Aslan Academy - 2. How to use Aslan Academy Program

How to Use this Program
The Purpose of the Aslan Academy Program

The Aslan Academy program is designed (1) to address one of the most important needs in our families and churches today—for parents to understand the importance and urgency of beginning and sustaining the process of effectively discipling their children and (2) to provide an easy-to-use approach and a limited list of effective resources to begin that journey. 



Parents face many pressures and complications in raising children today, and there is no shortage of books, articles, programs or plans to help them be effective parents. The problem for many parents is to know where to start.  

At the Aslan Academy, we’ve tried to make this a much simpler process, providing parents with a limited number of highly effective books, articles, Bible studies and thoughtful questions to get on a path where discipleship can take place.   

We provide parents a recommended Seven Step Plan, where each step builds on the previous step.  These steps are to be completed at a pace comfortable for an individual family. Each step integrates a variety of elements including:
 

Prayer—how to pray with your child and to build a prayer team to pray for you and your family as you begin the Aslan Academy program.  
 

Read & Study—learning from a combination of short articles, Bible studies, and a limited selection of highly effective books to provide parents a foundational knowledge of the elements necessary for your
             child’s spiritual growth.  
 

Apply—how to put what you are learning into practice, with suggestions for each step along the way.  
 

Family Activities—how to help your family develop habits and regular activities that will contribute to spiritual growth. 

 


The components listed below are incorporated in the Seven Step Plan, sequenced to build on the previous step. Here is a brief description of each component:

 
Reviewing the Fundamentals

Whether you are a new or long-time believer, it is important to review the fundamentals of the Christian faith before beginning the process of discipling your child. 

 

Understanding and Encouraging Heart Change

Rather than simply seeking behavior modification, it is important to understand that long-term change comes through authentic heart change, driven by the Holy Spirit. 

 

Developing Character and Faith That Lasts

Learning important character traits can assist in deepening faith and will provide a foundation that will help your child persevere through challenges.

 

Teaching the Bible to Your Children

Children (and parents) need to understand (1) how the Bible is one amazing story of God’s love and (2) His plan for redemption. God’s Word is essential in helping your children know, love, and understand God’s plan in their lives. 

 

Introducing Spiritual Disciplines to Your Children

For centuries believers have developed helpful practices to help them grow in their faith. Parents can use these same disciplines, applied in an age-appropriate manner, to help their child develop and practice a deep faith.

 

Helping Children Understand and Explain Their Faith

Significant numbers of children leave their faith when challenged in high school, college, or as young adults. Children must be equipped to truly understand what they believe, be prepared to explain and defend their beliefs, and be comfortable sharing that faith with others. 

 

We also offer additional resources to inspire and encourage families as they read together, and resources for children to read or listen to on their own.

 


This program requires the reading of a variety of books, usually 1 to 2 books in each section, over the course of the Seven Step Plan, which may take anywhere from six months to a year. The complete resource list is in a separate section, but please note that in many cases parents are asked to read only one of two or three choices; there is no need to purchase all the books to get started. We recommend that parents eventually go back and read all the resources, but it is not necessary up front.  

We have provided links to Amazon.com, which offers parents the choice of new, used, or Kindle versions of the books. Even families on a very tight budget should be able to gain access to these books at a reasonable cost. Most of the books are available on a variety of other websites (e.g., CBD, Cokesbury) and in many bookstores. Parents might also check their local libraries or their church library.  

The other resources—Bible studies, short articles, issues to ponder, etc.—are included in this guidebook and are available on the Aslan Academy website at www.cslewisinstitute.org/AslanAcademy

 


For married couples, the program will have the greatest effect if both parents “buy in” and participate fully in the Seven Step Plan. If only one spouse will be carrying the load, or if you are unmarried, seek a godly adult friend or relative to help you as you seek to disciple your child. Perhaps seek a group of single parents in your church who might simultaneously participate in the Aslan Academy program to provide prayer support and a sounding board as you seek to lead your child to know and love our Lord. Whether you are married or single, God loves you and your family and wants you to know Him better and grow in faith. 

 


Discipling your child will take time. While the Aslan Academy has been designed to work for busy parents, it is important to do some necessary “cleaning out” of schedules before beginning. The program calls for short morning or evening times with your child, for longer discussions at mealtime or other times, and time for occasional activities. In addition, each step in the Aslan Academy program asks parents to complete a Bible study, read short articles and one or two books. Last, and perhaps most important, blocking out time to pray for your child and for your efforts to disciple your child is absolutely essential.  

Few parents look back and say they wished they had spent less time with their children. Finding time now, even in the midst of busy work, school, and sports activities, is important. If your children’s spiritual growth is a priority in your family, that priority has to be reflected in the time allocated to it. Similarly, if you want your children to grow, they must have time in their schedules. Make sure your children are not already overburdened with other activities. Again, if spiritual growth is a priority, it must not be reflected only in your schedule, but also in your children’s schedules.  

 


The Aslan Academy Seven Step Plan provides a simple, consistent approach that will lead you through the foundational elements of the program and help you develop daily habits with your child. Read over the full list of resources, and choose the resources you will need for the first two steps (carefully noting that often you are given a choice between two resource options). Order the books so you will have them as you complete each step. Be sure to order additional resources in time for later steps. Other than the first step, which should take two to four weeks, the other steps will take four to eight weeks. 



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