts to make a basket with the basketball. If the basket is missed, the person the ball rolls closest to answers the next question. If the basket is made, the ball can be retrieved and the process starts over. You are not allowed to touch the ball until it stops rolling.
Getting the ball rolling with your group during an event can be challenging, especially for adults. Hopefully these ice breakers and games will help remind guests that kids aren’t the only ones allowed to have fun!