Spice up your online CG meetings with this curated list of interesting conversation-starters and game ideas, with minimum preparation time required.
It’s Friday night – time to login to Zoom and meet your Connect Group (CG).
You wish you could get to know everyone a little better, but meeting on Zoom seems like a barrier. Perhaps you see members’ mics and videos turned off, making it difficult to rally everyone together.
Breathe. This is normal. Despite being in the same church, CG members come from many different contexts and backgrounds. People need time to warm up to each other. Can this happen via a laptop or mobile screen?
Yes! But how?
We’d like to share conversation starters and games to help brighten CG atmospheres before meetings begin. As members arrive on Zoom, greet one another and encourage verbal participation by asking quality questions (Check out #1-2) or including them in a fun activity (#3-7).
Create an environment for everyone to laugh, share, and feel heard. This is where caring and connecting begins!
Conversation Starters & Easy Games
Instead of waiting for everyone to arrive before unmuting yourself and diving straight into the meeting agenda – relax, unwind, and remember: every conversation and game is helping to build valuable relationships!
1. BREAD Talk
Break the ice by asking light-hearted questions with our BREAD technique. It’s great especially for groups that have not had much time to get to know one another.
B – If you had to pick a type of bread to describe yourself, which would it be? Why? R – Which is your favorite room at home, and why?
E – If you could live in any era of history, which would you pick and why?
A – If you could be any animal for a year, which would you be and why?
D – If you had to pick one dessert to eat for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?
Tip: Even something as small as turning on your camera and making eye contact with other members as they share can set a strong, positive tone for the rest of the CG meeting. Show others they are seen and heard.
2. Go deeper
Want to take conversations to the next level? Take cues from this list of 34 conversation starters offered by Bible.org.
Tip: Play this with a twist. Instead of facilitators asking members to answer the question, get members to guess what the facilitator’s answer to the question would be.
3. Three Easy-to-Play Online Group Games
These online games are free, fun for all ages, and can be played together on Zoom. This can engage members who may be camera shy or not quite ready to answer personal questions yet.
Tip: Encourage members to log-in to CG meetings early so they get the full game experience.
Get to Know Each Other Games
Below are bonding games that will help members to better understand each other, what spurs them on, their likes, and pet peeves. Encourage everyone to participate (preferably with mic and video on), and feel free to modify the rules to best suit your CG’s needs.
4. Photo From Your Life
Ask members to pick a photo from their phone camera roll and have each member guess the context in which the photo was taken. After everyone has guessed, members will reveal the REAL story.
5. True or False, Travel Edition
Members must describe a trip they took in the last five years. This can be in real or completely made-up. The group is then allowed to ask three questions about the trip, which the speaker must answer immediately. The group then votes on whether the trip is true or false. Finally, the speaker must unveil the truth.
6. Agent 007
Everyone gets five minutes to come up with a personal codename they’d give themselves if they were a secret agent. Members text the codename to the facilitator, who will read each name aloud to the group on Zoom. Group members then guess who the codename belongs to. Ultimately, members will reveal which is their codename and why they chose it.
7. Are You Listening?
Everyone must answer these four questions:
What is your full name?
How many siblings do you have?
What is your favorite color?
What month were you born in?
Beginning with any volunteer, that person will answer all four questions (listed above) and then nominate the next member. That member must answer all four of the same questions AND repeat the answers that the first person gave.
If he/she gets it all correct, they can nominate the next person. The next person must answer all four statements and repeat the answers given by everyone prior. This chain continues until everyone has participated – kudos to the person at the very end.
There’s a myth that facilitators need to be super outgoing in order to have great engagement in Zoom CGs.
Cultivating a warm and inviting atmosphere involves everyone, and it’s about the little things. With a little time, creativity, and thoughtfulness, CG members can be encouraged to participate and find belonging online in this season.
See Friday nights together as an opportunity to think outside of the Zoom ‘box’ and try new things. And if you have any other tips, share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We may collate them for another listicle in the future.
Reflect & Respond
What do you enjoy about your Connect Group (CG)?
Is there a way you can contribute to enliven your CG's online atmosphere? Connect with your CG Leader about it!