Recently my church, the Clarksville Seventh- Day Adventist Church, resurrected our Pathfinder Club, which disappeared for reasons unknown to me. Sponsored by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Pathfinder club is a worldwide organization designed to minister, guide, and educate the youth through training, activities, and prayer. Our local club was brought back with God’s hand and the encouragement and initiative of fellow church member Jose Alba, who is big on reaching out to the youth. This is a wonderful thing, because too often the youth of the church get overlooked and end up leaving when they come of age.
When I first agreed to be a part of Pathfinders, I wasn’t sure what to expect or how much I could contribute, but I told my brother-in-Christ that I’d be willing to help out however way I could. Shortly thereafter, I became both co music coordinator and teacher for the Clarksville SDA Pathfinder Club.
Last Saturday, with some encouragement; studying; planning; and prayer, I co facilitated a class with my friend David. Before agreeing to teach, I didn’t know how the young people would respond to me with my speech. Little kids especially always seem awestruck when they first hear me speak. They don’t quite understand what is happening to me when they see my eyes close or lips and tongue tense as I try to get out my words.
As I prepped for the lesson on a couch in the church fellowship hall, I remembered how my dad goes about teaching a Sabbath school class, which he loves just as much as giving a sermon. He often says the class teaches itself and that he’s merely a facilitator. Rather than him going on and on like a college professor that puts the class to sleep, Dad lets those in class give feedback, and he encourages them to not be afraid to speak up. He loves talking, but he enjoys an interesting conversation where everyone has something to say.
During the lesson, David; myself; and the two Pathfinders we were assigned took turns reading the scriptures attached to the lesson. After group reading, we gave our class ten minutes to answer 3 questions: “What did I learn about God?” “What did I learn about myself?”, “How can I apply this to my life?”. We assured the youth that there were no wrong answers to the questions and that they could go back and reread the verses for clarification.
The lesson topic was quite fitting for me- self- esteem. It was fitting because I had gained the confidence to teach a class despite the fact that I don’t quite talk as fine as others do. As I read each word from the book of my Savior, my stutter seemed to back off long enough for me to get out every word. The trick was having a rhythm in my voice like I was singing a song or reciting a poem. Also, I elongated those sounds that I usually get stuck on.
David and I discussed how God wants us to put our trust in Him, rather than trust solely in others. Also, we shouldn’t glorify in our abilities, but rather we should glorify in God and use our abilities to glorify him. Even if your talent is just passing out literature, God can use you. One of the highlights of the class was when David brought up a scripture that I basically live by- Philippians 4:13.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
I encouraged the two pathfinders to say this scripture everyday, if they ever feel the need to. Saying this little motivator has kept me strong and helps me to not be afraid to interact with others.
I pray the two Pathfinders walked away with something from the lesson. I don’t see myself becoming a school teacher, but I can see why some people get a thrill out of teaching as a profession.