Water balloon fight introduces CSF mission

God loves a good water balloon fight. An odd thesis to be certain, but does it–pardon the pun–hold water?

For the past two years, the Christian Student Fellowship (CSF) has hosted two water balloon fights with combined attendance totaling almost 7,000 people tossing nearly 200,000 water balloons.

Last year’s fight set the official Guinness world record for the largest such event in history.

Friday night, Aug. 27, at 11:55 p.m. CSF will attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the largest water balloon fight in history. The record set on the Johnson Center Field in 2009 was broken a few weeks back when BYU narrowly topped last year’s attendance mark of 3,902.

World records aside, the question remains as to why a Christian campus ministry would be interested in hosting a water balloon fight.

Shouldn’t such religious groups be concerned with bible studies, praying with people and the like? Why in the world seek world records for water balloon fights?

CSF deeply believes that life is a huge gift and not to be wasted. The ancient biblical figure King Solomon famously quipped that on earth there is a time for everything. A time to cry. To laugh. To love. To serve. To forgive. To heal. And yes, even to throw water balloons.

Not only does CSF throw water balloon fights, we throw huge parties for any and all UK students who want to attend at no cost to students or the university. 3,500 students from varied beliefs and backgrounds attended the CSF Luau last week. 80s Party. Free Friday Flapjacks every Friday at midnight. Tens of thousands of students come through CSF events each year. Some care that we are a Christian group and some couldn’t care less.

At these events we don’t break out bibles, and the DJ’s don’t stop and huddle everyone up for prayer. We just live. Fun. Free. If someone comes, dances and loves life the night they are here then great. If they want to come around CSF more after that then great.

No pressure. No weird bait-and-switch tactics. Just come and if you have a great time then come back again.

Our belief is that our best way of living out our life of faith is simply by loving and helping people. And maybe one of the best ways we can help someone on any given night is simply by helping them to have a blast meeting new people, dancing, and chucking water balloons at people standing 25 feet away.

Campus is a place to think, a space where basic assumptions are questioned. This questioning and wrestling with big questions and big ideas is one of my favorite parts about being involved in a university setting.

Campus ministries have an important role in this questioning and investigative process. We want to challenge some of the basic assumptions of campus life, of what living life to the fullest really means.

Does excessive drinking enhance life or does it ultimately diminish one’s faculties for fully experiencing life?

Do a myriad of sexual experiences, while no doubt enjoyable in the moment, limit one’s ability for intimacy and trust down the road?

These are fair questions, good things to ask before giving one’s life away in such pursuits.

In short, life is what CSF is chasing after. Life. Life. And more life. God does love water balloon fights because God loves life and, as strange as it may sound, we think God also loves people.

The well known Christian author and Oxford scholar C.S. Lewis once wrote that “Joy is the serious business of heaven.”

On Friday night, thousands of smiles and high fives and memorable stories will be exchanged at the water balloon fight. But if C.S. Lewis is right then maybe the Johnson Center Fields won’t be the only place filled with joy because of people having fun throwing water balloons.

Maybe God too will enjoy watching people loving life for an evening, even if it is something as simple as the smiles produced by enjoying a good water balloon fight.