Aug 17, 2015

Uncategorized

Back-to-Campus Icebreaker – Free Download


Chase Abner shares an icebreaker tool to use with your students as they head back to campus this fall.

In a recent post, I shared my love for icebreakers. I’m a sucker for a good getting-to-know-you game and find them to be particularly useful in college ministry. Quickly, here are the three main reasons why I believe they have a place in your ministry:

1. Students want to be known.

2. Semesters are short.

3. Icebreakers are contextual.

Click here to read a fuller explanation in “A Case for Icebreakers.”

After getting multiple requests for icebreaker ideas, I thought I’d share one that our team developed for Salt Company this fall.

Icebreaker, download, Salt Company

In particular, we’re using this icebreaker at our pre-semester student leader retreat. The students will complete the poster in three stages and will share their responses with a new individual at each point. Here’s a few things we had in mind while designing the tool:

  • We want the tool to include some basic biographical information. This fall, we have about 280 student leaders and about a third of them are new leaders. There will be many students at our retreat who don’t yet know one another.
  • We want the tool to move from fun topics to those that are deeper and more spiritual. We’re using this tool to transition from the lighter welcome time into a more spiritually-focused moment.
  • We want the tool to help students debrief their summer and look ahead. We want students to know that our leadership community is a place where they can celebrate good things, share hard things, and dream big things.

Now, I’ll share the nuts and bolts of how we’re using it.

The tool is printed on 11″ x 17″ sheets of paper. Each student will receive a copy and a writing utensil.

Step 1: You have two minutes to complete the following:

  • Biographical info including name, hometown, major, and indicate which year it is for you as a Salt leader (1, 2, or 3+).
  • Think about what food you would be and write it on the picture of the plate.
  • Think about what animal you would be in write it in the picture of a zoo cage.
Icebreaker - Step 1, collegiate collective, chase abner

Icebreaker – Step 1, collegiate collective, chase abner

Step 2: Find one other student who you don’t know well and exchange the information from Step 1, giving a brief explanation for the food and animal you chose. You have four minutes to complete this step with your partner.

Step 3: You have three minutes to draw a picture of your favorite moment from your time with Salt Company.

Icebreaker - Step 2, collegiate collective, chase abner

Icebreaker – Step 2, collegiate collective, chase abner

Step 4: Find another student who you don’t know well and share with them about your picture from Step 3. You have four minutes to complete this step with your partner.

Step 5: On the left side of the page, find the image of see-saw with two circles. In the left circle, write a word to describe your spiritual high point of the summer. In the right circle, write a word to describe your spiritual low point of the summer. On the right side of the page, write the one thing you hope to be your life’s legacy. In other words, what is the most important thing for you to accomplish in this life. You have three minutes to complete this step.

Icebreaker - Step 3, collegiate collective, chase abner

Icebreaker – Step 3, collegiate collective, chase abner

Step 6: Find another student who you don’t know well and share with them your items from Step 5. Take time to tell them a few details of your spiritual high point and low point. Then, share what you currently are desiring for your life’s legacy. You have six minutes to complete this step with your partner.

That’s it! We’re including some pad time in the schedule to explain the steps and to allow for the shuffle as students try to find partners.

Click here to download a PDF of the tool without our logo.

Click here to download the Photoshop file. Feel free to change it up and make it best fit your ministry.

Andrew Spink worked on this concept with me. Make sure you check out his post “How Small Groups are Like Merry-Go-Rounds.”


about the author

Chase Abner


Chase is the Lead Church Planting Catalyst in Iowa with the North American Mission Board and a consultant with the Salt Network in Ames, IA.