Grow for Glory and the Word of Life ministries, Gopher Buddies program, forms an inspiring and exclusive discipleship system for Children. We are committed to serve the child by making God’s word come alive in their hearts with precision and clarity that will be remembered for a lifetime.
How the Program Actually Works?
At registration, each child will receive a daily quiet-time booklet that includes a reward system and set of stickers that is often more enjoyed by parents than the children themselves. After the weekly G-Buddies gathering, each child in the Club will receive an additional colorful handout explaining the weekly lessons to the parents – these correspond with the lessons in the quiet-time booklet for that particular week. Parents are also welcome and advised to make use of the parental page on our website www.growforglory.co.za that is designed to help parents fulfil their biblical mandate and raise Godly children. We are continuously looking for the best articles on challenges we face as parents and also provide space for parental tips. If you do visit our web page and don’t find an article you are looking for please note that and leave a comment. We are committed to serve children and that includes a system that coach their guardians as well. These are a few of the benefits of registering your child/family for the G-Buddies program.
The G-Buddies weekly gathering takes place once a week during school hours. The interactions start off with a warm greeting, prayer and an energetic time of worship. This Bible study program makes God’s Word come alive to children by using a modular approach to reinforce learning. The well- prepared lessons are then explained to the children with clarity and creativity by using a variety of visuals, props and puppets. The Gopher Buddies curriculum has a three-year scope and sequence, exposing your child virtually to the whole Bible in a fun and exciting way. Each year the curriculum covers 48 lessons, some of which are theme lessons and others which are individual stand-alone lessons. The curriculum covers:
- Foundational Truths: These six modules contain four lessons each on the Bible, God, Jesus, Christian Growth, Sin and the Church.
- Character Traits: These four modules contain two lessons each and help children learn about, understand and develop key character traits in their lives.
- Theme Lessons: These cover Christmas, Easter, and certain other festivals, handled from a Biblical perspective. They connect with parents and reach out to the community.
- Holiday Club Lessons: These are presented during the school holidays and at organised events. Depending on the theme of the event these might cover stories of Super Heroes found in the Old and New Testaments or some character trait lesson.
We believe that children are a direct blessing from God (Psalm 127:3). Every young person we meet has been called into existence by God and therefore we treat them with admiration and appreciation as we interact with him/her. Serving four to six year olds is both a wonderful opportunity and an awesome responsibility that we don’t take up lightly. Deuteronomy 6:7, 2 Timothy 3:15, and Matthew 28:19-20 are a few passages that reveal to us that children can know and understand those Biblical truths which lead them to salvation and spiritual growth. From these principles, we arrive at the Gopher Buddies philosophy statement: “Since Scripture teaches that children can know and understand the Word of God, we will communicate foundational truths of Scripture to children with creativity and clarity.”
We at Grow for Glory believes that four to six-year-old children can develop a positive understanding of the Bible upon which to build their lives. Parents will agree with us that all children should be encourage to grow in these four core areas:
- Grow in wisdom (Prov. 2:1-5).
- Grow in stature (1 Cor. 3:16-17).
- Grow in favour with God (Jer. 29:11).
- Grow in favour with others (Josh. 1-9).
It is a fact that our children won’t grow in any of these particular areas without deeply improving in one or two other areas as well. This is particularly true when growing in favour with God – it theatrically progresses function in all of the other areas. What we aim to teach, we teach for the Glory of God.
The success of the program is built around five interlinking building blocks:
- Bible Study: Believing that the Bible is true and relevant for children, we will endeavor to lead each child to an understanding of the Biblical Scriptures. Remember that it is our weekly G-Buddies classes with the parent’s interaction at home that combines a system that affect change in the character and conduct of each child. Deep down your child knows that God is eager to embrace him/her. As the child comprehends the foundational Biblical truths taught weekly, they will grow in their desire to know, love and serve God.
- Quiet Time: Believing that the Word of God is essential to a child’s spiritual growth, the Gopher Buddies Quiet Time is designed to help parents read God’s Word to their children and discuss the truths of God’s Word with them daily. It takes no more than five minutes to complete the prayer, reading and the activity. The use of the Gopher Buddies Quiet Time allows each child to learn how God speaks to them through the Bible and that they can talk to God through prayer. Each day the Gopher Buddies Quiet Time refers to a passage of Scripture to be read to the child. The “I Can Know” section provides a sentence summary of that day’s passage, the “I Can Learn” is an interactive section for the child and the “I Can Pray” section encourages the child to talk to God through prayer. Parents love this well designed and practical tool. Children are excited to spend time listening to the Bible being read to them each day. Talking with God through prayer is also a highlight of their daily quiet time.
- Scripture Memory: Believing that all Scripture is profitable compels us to assist children in committing to memory portions of the Word of God. Scripture memory shapes the child’s thinking and impacts their behavior. The G-Buddies trainers along with teachers and parents assist the children in memorizing portions of Scripture that correlate with the lessons of each month. The Home Connection page that is sent home each week highlights the Scripture reference that the children are to be learning.
- Christian Service: Believing that children are capable of serving the Lord should motivate parents and leaders to provide character-building service activities for the children. The character and the compassion of children are developed through Christian service activities. Each child is encouraged to participate in a minimum of three Christian service activities under the direction of their family and school. Serving God by helping others develops the character and the compassion of the children.
- Incentive Program: Jesus often spoke of rewards. In Revelation 22:12 He said, “I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Future rewards are clearly set before believers and present rewards can be a source of motivation and recognition for a child’s work and faithfulness. But the main benefit of the program still remains their own spiritual growth as they build a lasting relationship with the Lord as well as a growing relationship with their friends. Many pleasures in life are momentary, but the joy of seeing children come to a saving knowledge of the Saviour is a joy that will not fade away.
It is a well-known fact that the amount of time parents and children spend in true interaction is not what it should be. Many times parents are at a loss as to how they can make a change for the better in the limited time they have to invest in the lives of their children. The G-Buddies program can be a catalyst for positive change in the families of the children we served by this ministry. The truths of Scripture can also have a positive impact upon the character of each child even before they know Christ as Saviour. Certainly Christian character can and should be taught to children even prior to their salvation. The story of young Samuel provides us with insight in this area. We are told three times that the child ministered before the Lord (1 Samuel 2:11, 18; 3:1). What is interesting is that although he ministered before the Lord, the Scripture also reveals that while he served he “did not yet know the Lord” (1 Samuel 3:7). This confirms the fact that character building truths can develop prior to conversion and therefore we commit to keep on teaching and encouraging them from a biblical perspective. What Family today can afford to neglect this opportunity today. All Families should benefit and take advantage of the positive effect in children learning about good Christian character.
We as parent and teachers can make a difference in the lives of our young children. Such belief leads us at Grow for Gory to make the following commitments to you:
- Biblical Principles: The principles of God’s Word provide the rock solid foundation for all we do. In a changing world, we stand with confidence on the unchanging Word.
- Excellence: Your children deserve excellence in ministry. Our facilitator is well trained and holds a degree in theology, ready to present a curriculum and activities to captivate your children. Excellence and precision is more than our goal – it is our commitment to you!
- Strategy: Through the G-Buddies Club, we will establish a game plan for children’s ministry. Stability and success grow out of such a well-planned strategy.
- Accountability: The leadership of Grow for Glory believe that we cannot afford to be an island to ourselves. Interaction and personal accountability is one of the secrets to successful ministry and therefore we collaborate with and are accountable to the parents, teachers as well as various church denominations.
Never hesitate to contact us for advice, assistance, or just to talk things over. It is our honour and calling to serve you and your child.
Hopefully the above information explains how the Grow for Glory and G-Buddies discipleship system works. It is exciting to watch a child’s simple understanding of these truths grow during the time that they are part of the G-Buddies program. To really invest in the spiritual growth of your child please register your child as a member of the G-Buddies club and maximise his/her opportunity to know, love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Parents will be empowered through this practical way of assisting them as they invest in the spiritual growth and development of their little blessings: “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth” (Ps. 127:4, NKJV).