Mixers. Ice-breakers. Get to know you games—that is our topic for today. Now you need to know that I’m a big advocate of the list above. Being an extrovert who does not have many shy bones in his body, I’m all for smashing through ice and mixing with someone that I have not gotten to know yet. With this in mind, we really must spend a moment or two and make sure our mixers mix, the ice gets broken and we do, in fact, get to know each other.
It has been my experience, through reading countless games books and traveling online (or “on the line” as Vince Vaughan would say) that many of our mixers are simply games with the added result of a factoid being passed from one person to the next. Or, they are competitions disguised as a get to know you game. I want to stir things up a bit by suggesting that many of our mixers simply do not mix. And, while our ice-breakers may appear to be a cool activity, they are not ice-olated in the area of not being all that effective. Ok, sorry about that …
When it comes down to it, our strongest selling point in youth ministry is relationships—our relationship with God, our relationships with each other and with the world at large. We must ensure that our youth meetings are filled with activities that truly help us to get to know each other, and get to know each other deeply. Mixers can help do this but only if they really do help us to get to know each other. With this in mind, ask your mixers these questions:
- Do I have time to talk about something with the person I am mixing with or am I simply trying to ‘be the fastest to finish’ or ‘win some prize through this activity’?
- Is there some aspect of this mixer that will give me something that I can grab a hold of so that I can talk to this person later on?
- Is this activity a healthy mix of being enjoyable and profitable at the same time?
- Should I think about slowing this mixer down just a bit so that the youth can mix with each a bit better? Similarly, should I remove any rewards or prizes from a mixer to help make it a bit less rushed?
So, do you want to start your meeting well? Start with a good welcome (our last post) and follow it with a mixer that … really mixes. This is one way to reach your goal for a youth night that is both enjoyable and profitable.
For more on this see Creative Christian Ideas and the free mixers section of www.effectiveyouthministry.com
We also have some free online mixers at: http://www.effectiveyouthministry.com/mixers-and-icebreakers.html?searched=mixer&advsearch=oneword&highlight=ajaxSearch_highlight+ajaxSearch_highlight1
[By the way, did you hear the one about the alien who landed at a soft drink company and said ‘take me to your liter’???]