Secret Service: No Turning Back

Community: Service
10-12 years, 12-14 years, 14-16 years
Anticipate Time
240: 4 or more hours min
2-5, 5-15, 15-30


See how many small service projects from the Underground book, “No Turning Back” that one team can accomplish in a set time period.

Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:

  1. Show initiative in the area of service to others
  2. Participate in acts of service
  3. Work with a team to accomplish acts of service

Scripture Focus

Memory Verse

Matthew 25:40
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a story about how it will be decided who goes home with Him to heaven. He says to those on his right hand, “Come and inherit the kingdom I’ve prepared for you, because…” and He goes on to explain that when he was hungry, thirsty, naked and poor – those people looked after Him. But they didn’t understand. When did they do any of things to Jesus? Jesus gives them the famous answer: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” That’s why we must not rest in our comfortable life. We are called to serve.


Initially, none. However once the service projects are chosen, you may need to provide the groups with specific materials.

  • Materials will be dependent on the service activities that are chosen.


This Pursuit is a challenge for Pathfinders to work in teams to see how many small service projects from the list (in the Appendix) one team can accomplish in a set time period. The Pathfinder meeting time at the start and finish of the Pursuit is for the planning and recording of the completed service projects.

These service challenges are taken (with permission) from the Underground Workbook, “No Turning Back”. Let the Pathfinders know that in completing these service project challenges, they are doing the service challenges that an Underground youth group is given.

1. Divide your club (or the group you want to do this Pursuit – you can use this as a multi-level Pursuit) into groups of at least four and no more than eight.
2. Explain the rules of the secret service challenge:
a. Teams have from this meeting until the next meeting to complete as many of the service projects listed in this Pursuit as possible.
b. Any amendments to the service challenges must be approved by the Club Director or leader of the Pursuit.
c. Completion of the service challenges must be witnessed by an adult with a signed statement of completion.
d. The challenges must stay secret! Pathfinders are to receive no credit or reward for their service.
3. Allow the teams time to read over the service ideas. Give them time to ask for any clarification needed.
4. Ask each team to present a list of the secret service challenges they plan to attempt in the time period allotted. The list should be specific as to where, when, how and by whom the service will be performed.
5. Ask each team to nominate one (or more) person/s as the coordinator for each service challenge. This will give them a greater chance to achieve the goals each team will set for itself.
6. When they come back for the next meeting, ask each team to give a report of completed, attempted and failed secret service projects. If possible have prizes, awards or some other small recognition for the teams who have served well.


Leaders, be sure to follow up on discussing when and how the Pathfinders saw the memory text in action throughout this Pursuit. 
Select from the questions below:

  • What was the most satisfying service project you completed?


  • What does it feel like to be able to help someone else?
  • Why do you think we don’t help strangers very often?


  • Is it possible for you to be in a group that does service projects more often?


  • Would you like to be?
  • How can you make it happen?


“No Turning Back” is an Underground Workbook available from the Youth Department of the South Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Serving Ideas 
from ‘No Turning Back’

1. Think of one person you know who needs a friend, someone just to hang out with them and listen. It may be an elderly person, a ‘not-so-cool’ person, someone who is grieving, someone who has just moved to the area and doesn’t know anyone, or perhaps someone you know who has lost their job. Make an effort to contact that person and spend time talking to them on the phone, or visiting them. If neither is possible, make the effort to send a card or a note to let them know that you are thinking of them.

2. Bake a cake or some biscuits and take to school with a bunch of serviettes and hand out freely to all at lunch time- not just your group of friends, but people that you normally wouldn’t interact with.

3. God must shed a tear when he sees how His creation gets treated. Why wait until ‘Clean up Australia Day’ or for someone to ask? Grab a couple of garbage bags, some rubber gloves and find a littered park or roadside in your area. Clean it up as a team on a Sunday morning. You could have a picnic together afterwards, or even better- a BBQ! Bring along a soccer ball or a Frisbee and make it a double whammy; two hours of group service followed by a group social!

4. For this whole next week, offer to do the chores of someone else you live with. Not in exchange for yours, but on top of yours! If your mum always does the washing up- you do it for a whole week. If Mum always cleans the shower, you do it this week (oh come on… you can handle it…it’s only one week!).

5. How clean are the windows of your next-door neighbour’s house? During the week, ask your neighbour if you can wash his/her windows. You will probably get an unusual reaction (well it’s an unusual offer), but just be sensitive and explain that you care about them and know they are busy and want to help. Then when your group meets again, share your experiences, the different reactions you got. This type of open and humble service can be a great witness and might spark some interesting conversation between you and your neighbour too. Perhaps you could ask them what he/she needs done the most- maybe plants need to be watered or kids need to be minded…

6. Put an encouraging note on the secretary’s desk at school. Try to do it secretly. Prepare one for each day of the week.

7. Read John 13:4-15. Prepare water basins and towels. In pairs, wash each other’s feet as an act of service, love and remembrance. Pray with your partner when your has finished.

8. Before the group meets, see if you can find any old, clean, winter garments or blankets that you don’t use anymore. Each member can bring their item(s) to the meeting to be placed in a large bag and given to charity as a group collection. Perhaps your group could call the Salvation Army and find out about the nearest soup kitchen that you could serve at as team one week in place of your usual meeting. Or perhaps you could meet together to make a pot of soup to donate to the soup kitchen.

9. For this week make a special breakfast for someone in your household (a flat mate, parent, brother or sister). Share next week how your special breakfast went and how the recipient responded.

10. Organise with one of the children’s departments of your church to take one of the Sabbath school programs in the next few weeks. Each member of your group can take a specific role; one member may tell a story, one member may run a craft activity, if you have musicians in your group you could even play their songs for them. Those little kids will love you for it! Whether you realise it or not, those kids look up to you- and the adult leaders will be incredibly grateful for a weekend off!! Be sure to organise it 2 or 3 weeks in advance and get permission from the Sabbath School leaders and find an appropriate way to fit in with their program.

11. Write each group member’s name on a separate piece of paper and put in a hat or box. Each person can draw out a name. Call that person this week or send them a note to encourage and challenge them to give of themselves to God.