Sixteen eager Pathfinder teams from clubs around the Northwest raised their hands for the Pathfinder Pledge. They were ready for an intense afternoon in Gladstone, Oregon, on Sabbath, March 14 — The 2015 North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) Pathfinder Bible Experience.
For those unaccustomed to this annual excitement, here’s what it’s all about. Bible Experience teams in local Pathfinder clubs across North America work together to strengthen their knowledge of Bible truth. The events are focused each year on a specific portion of Scripture — usually an entire book of the Bible. The 2015 focus was the Gospel of Matthew.
There are four levels in the Bible Experience program. Teams are tested by regional areas in January and February and by conference in February. Those that correctly answer 90 percent of the questions at the conference level are eligible to participate in the NPUC-level exercise. In turn, those that achieve the first-place level there can take part in the final NAD-wide event. Sponsors work hard to minimize any sense of team-versus-team competition. Each group is issued an award commensurate with their efforts in understanding the Bible.
This year’s NPUC event featured 90 questions, such as, “According to Matthew 16:4, how did Jesus describe the generation that seeks a sign?” The answer? “Wicked and adulterous.” Or this one: “According to Matthew 23:12, what will happen to he who humbles himself? Be specific.” Those who answered “will be exalted” got it right.
Seventh-day Adventists have long aimed to be “people of the Word.” Pathfinder clubs have taken that theme to heart. The annual Pathfinder Bible Experience events held throughout the Northwest are exercises that enable Adventist young people to delve into Scripture. The passionate interaction seen in the faces of these Northwest teams as they participated this year shows that more than rote knowledge is happening. Parents and Pathfinder leaders alike pray that this annual emphasis will allow many young people to plant a love for the Word of God down deep in their hearts.