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Big Buds Mentoring Program

What is Big Buds?

Big Buds is an intentional mentoring and discipleship initiative aimed at engaging children in significant relationships with adults from their faith community outside their own family.

What is Big Buds?

A Big Buds mentor intentionally engages in relationship with their Little Bud. They take the time to listen, send letters, cards, emails, make phone calls, remember significant events such as birthdays, school tests, sporting events, and promise to regularly pray for the child. Each Big Buds partnership may look different, as they will be tailored to the individual child’s personality and needs.

Big Buds may also be a significant platform from which to launch or enhance additional one-to-one mentoring or discipleship programs.

A ‘My Big Bud’ and a ‘My Little Bud’ information card is supplied to the child and the mentor respectively. This includes a photo and space for important information to be recorded, such as birthday, pets, hobbies and special interests or events.

Safe people requirements

Because God values children we want to ensure that all our people and programs include the highest level of care for all involved. All mentors involved in Big Buds must comply with Salvation Army policies regarding the safety of children. Depending on your state this will include a Federal Police check or Working with Children Check and completing team member ChildSafe training.

The research behind Big Buds

The Search Institute(1) identifies that to help young people grow up healthy, caring and responsible, certain building blocks or ‘assets’ are required. In total, forty assets are identified. As a Christian community, we are able to provide many of these required building blocks, in partnership with the child’s family and school communities, such as the examples below. Big Buds is one way that we can help develop a child, specifically addressing the areas of:

  • A child receiving support from adults other than his or her parent(s).
  • A child feeling valued and appreciated by adults in the community.
  • Adults modeling positive, responsible behaviour.

In partnership with other children’s ministry initiatives at Mooroolbark, we believe that Big Buds is one way that we can intentionally mentor children through connecting, engaging and caring for them in a way that matches their developmental stage and individual personality.

(1) Search Institute 40 Developmental Assets for Middle Childhood. Available internet (http://www.search-institute.org)

If you would like more information regarding Big Buds and where you can get a copy of the CD-ROM then contact your Divisional Children's Representative.