Ideas for Building Your Group Relationally:
Who Am I?—Make up stickers (enough for everyone in your group) with the names of famous people or characters. They can be real, historical, cartoons, muppets… whatever. They should be ones that would be familiar to most of the people in the group. Have people pair up, pick out a sticker without showing their partner, and put it on their partner’s back. The object then is for everyone to figure out who they are. Initially they can ask two questions of another person, such as, “Am I alive today?” or “Am I on TV?” After a while allow them to ask more questions. If people are still struggling to figure it out, tell the others they can start giving clues. This activity is a good one to get people who may not know each other that well to mix and talk with each other.
Things In Common—Have the group pair up (if there is an odd number of people in the room, the game leader can sit out). Give each pair a small piece of paper and a pencil. Give them three to five minutes to list as many things as possible that they have in common… things like, they were born in the same month, or they both live on streets that begin with ‘P,’ or they both wear size 8 shoe… the more interesting or odd, the better. Tell them when there is 30 seconds left. When time is up, have them count the number of things in common. Then start with one group and have them share their lists. Have the group vote thumbs up or thumbs down on questionable items. Continue to allow all groups to share. If you are pressed for time, ask each group just to share the most interesting one or two things they discovered they had in common. If you would like, have a prize for the winners.
Psychiatrist—Send one person (who has no clue what this activity is about) to leave the room and wait somewhere where they cannot hear the rest of the group. Then inform the rest of the group that they have a problem… each one of them thinks they are the person to their left. Give them a few minutes to find out as much as they can about the person to their left (where they were born, what they like to do, where they work, etc.). Then bring the other person back in the room and tell him/her that he/she is a psychiatrist and need to find out what the group’s problem is by asking questions of the individuals in the group. You may need to help the individual get started with some suggestions for questions, like… “Joe, what do you like to do?” or, “Where were you born?” You may want to encourage him to ask the same question to others in the group. If a group member does not know the answer to the question or the answer would give it away too easily, the group member simply can answer, “I don’t know.” After a while you can help the psychiatrist with more clues or more direct answers if needed.
Group Games—There are a number of fun games that are great group games. Taboo is a word game where a person describes a word in order to try to get their team to say it. The trick is there are a number of other words they cannot use to describe the main word. Guesstures is a quick charades‐type game where a person acts out things for their team to guess. Pictionary is a drawing game where teammates guess what is being drawn. Other similar games are also out on the market. If the group is fairly evenly mixed, you could play the men against the women. Otherwise, get creative and mix the group up.
Getting To Know You—Have everyone in the group fill out a paper with these questions on it: What is your favorite food, animal, TV show, hobby, color, place you’ve been on vacation, etc. Make sure names are on the papers and have them handed in to the leader. The leader then reads each paper to the entire group. The group members jot down who they think each paper belongs to. Once all have completed guessing, the leader reveals who’s who. The one who guessed the most right wins.
Show and Tell—Have group members bring something for show and tell that has some spiritual significance to them… (perhaps a necklace or bracelet which reminds them to think about Christ, or an object that represents a significant decision or time of spiritual growth, or a Bible or book given to them by a Christian friend, etc.). Have them share their object and its significance.
Statistical Treasure Hunt—Make a list of things for people to find out about each other… such as how many miles they travel to church, how many phones they have in their house, how many bones they have broken, etc. Divide into groups of four to six people. Add the responses of each group member for each question (if all four people have two phones in their house, they put down eight for that item). Add up responses from all the questions and see which team came up with the highest total. Questions in a Hat—Make a list of questions. Cut them into individual questions and put them in a hat. Pass the hat and have people pick out a question. They can answer it or give it to another person in the group. Another way to do it is pass out a sheet with all the questions and pick corresponding numbers out of the hat. You could also have the option of referring that question to another group member. Give people the opportunity to pass if they truly do not want to address their question.
Two Truths/One Lie—Have group members write down three things on a piece of paper (two things that are true about them and one thing that is a lie). Tell them not to make it obvious. Then read each person’s paper having people guess which item was the lie.
Timeline—Have group members draw a timeline of their life, recounting five major life events. Have each person share his or her timeline.
Three key material possessions—Explain to the group that they have just discovered a major fire in their home. Assuming that they have been able to get their family out safely, what three material possessions would they take with them from their burning home. Have them explain what and why.
Getting to Know You Questions-
• What day of your life would you most like to re‐live and why? • In what area of your life would you like greater peace and why? • What do you find yourself praying about recently? • What is the most important decision facing you in the near future?
PARENTS AND SIBLINGS
• Where were you born? • Where were you raised? • How many brothers and sisters do you have? • Tell a story from your childhood or adolescence that gives insight into your family.
SPOUSE AND CHILDREN
• How did you meet your spouse? • How does your spouse “complete” you? • How many children, if any, do you have and what are their names and ages? • When your children are grown, what would make you think you were successful in raising them?
• If your spouse and children could write your epitaph, what would you want it to say? • What creative things have you done to cultivate romance in your marriage? • What creative ways have you created memories with your children? • What dreams do you have for your future as a couple or as a family?
VOCATION AND EDUCATION
• Where did you go to school? • What did you study or what do you now wish you had studied? • Where do you work, and how do you spend your waking hours? • If you could do anything but what you do now, what would it be?
HOBBIES AND INTERESTS
• What do you enjoy doing with your spare time? • If rich Uncle George died and left you $50,000 that you had to spend and you had one month off, what would you do with the money and time? • What have you never done that you wish you could do?
GOD AND CHURCH
• In what church/denomination, if any, were you raised? • What were you taught about God as a child? • What has been your most significant encounter with God? • Describe the state of your relationship with God now. • Tell us how you experienced conversion? • What has helped you grow in your walk with God? • Who has been the most significant influence in your relationship with God, and why? • What would you like your relationship with God to be five years from now? • When you die and stand before God, what would you like for his first words to you to be? • How are you serving in the church? Is there another ministry in which you would like to be involved? • What has God been teaching you? • What are you reading?
• What area of growth in your (or your spouse’s) character (in the last 3‐6 months) have you been most encourage about? • How have you seen the Lord at work through you in the past several weeks? • What things are you most thankful for in your (church, spouse, friends, workplace, family)? • What have you been giving thanks for as you have walked with God this week?
Getting to Know You (Group Ideas)-
Start the group off by doing an activity together that will help break the ice. Having dinner together is always an easy way to start. Begin by telling your stories. You don’t have to get to everyone the first week. You may want to ask two or three people to share about their lives. As the facilitator, you can set the tone and an example by sharing first. • Have group members bring a few photos from their childhood and introduce us to their family members. • Sit together at church. • Ride together to special church events like conferences or retreats. • Room together at events involving hotel stays. Arrange for the group to eat meals together at these events. • Establish ways the group can be together outside of a meeting, like a supper (or dessert) club. • Couples: Have group members bring photos of their weddings and tell the story of their courtship and engagement. • Thanksgiving Dinner: Prepare a Thanksgiving dinner and then play a game after dinner. • Semi‐formal Dinner: The guys make an elegant dinner for the ladies. Then they honor each woman individually with each receiving flowers. • Take a retreat together (or just as men or just as women) to seek God together. • Spend an evening playing board games together. • Small group Cook‐Outs: Have cook‐outs at different homes or parks. Play group games or just hang out and fellowship. • Christmas Party: Exchange “white elephant” (i.e. silly or old) gifts, play games, sing carols, and worship. • Go camping together. • Go out for breakfast as a group, or as men or as women. • Plan times to have the group together when their children are able to participate in the activities. • Take a group photo and make sure everyone has a copy for their refrigerator.