As the Seventh-day Adventist Church celebrates the centennial year of the Master Guide ministry, more than five hundred Master Guides in Jamaica gathered for a special rally at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) Gymnatorium on August 27, 2022.
The youth leaders drawn from across the five conferences that comprise the Jamaica Union gathered under the theme “Ignited for Mission: I Will Go.” The event catered to both active and inactive Master Guides as well those in training, with the aim of motivating them to serve confidently in their churches, clubs, and communities.
In his address, Everett Brown, president of the Adventist Church in Jamaica, reminded youth leaders of the influential role they play in completing the mission of the church.
“I am excited because you are that trained body of workers — Master Guides — who will carry the light of the gospel to draw back to the Seventh-day Adventist Church our young people who have wandered away,” Brown said.
The rally comes ahead of the preparations in Jamaica for the Fifth Inter-American Pathfinder Camporee, themed “Pathfinders in Mission,” which will be held for the first time in an English-speaking territory, April 4-8, 2023.
Dane Fletcher, youth ministries director for the Adventist Church in Jamaica, spoke of the strategy to “reignite the advent flame” leading up to the camporee.
“We need to identify strong clubs, clubs that need a little help, clubs that are dormant or inactive, and reactivate them,” Fletcher said. “And even where there are no clubs, we need to start clubs.”
Due to the restrictions experienced in the past two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some Master Guides and youth leaders went virtual with their Pathfinder club activities. Virtual Pathfinder clubs such as the Mordecai Pathfinder Club of the East Jamaica Conference were born during the pandemic to aid in keeping the youth engaged where there were limited resources for local churches, Fletcher explained.
Youth ministries leaders are determined not to leave any Pathfinder behind. “Of the 738 or so churches and congregations in Jamaica, no church with Pathfinder age groups should be left behind, especially with technology at our disposal,” Fletcher said.
In his sermon message, Al Powell, youth ministries leader for the Inter-American Division, inspired Master Guides to get more involved in recruiting youth to join the ministry.
“We are losing too many young people, and we find out that the young people that do not go into the Pathfinder Club, they are the quickest ones to leave the church,” Powell said.
He boasted of the vocational leadership that guides the Pathfinder ministry and the need for youth leaders to walk in their purpose.
“It’s dangerous to settle and forget the mission God has called you to,” Powell said.
The rally was not only a time to discuss strategies for mission, but took to the streets, joining with this year’s global celebration of “enditnow,” a global initiative to raise awareness and advocate for the end of violence against women and children.
Church members joined in as the uniformed group stirred up the town of Mandeville in Manchester, marching from the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist Church to downtown to distribute literature to motorists and those they passed along the way. They also held up banners to encourage the end of violence to women and children.
During the gathering downtown, leaders of the Inter-American Division, the Jamaican Union, and regional conferences gave Master Guides the call to step up for mission, organizers reported. Youth leaders also worshiped and prayed with residents, they said.