Last November the Southview Pathfinder Club led the Southview Adventist Church service. Dressed in class A uniforms, club members marched in accompanied by our drum corps, welcomed everyone, led the songs of praise, told the children’s story and preached the sermon.

At Southview Church, getting our children and youth involved in day-to-day ministry is an important component to our church’s strategy. We want to equip our kids “… for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Eph. 4: 12).

It’s not enough for kids to just attend church. Instead, we want them to gain experience and feel a sense of purpose by being actively engaged. By involving them, we hope to lead them to a lifelong personal relationship with Christ.

During the planning phase, club leadership knew our club of 34 could fill a lot of roles. Staff member Miggy Wood began organizing our Pathfinders so everyone had a specific job, from greeter to deacon to praise team, children’s story teller, and special music presenter. Our drum corps practiced for the march in.

The biggest question, though, was whether someone would volunteer to preach the sermon.Would any Pathfinder be willing to preach to our church body of about 300 people? We immediately had four volunteers! During the sermon time, Pathfinders Daniel, Emma, Hellen and Christian each spoke on a favorite topic.

Seeing our Pathfinders share their message—either in action, word or music—made for a memorable service. At the end, Pastor Sean Lee told the congregation, “If these young people can preach, so can you!”

Afterward, a church member commented, “That was a wonderful service. What a way to teach our young people leadership skills!”

Vicki Duran is Pathfinder director for the Southview Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.