Pathfinders Challenge Themselves at Pathfinder Bible Experience

Published on February 18, 2024

On February 18, 2024, ten Pathfinder clubs gathered at the Gulf States Conference Office for the Conference-wide Pathfinder Bible Experience (PBE), which is a series of events organized by the North American Division (NAD) that encourages youth Bible study.

What is the Pathfinder Bible Experience?

Over the course of a year, two books of the Bible are identified, alternating each year between the Old and New Testaments. This year’s books are Joshua and Judges. Clubs are encouraged to study and memorize portions of the identified books of the Bible. Additionally, they are prompted to study the introduction from the SDA Commentary for the specified books in preparation for the PBE.

After a year of extensive study, Pathfinder clubs meet in their geographic areas. Those that perform at the top levels are then invited to the Conference meetup, followed by the Union and then Division-wide competitions.

Young People Talking about the Word of God

Cesar Lopez, PBE director was in attendance at the Gulf States Conference PBE event and said, “it was very exciting. Thank God! I’m very happy to be running PBE, but more exciting is that young people are learning the Word of God. Interestingly, the servant of the Lord says, that when we’re in difficult moments, the Holy Spirit will bring back to our memories all that we’ve studied in the Bible. So it’s very impactful to watch a group of young people come together to talk about the Word of God.”

The participants were equally excited and shared real-life moments when God brought back scriptures to their memories that they had spent the previous year learning.

Jaheem from Phenix City Church in Phenix, AL noted that he learned “a lot of things from the Bible that I can use as future knowledge.”

Learning How to Work in Teams

Another common experience among the attendees was their growth in the area of working successfully in teams. Eric from Meridian, MS shared, “my experience was pretty interesting. I did have some fun with my group talking about the questions. I learned that we have to stick together as a team and help each other. Since we had the test, we helped each other. My recommendation is [for others] to join the Conquistadores (Pathfinders) so they can learn about our God.”

The PBE presented a challenge to the groups, who were given 90 questions based on the Bible knowledge they acquired over the previous year in the books of Joshua and Judges. Some of the young people, who took part in the event, acknowledged the stress and pressure they felt, like Madelyn from Hoover, AL with the Birmingham Highrisers.

She revealed that the experience was “stressful at first, but I got into the groove, then, after that, it was smooth running. I learned a lot. I learned teamwork is very important. If you fight a lot, it takes time away from the question you need to answer. If you come, just do your best and always know your best is enough.”

With God Everything is Possible

Another participant, who got a real-life lesson in teamwork, was Noel, from Birmingham Highrisers who shared, “My experience was good. My team was balanced. They were able to answer all the questions and work as a team. I think overall we worked pretty well together. I learned that with God everything is possible. With teamwork you can overcome anything.”

When thinking of how to explain the experience to someone who wasn’t there and is considering attending, Noel explained, “This is a very good experience! Even if you’re not participating, I think you can come and learn some new stuff from the verses they’re saying.”

Asking God for Help

While the experience provides an environment for the Pathfinders to do their best and answer as many questions correctly as possible, it’s also creates the space for them to practice asking God for help in their moments of need, just as the Scriptures encourage them to do.

Michael from Birmingham First Church stated, “I really appreciated how NAD wrote the questions. I really liked the experience; I learned a lot. One of the main things is that God will help you when you call on Him. We had to pray many times during the competition and God came through. Just try it. You never know until you try. Life is all about trying new things."

Making a Practice of Studying the Bible

For many of these students, studying the Bible has become a regular part of their annual routine. Israel from the Birmingham Highrisers said, “I enjoyed it. This is my 3rd year. Last year we went to nationals and came 2nd place. The goal is to go to nationals and get 1st place this year. My experience was great. I loved everyone coming out and competing. It was very lively -- great sportsmanship. I enjoyed it. I learned that we need to study more, of course. We need to work on communication. Other than that, I think we did a great job. Definitely come and do PBE. Try it. You’re going to love it!”

The Birmingham Highrisers had two clubs that finished in first place and will be attending the Southern Union-level competition on March 23, 2024.

When this year's PBE is finished, it's likely that many of this year's attendees will jump into Romans and 1 & 2 Corinthians, the books that have been identified for the 2025 PBE. If you've been considering joining the PBE, we invite you to give it a try -- spend time learning the scriptures and learning to work together with a team of people.