SHARING QUESTIONS for Small Groups
Mega-collection of ice-breakers, etc.
Sometimes all a group needs to get rolling is a good sharing question. The question is read to the group and then each group member spends a few moments answering.
A group doesn't need an ice-breaker when all the members are talking freely to each other during the minutes before the meeting starts. The "ice" is already "broken." Even so, still consider doing a sharing question for these reasons:
- sharing questions help the group members least familiar with the others in the group feel more acquainted and comfortable with the others.
- sharing questions are one way to help take members' focus off themselves and onto the group.
- sharing questions can help stimulate an atmosphere of open sharing. Revealing ourselves to each other is important: each time we open the door to an area in our life, the group can now pray for us and encourage us to obey God in that area.
SHARING QUESTIONS on the PAST
What were you good at as a child and how did that make you feel?
Using a one-word description, characterize yourself at some younger age. Does that word still apply to you today?
Tell 3 things about the home in which you grew up
How did your family celebrate Christmas when you were in grade school?
Where did you live during first grade?
Where did you feel the warmest and safest as a child? (place or person)
Name one person from your childhood who you admired. What was the quality?
What is your favorite childhood memory?
What was your greatest struggle as a teenager?
If you had a time machine, what time would you go back to, and why?
What is your favorite movie of all time?
Tell about a turning point in your life
What has been your most significant spiritual experience of Jesus?
What person has had the most influence on your spiritual life?
When has God been very present with you?
SHARING QUESTIONS on the PRESENT
What do you do on a typical Thursday?
What is one thing that gave you a sense of accomplishment this week?
If you live to age 75 you will have 657,000 hours in your life. Looking back over the past month, which hour or two did you spend most wisely?
When this week did you feel closest to God?
If you were given 2 extra hours per day, how would you use them?
Name one thing you really like about yourself
Name one thing you would like God to change in yourself
What's your least favorite way to spend a vacation?
If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
If Jesus were coming to your house for supper, what very recent happening in your life would you like to thank him for?
What room in the house do you like best?
Of all the teachings of Jesus Christ, what has come to be the most significant for you?
Whose approval--other than God's--do you need the most?
How do you tune into God?
How would you describe yourself to someone who does not know you?
What is a time during the week you can relax?
Tell us 3 things that happened to you today
What are 2 of your strongest skills?
What would you be doing if you were not here?
What was the most important thing that happened to you this past week?
SHARING QUESTIONS on the FUTURE
If God could grant you a wish, what would it be?
If you found out you were near the end of your life, what unsaid words or unfinished deeds would you want to complete?
What would you like to be doing 5 years from now?
What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
When you are ten years older, what kind of person do you want to be?
What is something you think God wants you to do?
If you could do anything you want this time next year, what would it be?
What epitaph do you want on your tombstone?
Where would you live if you could move anywhere in the world, and why?
What is one thing you would like to accomplish in the week ahead?
MISCELLANEOUS SHARING QUESTIONS
How would you describe yourself, in one sentence or less, to someone who doesn't know you?
My favorite time of the day is...
Using a fruit or vegetable as a metaphor, how would you describe your life this week (dried fig, ripe cantaloupe, smashed banana, hot jalapeno, sour grapes, etc.)?
What would you like to be doing a year from now that you are not doing now?
Who was the person you felt closest to when growing up?
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Tell about your favorite tree.
What is something you remember about your grandparents?
What's the best thing for you to do when you feel yourself becoming angry?
What is your favorite time of day and why?
What is your favorite food? What is your least favorite food?
Name three activities you like to do with your friends.
You are at a friend's or relative's house for dinner and you find a dead bug in your salad, what would you do?
What is your favorite comic strip or cartoon? Why?
If your house was on fire, what three items (not people) would you try to save?
What would you do if you could take a day off this week?
What is one job you enjoy doing around the house?
What was your home town like?
If you were an animal, which one would you like to be? Why?
I am most like my mom in that I ____________________________.
What do you think is the perfect age? Why?
Who was your hero when you were growing up? How did you try to imitate him or her?
One good thing that's happened since last week is...
(can be used many times)
What was the high point of your week? What was the low point?
(can be used many times)
TIPS when using SHARING QUESTIONS:
TIP: Introduce it and launch it yourself. One problem with ice breakers is that they can take up the whole session. Stop this from happening by answering the sharing question first yourself and by not talking more than one or two sentences. Before going on, you might say, "If each one of us takes no more than 30 seconds for our answer, we will be able to share." If someone does talk too long, deliberately look at your watch.
TIP: Go around the circle. Otherwise the shy person will avoid saying anything.
TIP: Watch for crisis needs. It is not unusual for someone to signal they have a real hurt or problem during the sharing question. "I heard this week that my mother has cancer." Obviously, you must return to minister to this need...but do not stop the circle of sharing. Say, "We've got to come back to you and share more about that, Susan. Thanks for telling us." Then, continue. However, if a group member's emotional scar cries for prayer, then the rest of the agenda must wait.