Guidelines for the Buddy System

What makes Jesus Club unique is the individual care that we give to each Member. One way we do this is through our Buddy Groups. Leaders are assigned to a group of Members, “Buddies”, that they are to care for. Just like having your own bible study group! The aim is to build friendships with your buddies and encourage them to know God.

What to Do

• Lead or participate in the Buddy Group segment of the program.
• Learn about any of your buddies' special requirements.
• Get to know their parents or carers.
• Pray for your buddies during the week.

Birthday cake never fails to be the centre of attention!

Extra Ideas

• Invite them to church on Sunday.
• Write them a card or organise a cake on their birthday.
• Attend one of their recreational activities and cheer them on (e.g. bowling, tennis).
• Invite a group to your place for a BBQ.
• If they are ill or have missed a Jesus Club session, give them a phonecall to see how they’re going. 

Leading a Buddy Group Discussion

After the Upfront Teaching segment of the program, Leaders and Members break up into Buddy Groups to reflect on the lesson they just learnt and pray for each other. Leaders are expected to follow the Buddy Group Sheet, which contains questions about the lesson. This is an example of a Buddy Group Sheet:

Tips for leading a Buddy Group discussion

  • Use the questions on the sheet as a guide. As you get to know Members personally you can modify the questions to suit them more individually.

  • Don't be afraid to try new ideas. Draw pictures or use props to help them learn. For example, grab some props from the upfront lesson to remind Members what was taught.

  • When learning a Bible story, ask extra questions to help Members imagine what happened. For example, if learning about Jesus calming the storm, ask if they'd feel cold or hot, wet or dry.

  • Praise Members when they answer questions. Build their confidence in learning.

  • After asking a question, pause for a while to allow Members to answer, rather than giving them the answer straight away. Members often take their time to answer.

  • Encourage both Members and Leaders to answer questions (but mostly Members, of course). Members are our peers, rather than just people we look after, and it helps them to see that Leaders are learning alongside them.

Buddy Outings

Our Members are not just people we hang out with during program time, but are dear friends that we hope will also become our brothers and sisters in Christ. We encourage you to get to know your buddies beyond the limited program time. You may want to organise an outing for your Buddy Group. Outings are simply get-togethers with your buddies – to the movies, a dinner party, a game of cricket in the park etc. You can look at our Event and Outing Ideas page to inspire you.

Darren and Brad at a Buddy Outing to the park.

When planning an outing, consider the following points. 

  • ▢ Check that Members have given written permission. At the beginning of each year, we request the written permission (from carers/parents and Members) for Members to go on outings. You do not need written permission for each outing as the beginning-of-the-year form covers all outings for the year.

  • ▢ Inform carer/parents about all the details of the outing. Make sure you have their contact details in case of emergencies.

  • ▢ Have at least two, rather than one, Leaders (or able-bodied adults) attend the outing. Depending on the type of outing and the needs of the Members, it's recommended that there is a ratio of at least one Leader for every two Members.

  • ▢ When organising outings, inquire into the preferences of Members. Respect the convenience, cost and suitability to the Members.