As I arrived at the parking lot, I was greeted by Pathfinders dressed
in their crisp uniforms, directing traffic for a special ground breaking
service. Working with church and community is a lot of what Pathfinders do.
The camporee in Oshkosh, WI was the recent focal point on the minds of many Pathfinders.
Sometimes we get the idea that Pathfinders are synonymous with camping
and fun—indeed, it definitely is that. However, a Pathfinder’s focus is much
higher, broader, and deeper than just having fun.
Pathfinders is about Adventist youth discovering their world and themselves.
It’s about youth who immerse themselves in a context of other Christian youth and
adult leaders who share their love for God. It’s about youth spending time in an
environment that encourages a lifetime commitment in service to mankind and
to the Lord Jesus Christ—whether they are having fun camping, working
on honor badges, marching in a parade, attending a meeting, sitting around
a campfire, folding a flag, serving in a church service, or any number of
learning, growing, enjoyable activities.
Parents who choose to enroll their youth in a Pathfinder Club are taking
advantage of an opportunity to place them where they can grow to be like
Christ. It’s about being a good steward of the children entrusted to them. It
emphasizes the ideal of parents working hand-in-hand with teachers, pastors
and youth leaders. It is an extension of the home where the Bible is studied
and Christian virtues are taught, modeled, and practiced. It includes every
aspect of one’s life: social, physical, mental, and spiritual. It challenges the
Pathfinder to know Jesus as his or her personal Savior. It encourages them to
emulate the life of Christ who “increased in wisdom and stature and in favor
with God and men,” Luke 2:52.
Ellen G. White gives the following encouragement to our Pathfinder program. “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior might be carried to the whole world!” Education, p. 271.
By Mitch Hazekamp