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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:01 pm 
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How do the instructors in your club handle teaching the SDA specific classwork sections to kids that are non-SDA?

Several clubs we've worked with or that are in our "Coordinator area" have had mixed success,. In fact we've had counselors struggle with "why" we "have to" do this, warry to teach what they don't totally understand, and can't figure out how to teach their 5th graders who have no SDA background.

Any ideas?

Mark O'Ffill

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:05 pm 
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As the senior or executive deputy I have always met with non-SDA parents prior to their child's registration. I answer their questions and for some have reassured them we are not a cult headed for the hills (yes, they have asked).

I let those parents/guardians know that we are a denomination with particular beliefs and their child will be exposed to them, and since it is our belief it will be taught as fact. They may choose to join in and learn those items as well and will have every opportunity since I will be sending the books home with their child (EGW). I will be happy to answer questions along the way and if they find any that I am not qualified to answer I will see to it they get the opportunity to ask the same question of an ordained Pastor in a timely manner (our church's when possible but if time does not allow it to be soon enough another local SDA minister).

If the parents have had an opportunity to become familiar with the foundational beliefs (fundamental 27) of our church before hand and have been reassured that we will be open and honest with them at every step then you can freely teach the children. No doubt with each generation a thorough undertsanding of EGW is harder to find, I am no exception. The debates that have been public within the church since the 1970's have caused some churches to de-emphasize EGW as a result it is harder for some to teach, especially if they came to the church as an adult. An issue I am not prepared to overcome or address, to be sure.

I have found that honesty with parents up front and continuos communication work well. I have found few parents desire greater explanations than those I can give them on our first meeting, although that meeting may take an entire evening. I suppose in some ways I have been fortunate to that end, and others have had a more difficult time of it.

Maybe one early training session for new staff should be with a conference EGW expert that can focus on the items presented in the classwork. Also, I think some of those items have alternatives in the manual. As to other items of doctrine a class to help prepare the staff would help I suppose, if it were a forum type allowing people to ask questions openly without the fear of judgement. Maybe evn the leadership conventions should hold these classes for AY Instructors who need preparation of the topic.

In Christ's Love,

Chris Fishell
Xtreme Youth Resources International


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:27 pm 
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I see a new Level 3 honor possibility.
An EGW honor that would cover the progressive classwork reading requirements that would teach the club staff what they need to know to teach the requirements.

Might be a good study course for Pathfinder Leadership Training sessions also.


Mr. Mike

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:48 pm 
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Mike,

I like it. Rough up a copy and I will put it up on my site for anyone who wants to pilot it.

Chris Fishell
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 3:05 pm 
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It will be awhile as I am up to my eyeballs in Bible Bowl hosting at the moment.

Mr. Mike

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:25 am 
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I have never done a Bible Bowl, but I know how they work....

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 2:51 pm 
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Bible Bowls are a great way to teach a book of the Bible each year to a Pathfinder group.
If the area Bible Bowl is far enough away, we usually do a overnight camping trip. This adds some fun to it.
Was lucky enough to have a good group of Bible Students one year and got to go to the Nationals. That was fun.

At times the attendance by church members at the event is not what I would hope for.


Mr. Mike

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 9:04 am 
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The first year that our club participated in the Bible Bowl the church members really jumped on board and helped us study, after that interest dropped off and it was harder to find quality study time, (especially with kids that the only time they studied was Pathfinder study events) ( in a small club, every participates, with the points given for participating, we would never make 200 club if we didn't participate.) We do like to do a winter camp in over Christmas break and study for the weekend. We study hard and play hard and have a good time.

Chelly


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 7:32 am 
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We have had a lot of Bible Bowl pizza parties over the years during the winter.
This is a great way to get the group into Bible study while having some fun.
We study for awhile, eat for awhile, study again, play a game or two and then study for a short time.
The time spent in study gets shorter each time you come back to study.
We also make the trip to the Area Bible Bowl a campout if at all possible.

I am still amazed at the knowledge that is obtained by the group as they study.

Mr. Mike

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 12:03 pm 
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I just wish that Bible Bowl study could replace some of the other Bible or outside reading that the kids need to do. We put alot of time and effort into Bible Bowl that we used to use for Bible reading requirements, and we have lately had a hard time getting those things done.

Chelly


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 8:20 pm 
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This really is not the right forum for this but this is where the discussion is building so...

I am not involved in the work going on to up date the classwork. I have reviewed the new versions that GC has put forward and I have some expectation that The reading will change in some fashion for the next round of updates.

My reasoning in pointing this out is this. I think rather than having Bible Bowls replace the reading have Bible Bowls that build on the reading. Each class level has a different set of reading criteria, this is done by design and is a good thing. What if a portion of each years focus could be adapted to a single Bible Bowl focus. This gives clubs the opportunity to recruit Pathifnders for their teams from each class and have them "specialize" in certain areas. My thought is that the topics are broad enough for many many questions to be drawn out allowing the system to rotate through a cycle over a 4 or five year period. This cycle time will eliminate Pathfinders from going through it more than one time.

It would also give NAD an opportunity to promote a particular Bible Bowl system that is equal. Those who subscribe would all be on the same page and building on the AY Classwork so any AJY group Pathfinder or not would be competitive without special study. Making participation more practical and possibly more wide spread. Also initiating a sequence of time that if demand becomes high enough NAD could be the direct sponsor of the event making the whole event build to a true AY Bible Bowl.

Just some more thinking out loud.

God Bless,

Chris Fishell
Xtreme Youth Resources International


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 8:42 pm 
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Well, I certainly agree that it would be a good thing if there was just one Bible Bowl system. I would also like to see some consistancy in the type of questions asked from year to year, as well as general study guides. We have all these resources, but on this one thing, each club is doing the same work as everyone else, and the smaller staffed clubs often have a harder time with the coaching. Another thing is the variance of the size of the club. If you have 20 kids, you choose the best 6 or the ones that have studied the most, if you have 5 kids, they all must participate.

I truely like the idea of Bible Bowl, but it isn't a perfect way to learn. A few years back we were studying Revelation, the kids learned lots of facts, but we weren't able to turn it into a study of Revelation, and the kids missed so much but not having the time to understand what they were learning.

Honestly, I'd like to see Bible Bowl turned into an opportunity of not just reading the Bible and learning the facts, but to be able to study what they are reading for understanding of the material. Hmmmm, so maybe I'm saying I would like a topical Bible Bowl, rather than on one particular book of the Bible.

I guess I'll have to keep thinking on this topic for a while. Chris, do you have any idea when the GC might make public their propsed updates?

Chelly


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 9:36 pm 
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GC did go public this winter, the links at their website are new requirements.

I do not know when the committee and AYD might be testing and placing new requirements for NAD.

As strange as it may be and as hard as it may be I am a proponent of the the current AY Classwork. I believe in the use of unified youth efforts and I would rather see our schools and Sabbath Schools refocused on ay then a change to cause an even greater chasm between them. I know that is not what you asked but from time to time you have to say what you think. The new GC classwork was designed with the independence of the Pathfinder program in mind, based in part on the idea that fewer of the SDA kids in the world are in our schools. That seems valid, except the sorts of things many Pathfinder Clubs have often relied on the school for are just what they do, reading, pysical fitness, and physical exams. The rest balanced on the church and the club. The exception was not for Pathfinders but kids in AJYS or JMV in the classroom where they did alot of ay. So I am always a little disappointed to see things change in a fashion that separates the agendas of the departments, I like to see one goal one aim.

I have not even gotten a glimpse at what NAD is working on and do not expect to until it available to everyone, but I would like to. Wouldn't we all? I know that Elder Black was one of the members on the GC development committee and that some clubs are beta testing the SPD's classwork here in the NAD - this is again widely different in design, I have seen some promotional stuff on that.

Mark mentioned in a seperate topic that he also had no time frame for NAD so my belief in general will be: not before the 06/07 Pathfinder Year would it even be possible for implementation and probbably more like 07/08.

God Bless,

Chris Fishell


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 7:30 am 
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I support Chris in the idea that school material, Sabbath school material, and Pathfinders class work should be unified.
It would be a great advantage to have all the material consistent and moving towards the same objective.

Our local school thinks Pathfinders should be a part of the school to the point that the Pathfinder Club is included in the school yearbook.


Mr. Mike

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 8:29 am 
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That is a very neat way to do things Mr. Mike. I think that our schools should be proud to include the Pathfinders and Adventurers. It does create somewhat of a challenge though to try to catch up the non church school children, if the church school does AY, but I have found myself spending extra time, (like taking them home from church with me) to do some of the catching up. On the otherhand, if all of your Pathfinders are in the school, it is great.

As far as teaching non SDA children, doctrinal material, I do inform the parents that we will be teaching doctrine and let them know that this is part of being in an SDA youth group. One child, came to Pathfinders having never been to any church at all, and after 16 months in Pathfinders, was Baptized. Watch for Andy's story... coming soon.

Chelly


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 12:10 pm 
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Yes, the non-SDA take some extra work.
You have to lay it all out at the start of the year and then keep on them to finish.
I have had a couple take all the way through the summer to finish, but we held a special investiture for them to honor their accomplishment.

Mr. Mike

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 3:17 pm 
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Pathfinders not in SDA schools wether they are SDA or not do pose a special challenge. But it is doable, it does mean having dedicated leadership and a supporting church to be successful.

The teaching of doctrine to non-SDA children is rightly approached as it has been discussed here. At times it is easier to have kids who are at best shirttale Christians than acitve families as the question of difference are fewer. I have a cousin who is about to Graduate from Catholic School, simply; the best private Christian school in his area is Catholic and not Adventist. His parents have worked with him very consistently to see to it that he understands why SDA is what it is, this is important for his growth and understanding. Having a discussion up front with non-SDA parents and sharing resources with them ahead of time is important.

Although our ministry is hopeful to bring people into the church that is not well accomplished by being dismissive or diminishing of others beliefs. Once the parents understand what is being taught and that they are free to come and observe they will be at greater ease and prepared both to work with their own child and hear what is said.

The reason I push so hard for unifying youth ministries including our schools is based on the world today. Many parents are disinvolved and few churches are the center of social engagement for the congregation any more. I discuss problem children (and work with them) in greater numbers now than I have ever known. Parents do not want us to punish their children but shrug teaching discipline, they want us to teach discipline and mold there children but only in one hour a week. If the church has a strong youth committee and the attached shool is committed to it as well, the mentors of the youth can work together for the greater good of the youth. Focusing Bible and Heritage studies by age group in every venue there will be less stress on the kids. If you do not work in the Sabbath School Department go visit. One thing you will observe in most rooms of Pathfinder aged kids is; they are learning slowly the lessons presented. I consider that this is relative to the amount of time they are in "school," they are full time in students plus SS plus Pathfinders and the curriculums are all different. Well math and most of science will not be taught at SS and in Pathfinders but the Bible classes and heritage, physical education and arts can build on one another and not bring the effort outside of the legal curriculum needs of school.

This is also a way to see that all of the mentors in one kids life work together for that kid. If a kid is having trouble at school, then the Pathfinder Counselor, who is more likely a confidant than the teacher, can help to reach the root cause; the same sorts of issues apply in all areas of the child's development. A team of adults supporting both child and parent in the growth of the child and family. Such an environment may bring more kids to our schools too, as parents learn of the support network there.

Thanks, and God Bless,

Chris Fishell
Xtreme


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