Pathfinder Day is a day each year when the club is featured in the church service. Pathfinder Day is a special time for recognition and encouragement; a day to strengthen support from the church and Pathfinder families. By having a Pathfinder Day program in your church, you are giving your Pathfinders a greater sense of belonging to the family of God. Your pastor is responsible for the church service and the extent of Pathfinder participation is his decision. Ask your pastors what they would like to see happen that will help to make this Pathfinder Day a total church ministry.
Pathfinder Day may be held at any time of the year. If you wish to have the conference Pathfinder director as a guest speaker, make the appointment months in advance. Each director should notify the area coordinator to schedule their Pathfinder Day and to ask him/her for their participation in the program.
Every Pathfinder and staff member should be in complete Class A (dress) uniform.
Each year a complete Pathfinder Sabbath Program is produced in booklet form and may be purchased from the Youth Ministries Department of the Southeastern California Conference. In every audience there will be at least one person who came out of desperate need to see the love and care of Jesus. Make sure that they see God’s love in your Pathfinder Day program. Be organized! Much planning and hard work goes into a successful Pathfinder Day.
Set the date months in advance with the pastoral staff. Schedule this date with your Pathfinder staff and place the date in your Pathfinder calendar. Ask your staff where they would feel most comfortable helping. Delegate the different tasks and then touch base with your staff members to see how they are progressing with their assignments and what assistance they may be need.
Practice with your adults and Pathfinders so that each person will feel comfortable and do their part well. Make certain that every one knows where to go and what to do throughout the program. Some areas where your Pathfinders and staff can help are: Greeters at each door, opening car doors, ushers, read scripture, pray, lead Pathfinder Pledge and Law, special music, children’s story, give talks, display Pathfinder projects, and be part of the color guard.
The General Conference produces Pathfinder Day bulletin covers, which you may wish to use. These may be ordered through the Youth Ministries department of Southeastern California Conference. Put an announcement in the church bulletin several weeks before and place an invitation in the Bulletin the week before your Pathfinder Day program. Be sure the church secretary has your complete program, with names spelled correctly, by the Monday preceding Pathfinder Day.
In some churches, the offering on Pathfinder Day is designated for the Pathfinders. This is especially true in churches that do not have a combined budget. Other churches, with a combined budget, give the clubs a monthly appropriation and designate the Pathfinder Day offering for church expense or whatever is appropriate for that date. Contact your pastor so you have a clear understanding of what the church policy is concerning the Pathfinder day offering.
The Pathfinder Club may choose to provide the flowers for Pathfinder Day. A dedication could be: Our flowers today are given by our Pathfinder Club in appreciation of the church’s support OR the flowers are given as a love gift from our Pathfinders with thanks for your prayers and financial support.
Plan several helpers to set up for the program well in advance of the Sabbath hours. Flags, guidons, club banner, pledge, law, and Pathfinder displays should be handled with care and neatly placed. Show proper respect of the Lord’s house and remind the Pathfinders that you walk and talk softly there.
Every Pathfinder and staff member is to be in complete Class A (dress) uniform. Always bring extra pins, slides, scarves, belts, etc. If one person forgets or loses a uniform part, your group will not look as sharp. Do not fuss and make the Pathfinder or adult feel bad. Instead, loan them the missing item and help them feel a significant part of the program. Let each person know you are glad they are there.
This is a great day for a club-sponsored potluck, a dinner for parents of Pathfinders. The Pathfinders will enjoy ushering families to the serving lines and may also help with clean up. Plan afternoon activities like a meeting or hike. You may have a parent meeting at the same time followed with a light supper of sandwiches and salads. Sunset worship with a good “pathfinder” song service, skits, and slides of Pathfinder events could make a fun ending to a very special day.
Plan ahead, organize, advertise, and practice. Have no wasted moments, have lots of Pathfinder involvement, and arrange for a good youth speaker. Prepare simple displays of projects that the Pathfinders have completed, labeled with their name.
See Pathfinder Staff Manual.