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The Welcome part of the cell meeting, otherwise known as the "Icebreaker", is designed to allow cell members to get to know each other in a fun and relaxed way. Theologically, it's when individuals gather together and become the Body of Christ. But beyond that it's when we begin to drop our masks and to let others in to know who we are and how we relate.

So the Icebreaker question should be easy to answer, light and humorous, but give each person in the cell the opportunity to become a little bit more open and vulnerable if they choose. Most groups find that the more reticent members gradually learn to trust others through this time and to begin to be more open themselves.

The person leading the Icebreaker should pose the question and, after a brief pause for the usual shocked reactions from members who are wondering how to respond, give their own answer. This models for the cell members the kind of thing we're looking for and how long the answer is expected to take. If the first one takes ten minutes, you can say Goodbye to the rest of the evening!

Choose from this list of sample Icebreakers:

How do you think that others perceive you?
What would you like to achieve in this year that you didn't achieve last year?
Tell us about your first love. Then comment on how many (or how few or nil) said Jesus.
What's the aspect of your job that you like least?
What was the happiest moment of your life?
What is the greatest regret of your life?
What's the hardest thing you've ever done?
What's the greatest compliment you ever received?
Tell us about your best (earthly) friend...
What room in your house do you like best?
What is the one thing you want to accomplish next week?
Where did you feel warmest and safest as a child?
If you had a time machine that would work only once, what point in the future or in history would you visit?
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
When you do something stupid, how much does it bother you to have other people notice it and laugh?
If you could change two things about the way you were raised, what would they be?
Who is your favourite relative? Why?
What is your favourite memory time spent, as a child, with your father? Your mother?
Who did God use to bring you to the point where you knew you needed Jesus?
If you could change places with a Bible character, who would you choose? Why?
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
What is your favourite movie or TV show?
Who has had the greatest influence on your life since we last gathered?
What was the best thing that happened to you this past week?
Recall a time when you failed recently
Name someone you admire who had to overcome great obstacles to get where they are now.
What do you value most in a human relationship? In your relationship with Christ? Your parents?
How do you react when you aren't thanked for going out of your way for someone?
What is your favourite time of day?
My greatest disappointment...
The gift I will never forget (apart from my conversion)...
What was the most important event in your life this past week?
If you could chose to go anywhere in the world for 3 days, where would you go, and why?
If you could choose to meet anyone who ever lived, who would that be, and why would you like to meet him/her?
If I could choose my career over again I would ...
What is your position in your family - first second etc. What would you have liked to swap about this position?
Ask each person to say why they are glad to be a cell group tonight.
Do you have a nickname and if so what is it? What nicknames do you have for your spouse and children?
One thing I would really like see happen at the moment in my family? ... my church? ... my cell group? ... the world?
Have you had an answered prayer recently - share the story
What do you think delights God above everything else in your life?
What is the most encouraging thing said to you this week?
What encouraging action have you done to someone this week?
What do you still want to accomplish with your life?
What is your most embarrassing experience?
For what are you thankful?
What is the most memorable event of your life and why?
Share the most meaningful scripture to you and why is it so meaningful?
Who is the most interesting person you have met?
Talk about your favourite holiday spot and why you enjoy it there?
Share about a spiritual experience you have had...
Have you ever experienced healing in your body - share
How do you relax?
What is your favourite type of music / song etc?
What has happened to you during this week which you would like to tell the rest of the group?
The last time I got really angry was ...
If you could not fail, what would you like to do?
What do you want written on your tombstone?
What do you want said at your funeral?
What don't you want said at your funeral?
One thing which has stressed me out this week ...
One thing which makes me feel guilty ...
One thing which I do not understand about the opposite sex is ...
If you had this week over again what would you do differently?
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?
What are the biggest questions that you have about your relationship with God?
Under what circumstances do you feel most lonely? Least lonely? Why?
In what areas of your life is it most difficult to trust God? Other people? Yourself?
Why do you get up in the morning?
When was the last time you admitted you were wrong? Why is it so hard to do?
What have you learned recently from another believer?
If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you least like to be there with you and why?
If you ere able to make one dream come true (however outrageous) what would it be?
What is your most consistent prayer at the moment?
Who would you most like to host and why?
If you were to die tonight in your sleep, what one thing would you regret not having done?
Imagine you could be anyone; who would it be and why?
Name one quality or characteristic about your spouse, close family member of close friend that you admire. Why do you admire it?
Think of an example of when you ere last let down by someone. How did YOU react and have you completely dealt with the incident?
When you were a child, who was your hero and why?
If you could go on any adventure, anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
What recent event or answer to prayer has given you a better understanding of one aspect of God's character and what is that aspect?
What is your favourite snack meal and where would you choose to eat it?
If you could change your nationality what would you choose and why?
What is the biggest crowd you have ever been in - where was it - why were you there?
What is your biggest unfulfilled wish or ambition?
Divide into two teams for a very short Easter pictionary game. Select some objects from the Easter story and write them on separate slips of paper (eg - cockerel / nails / crown of thorns / spear / thirty pieces of silver / vinegar / the curtain in the temple / Pilate's wash basin / etc.) Then follow the usual Pictionary rules for two very quickfire rounds.
What Easter hymn or song has a special meaning or memory for you?
If you could pass one law that everyone in the world had to obey what would it be?
Take the letters of your christian name and think of a quality you would like to grow in for each letter. e.g. Peter = Patience - Endurance - Thankfulness - Encouragement - Reliability (Don't worry if you can't cover every letter - especially with long names!)
In two teams take turns in being blindfolded and guessing by feeling the identity of some ordinary household objects e.g. Scissors - an egg - a sock - a corn flake - an oxo cube - etc LESSON - It's difficult if you don't have vision
TALK ABOUT - A time when you lost something very important or valuable. How did it happen? - How did it feel? - What did you do? - Did you find it again? - How did it feel when you found it?
A Good Old Favourite that's worth running again. Give everyone a piece of paper and get them to draw a picture of their face only - illustrating the kind of day they have had. THEN - Fold the pictures, get everyone to choose one at random, you have to guess who it is and what they are feeling. Don't reveal the correct identities until the very end.
What is the most relaxing thing you have ever done? OR - The most relaxing place you have ever been?
Depending on the size of the group. Prepare some short messages - e.g. a shopping list with 4 or 5 items; Instructions to meet somewhere including the time, the place, the reason and something to wear; an order for a three course meal. Then whisper it down the line and get the last person to write out the message. Compare all the messages at the end. Talk about the importance of listening and understanding.
TALK ABOUT - A time when you were misunderstood - what happened - was it resolved - how?
Prepare some smells - eg lemon / banana / strawberry / marmite / bleach (careful) / meths etc. Form two teams and take turns in guessing whilst blindfolded.
TALK ABOUT - A large procession, march, or public celebration that you remember seeing or being a part of.
In a circle - call out things that followers of Jesus should be like or do, for each letter of the alphabet in turn. Make it quickfire with people saying pass but aim at something for EVERY letter. Be generous and creative EG - A = Actively evangelistic - Q = Quietly generous X = Exceptionally loving - etc
Ask those who have been baptised by immersion to share what it was like - what happened - how did it feel?
How many people's names can you make from the letters in PENTECOST SUNDAY in 5 minutes? e.g. STAN / DANNY / PETE
TALK ABOUT - Your first encounter with supernatural spiritual gifts. Where was it? - What was happening? - How did you feel? - What did you do?
In two teams - give each team a large potato. Make a list of as many uses you can think of for a potato in 5 minutes - sensible and silly.
Think about a time when someone, or something that happened to you, brought you encouragement just when you needed it. Share it with the group.
If you could sell anything door-to-door (non-religious), what would it be and why?
If you could visit a friend or relative anywhere in the world who would you choose and why?
Paul says in 2 Cor 5:17 "The OLD has gone, the NEW has come". Share something "OLD" that has gone and something "NEW" that has come as a result of being a "NEW CREATION"
Which event from the Bible would you most like to have been a part of and why?
What was the best thing your father or mother ever said to you OR did for you?
ALPHABET FEAST - This worked especially well in Youth Cells. Go round the circle in turn
Start with      "I went to a feast and we all ate - APPLE PIE.
Next Person    "I went to a feast and we all ate - APPLE PIE and BACON ROLLS
Next Person    "I went to a feast and we all ate - APPLE PIE and BACON ROLLS and CHICKEN LEGS
NOTE: Each item has to be TWO words starting with the next letter in the alphabet. Keep going round until the memory begins to fade - the list gets too long - or you get bored.
What is your biggest or longest standing "unfinished task"?
If you could choose to be an animal rather than a human, what would you be and why?
If you could change one thing about your town centre, what would it be and why?
Which nursery rhyme character would you most like to have been and why?
Which subject did/do you most enjoy at school? Which was/is the most boring?
Exchange something from your pocket or bag with someone else in the group - think up a use for the item other than its normal use.
e.g. A handkerchief - "I could tie knots in this and wear it as a hat!"
What is your favourite way of staying cool in hot weather?
Go round the group naming a drink for each consecutive letter of the alphabet.
OPTIONAL EXTRA - If you cannot think of one you have to drink a glass of water.
What is the boldest thing you have ever had to do? What were your feelings before and after?
In two teams - The first team to find 5 objects in the room or in your pockets / bags that are linked to an event or passage in the Bible. You have to read out the Bible reference.
What do you most look forward to about your cell meeting?
Who has had the biggest influence on your life outside your family and why?
TASK - To design and make the tallest tower that will stand unsupported for 60 seconds using ONLY three sheets of A4 paper. No glue / sticky tape / clips allowed, only tearing / cutting / folding.
If you could be musical instrument what would you be?
What is or was your favourite team game and why? Ask for stories about "team" experiences - good and bad!
What was the most unusual present you were given this Christmas?
What was the most unusual thing you ate this Christmas?
If you had the chance to own a small business or shop what would it be?

We've grabbed this list of icebreakers from a host of sources. But people always want more ... email your icebreakers so we can add them to the list. Or click here for others.

This page was updated on 17 May 2000. Copyright 2000 Cell Church UK Magazine. All rights reserved.
Hosted by Youth With A Mission and linked to the Cell Church UK Magazine