Youth Minister-Approved Icebreakers for Conversation Around the Dinner Table or in the Car

Every youth minister knows the importance of having a few good icebreakers up his or her sleeve. Whether we’re kicking off a small group Bible study or trying to connect a new student to the group in conversation, these lighthearted questions often pave the way for connection and gospel conversations. A good icebreaker is open-ended, with infinite possible answers that everyone can personalize. By having each person answer in turn, you can draw out even quieter family members.

Here are a few time-tested, teenager-approved questions for your mealtime pleasure  or carpool convenience. I hope they help you to draw your family into deeper conversation as you kick off the school year and reestablish dinnertime routines.

Icebreaker Suggestions:

Share a high, a low, and a buffalo (i.e. something random) from your day.

If you had to choose only one class to stay in all day, which one would you choose and why?

If you were king or queen for a day, what would be your first decree?

What’s something in the world that you find mysterious (or that causes you to wonder)?

What’s a cause or goal you believe in?

Show or describe your favorite funny YouTube video.

If you were given a million dollars, what would you do with it?

What is your best idea for a new invention?

If you could live in any country, which would you choose?

What’s one thing you like about where you live (your town or your home itself)?

If you could learn one new skill, what would it be and why?

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

If you had to delete all but three apps on your phone (not including text, call, email), which three would you keep and why?

Share a high and a low of being a teenager.

If you could have a superhero power, what would you choose and why?

Tell me about a leader you admire and share why. (Either a famous person or someone you know personally.)

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about being a teenager?

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? What’s the best gift you’ve given?

If you were famous, what would you be famous for?

What is your favorite item of clothing right now and why?

If you had to choose, would you rather live without chocolate or cheese?

If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If you could add one person to Mount Rushmore, who would you choose and why?

What’s one thing you miss about being a younger kid?

Deeper Conversation-Starters (to use after you’ve broken the proverbial ice)

What’s something we have done as a family that you really loved? Is there anything you wish we could do more of together?

What’s one thing you like about our church? Is there anything you’d like to see our church develop or change? How could our family help?

Tell me about something in your life that’s worrying you right now. As your family, how could we support and pray for you?

What’s an issue in the world that’s on your mind these days? Is there something our family could do to get involved?

Think of a person or family you’d like to get to know better. How could our family invest in that relationship together? (Challenge teenagers to think about people outside their own age group.)

What’s something you’ve learned recently in your faith? How can we encourage and pray for you as you apply this truth?

Chelsea is Editor of Youth Ministry Content and the Director of Publishing for Rooted. She previously served as a youth pastor in New England churches for 13 years and participates on the advisory council at the La Vida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership at Gordon College. Chelsea and her husband, Steve, live north of Boston and are parents to Wells and Emmett. She holds an M.Div from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where she is currently pursuing a Master of Theology (Th.M.) in Old Testament Studies. Chelsea is passionate about teaching teenagers biblical theology and helping them learn to study Scripture for themselves.

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