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Broken Water Balloons

You can’t have summer without at least one water balloon fight. Water Balloons have a purpose – to be filled with water. As God’s creation each of us also has a purpose. Pascal said that all men were created with a God shaped vacuum – an emptiness in our lives only GOD can fill. When we try to fill that emptiness with things other than the Living Water, we will always feel empty. We will always be thirsty.

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Games Using Water Balloons

  • Back to Back – Split the youth up into partners however many as necessary. Then put them next to a bucket of water balloons. This is a relay race so have another bucket abouy 15 feet away. The players have to put the water balloon between both of their backs and walk to the other bucket. If your balloon breaks you must go back and get another balloon. Set a time limit and when the times run out see which team has the most water balloons in their bucket.
  • Beach Towel Toss – Divide into teams of two, each person holding a towel at the corners. Standing six feet apart, each team must use the towel to toss a balloon back and forth with another team. After a successful toss, have the teams move farther apart. Continue playing until the balloon breaks.
  • Blanket Water Balloon Toss – All youth stand around a blanket holding an edge. When you toss individual water balloons high into the air, the youth must try to catch each water balloon in the blanket.
  • Hot Potato, Water Balloon Style – Played just like Hot Potato, youth must pass a water balloon around the circle when the music starts. When it stops whoever is holding it has the bust the water balloon on their own head.
  • Soaker – one person throws a water balloon high in the air and calls out another player’s name or number. The player so called must catch the balloon. If the player succeeds at catching it unbroken, she gets a free shot at the thrower who called her name and gets her turn at throwing a water balloon up and calling another’s name.
  • Water Balloon Pinata – Fill regular sized round balloons up with water, and tie them to a rope that is hung between two trees. You are blindfolded, given a plastic baseball bat, and get three swings to break a balloon.
  • Water Balloon Shot Put – see who can toss a water balloon the farthest. For added incentive, have a leader stand just out of reach of the players for a target.
  • Water Balloon Squat – Relay. Run to the line. Sit on a water balloon. Return to the team.
  • Water Balloon Stuff – Get two sets of those long johns and a bunch of water balloons. Get two volunteers and assign them a team whose job is to stuff water balloons in the long johns. When the designated time is up you count the balloons and the one with the most balloons wins. The winner and his stuffers get to throw all the balloons at the loser.
  • Water Balloon Toss – Form two lines of paired players, facing each other. Have each pair toss a water balloon back and forth, taking a step backwards after every two tosses. The further back you step, the further the toss and the more likely the water balloon will burst. The last pair to have their water balloon intact wins.
  • Water Balloon Toss Relay – Form 2 or more even teams. As in any relay race, have a starting line and a finishing line. Spread each member of the team about 3-5 feet apart. Each member must toss the water balloon to the next team member. If the water balloon breaks or falls onto the floor they have to start from the very beginning. The object of the game is to send 3 water balloon successfully down the line and into their team bucket.
  • Water balloon volleyball – Set up a volleyball net or string a rope between two posts, and then split the youth into groups of two. Give each group a towel or sheet and instruct the teams to hold it between them to create a landing mat for water balloons. With one team on each side of the net, the players use their towel or sheet to toss the balloon over the net to the other side. Every time a team drops a balloon, the balloon breaks or the balloon doesn’t cross over the net, the opposite team earns a point. Play to eight points before switching out teams.
  • WATER BALLOON FIGHT – have a classic water Balloon war between two teams.

TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL

At the end of your water balloon games, take a hose and squirt a leader or volunteer down.

  • Compare a water balloon and a hose? In what what ways are they similar? Different?
  • Describe a time when you were really thirsty?

MAKE IT SPIRITUAL

During the time of Jeremiah much of Israel had turned away from God. They had turned away from the Fountain of living water and were looking to other things (broken cisterns) to satisfy their spiritual thirst. A cistern was basically just a hole in the ground with some kind of lining meant to hold stagnant rainwater. They were broken from the very day they were built. Only God Himself can quench our spiritual thirst. (See Isaiah 55:1-2, John 4:10-14, John 6:35 and John 7:37-38.) Imagine yourself as a very thirsty person in a parched land, turning away from a bubbling spring of cool water to shovel out a cistern in the dirt, under the parched sun, in the hopes of collecting some rain water! Many people today are also busy digging cisterns. We are not so different from the people of Jeremiah’s day. The one thing that is different is that we have more things available to us with which we try to satisfy the deep longings and thirsts of our lives.

  • Discuss as a group how cisterns were constructed and the constant effort it took to maintain them vs. get refreshed from a natural spring of water.
  • Digging cisterns is like going our own way in life. How do our own plans take constant effort to maintain?
  • What are some of the things people seek for pleasure, happiness, to fill the emptiness of our days?
  • Why do people insist on building broken cisterns rather than drinking from the spring of living water that will never run dry?
  • Why do people look for other sources? Why aren’t people happy with the Living Water?
  • Why do we run from one thing to another, never finding satisfaction, but never running to God?

MAKE IT PRACTICAL

  • How do we know if we are seeking the things of God or broken cisterns?
  • What is it in us that makes us prefer to do things our way rather than accept God’s way?
  • Is it possible for us to be so busy doing things that don’t really matter that you never became involved in the things of God? Can we do good things and yet still neglect God? Spiritual things?

MAKE IT PERSONAL

  • Describe a time when you sought God to fill a void in your life that seemed impossible to face?
  • What do I not have in my life that, if I only had, I believe would make me happy?
  • What do I now have, that, if taken away, would leave me unhappy or devastated?
  • What do I have now that I spend a lot of time maintaining and would struggle to keep?
  • What is it that I now have in my life that I can’t live without?
  • Are you so busy repairing and refilling your broken cistern that you never took advantage of the fountain of life God offers?
  • God is asking you to see what you have been doing with your life. How are you spending your time, your money, your abilities, your resources?
  • Are you wasting your life and ignoring the many opportunities to be used by God?
  • Where are you going to drink today, this week this month, the rest of your life—for all of eternity? The spring of living waters or the cisterns of this world?
  • Ask God to show you the broken cisterns you have in your life. Surrender them and ask Him to satisfy your soul with Himself alone.
  • What are you consuming that masks your inner thirst? What deeper needs do you sense in yourself? Ask God would to show you how He can meet that need.

SCRIPTURE

  • Jeremiah 2:13 – “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
  • John 7:37 – “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”
  • John 10:10 – He said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”

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