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on Leading the Next Generation


Would You Like to Be in My New Book?

I am finishing a new book that will be released next June. Would you like to be in it?

I am looking for great ideas from people like you who have done something that has helped prepare a young person for adulthood, for life or for leadership. Ideas could be anything like…

* A rule you came up with at home

* A project you asked them to take on

* A challenge they undertook

* An experience you staged for them

* An assignment you gave them

I plan to add a chapter in my new book, Artificial Maturity, that will be full of “best practices” from people like you around the world. Your creativity may just help tens of thousands of parents, teachers, youth pastors, coaches, and managers do a better job raising up this new generation to become healthy adults.

(P.S. – If I use your idea, I will give you a shout out).  :o)

Use the comment section below or email to [email protected]

Thanks a million,



  1. Sarah McBroom on September 13, 2011 at 7:30 am

    One of the things we taught both of our girls is to find your passion and then go with it.  They have both done this very well.  Our oldest is a dance major in college with the hope to come home and build a Christian dance studio in our small community.  Our youngest is a Senior in high school and will enter college next year to major in English and her goal is to write Christian fiction.  She is about to have her first work  published.  As a home school family, we have had lots of oppurtunities to encourage their passions.  They are both passionate about missions and have counseled at camps and gone on mission trips.  I am excited for what God is doing and will continue to do through them, as they hone their leadership skills and pursue their passions.


  2. Tom Schulte on September 13, 2011 at 9:12 am

    My wife and I had 5 kids in the span of 5 1/2 years. We were 27 and 28-years old when twins came into our home to join our other three children. We had very busy lives raising our family.

    When the kids were young, we had many challenges in trying to get them to do the things they were supposed to do on a daily basis. In a conversation with my son when the kids were in elementary school, I realized that none of my kids could possibly keep up with everything that was expected. They simply didn’t have to computing power to remember everything.

    So, to help each child see what was expected of them, we made personal checklists with EVERYTHING we could think of to help them keep track of their daily stuff. We had everything from daily things like “take your vitamin,” feed the dog,” and “brush your teeth (twice)” to weekly teamwork tasks like “take trash to curb,” “vacuum your room,”  clean bathroom” to seasonal things like “clean garage” and “rake leaves.” We had photocopies of blank checklists for each upcoming week so that the kids could see both today’s expectations and the coming weeks.

     The kids loved them because they got to see everything that was expected and mom and dad would not be constantly repeating ourselves in frustration. We would simply ask if their checklist was done rather than complaining to them that they didn’t do what was expected. 

    By having an expectation list before them, each child had sense of accomplishment that was available to them on a daily basis. REAL self esteem was achieved by them when THEY got their stuff done. They could get their spend-the-nights or other rewards when things were completed and missed out when they were not.

    Rather than being overwhelming to them, it was a simplification tool for them. It also kept mommy and daddy in a peaceful mood.

    Each child had a binder so that we could track weekly progress. They set their morning alarms on time, brushed their teeth (mostly), and fulfilled their teamwork obligations. Some neighbors thought us mean for making the kids do chores, but we had a success-minded team and each team member was a contributor to our household success. We simply told them that we don’t use the word “chores.” We use the word “teamwork.”

    The checklists and binders worked for a season as the kids built the necessary habits to be successful. Being able to see everything in black and white provided a vision for success and a way for them to see that they could be winners and exactly how to win. When opportunities to do something with friends came to them, they could manage their time and energy without having their parents remind them to do XYZ, PDQ.

    Our vision was that we were raising eventual-adults who needed a decade or more of experience in everyday living rather than thinking that we were raising helpless children who needed everything done for them. So far, it seems to have worked!

    The oldest child is now 25 and living on her own in San Francisco after graduating from college (on her own since age 19). The other 4 are in college and are making their way on their own with healthy attitudes toward responsibility and obligations. 

    Checklists are just one of the tools we used to help us prepare our kids for adulthood. Yes, this is a micro-management tool that could be detrimental if misused by us as parents. But we simply used this instrument surrounded in love and prayer to help young eyes see how to be successful by breaking things into easy-to-achieve components.

    ~Tom and Brenda Schulte
    Sugar Hill, GA USA

  3. Mjm122696 on September 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    This past summer my husband held a storage building camp for nine delightful students ages 10-16.
    One  team was comprised  of three brothers and one of their dear male friend/neighbor.
    Second team was two brothers and a sister
    Third team was two sisters.
    The teams arrived at our house before 7:00 a.m. one Monday morning and departed late Saturday evening.  They took turns spending the night in the house and camping in a tent; boys in the house- girls camping for two nights and then switched.  
    Each team did 100% of the work involved themselves.  They drew the plans for their building, made a list of required materials, which they found/loaded on carts/ purchased/ and loaded on a trailer at a local home improvement store. Instructions were given on safety of operating saws, etc. Building commenced.
    Texas was blessed with weeks and weeks of triple degree days and the lovely wind and dirt that accompany our summers, so they did not work every afternoon.
    Two teams plan to sell their buildings; one team built theirs to keep and use.
    Many lessons were learned on top of construction skills.  One campers commented the first day that it wasn’t really a storage building camp, it was a character camp.  
    This was an invaluable experience for all.  Each person came away with different  lessons, older campers learned to let the younger figure things out for themselves and not always give them the answers and why this is important.  It was a perfect experiment and the campers discussed pros and cons to all male teams, all female, mixed teams, and while you might expect the team of four to be miles ahead of the team of two- this is not what happened.  The team of four learned they were not utilizing all their members effectively- the team of two HAD to stay working, there was no one else.  They discussed how these differences would look in the workplace.
    Words cannot express how proud we were of each camper.  They worked tremendously hard, accomplished a monumental task, and give us great hope for their futures.
    You could literally see the campers “grow” as they tackled new tasks and “got” concepts as their drawings took shape.  Fabulous experience and I dearly love each precious soul that cheerfully worked through the heat and learning process; they were all you could ask for and more.  Best of luck to you!

  4. Guest on September 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Tim,

    I’ve created something recently in an attempt to help raise the next generation of leaders and philanthropists throughout Austin.

    Check us out here:

  5. Guest on September 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Tim,

    I’ve recently created an organization that aims to help raise the next generation of leaders and philanthropists in Austin.

  6. kidminchris on September 13, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I tried to email you this but for some reason my email got returned.  Anyway, here is my story:

    A few years ago I hired my very first summer intern in our children’s ministry.  I had three candidates to choose from.  One would have been a high school senior with high marks and getting ready to graduate with the top of her class.  The other would have been a junior, the daughter of a very committed and loving volunteer, and a bit of a go-getter herself.  The third candidate had just finished her freshman year in high school.  She was shy.  On paper, she was the least likely candidate of the three.  But I saw a spark in her and believed that she was the right choice.  Her name was Shelby Sandlin. 

    So for a couple of months I began mentoring and building into this young girl.  When the summer was over, Shelby asked if she could continue volunteering in children’s ministry.  Of course she could.  When the next summer rolled around, I decided to hire Shelby again.  And the next summer, I hired her again.

    By the time Shelby graduated from high school, she was a leader among her peers.  She led a small group of third graders every Sunday morning.  She was a regular on-stage leaders.  She helped lead worship in our children’s ministry and in our student ministry.  This summer she even accompanied me and another adult be a camp worship & speaking team for another church.

    And what is Shelby going to college to become? A children’s minister.

    So here’s what I believe.  As Andy Stanley teaches, do for one what you wish you could do for all.  By employing Shelby for three years and investing in her one on one as a teenager, I got to be part of nudging the trajectory of her life toward one of leadership, ministry, and service.  

    Before she left for college, I gave Shelby a pair of Toms shoes that I hand-painted myself.  Her father later told me that he was standing beside Shelby in worship one night when he looked down and saw those shoes.  With tears in his eyes, he thanked God that his daughter had men like me in her life that loved her as much as we do.  As leaders ourselves, it is not going above and beyond to mentor a student one-on-one; it is simply doing what God expects of every disciple maker.

  7. Robbie Pruitt on September 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm


    Thank you for Generation iY, and for all that you do. 

    As a youth pastor, there have been many wonderful opportunities to disciple young adults.  The ones that stand out are always relational. 

    We ran an adventure discipleship program at our last church that incorporated outdoor activities like rock climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, and backpacking.  These activities were opportunities to build relationships, develop trust, and share the gospel. 

    One backpacking trip in particular stands out to me.  Some of the young men who my wife and I had been backpacking with for four years were on a trip with us.  My wife and I were talking on the trail about how competent they were and how much they had grown through the years in their faith in Jesus and in their outdoor skills.  We decided that it was time for them to go out on their own to do a solo. 

    This was a three night trip.  We instructed them that the first two nights we would be together and the last 24 hours they would be without us.  We explained that they were ready to do this on their own and that we would be available to teach them all that they felt they needed to be able to do on the last day, on their solo. 

    When the day came, the students were ready.  We gave them all that they needed, a map, food, shelter, water treatment, a Bible to lead their devotions, a stove, an emergency transponder, fist aid; everything.  The instructions were for them to plan a rout to camp, camp that night doing everything they were supposed to do, and correctly, and then hike out the next morning and meet us at the van for debrief. 

    During this time they were also to reflect on how they had gotten to this point and they were to spend time with Jesus in prayer.  They were also supposed to stick together as their own community and finish together. 

    The outcome was unbelievable.  The students felt trusted and grew in their confidence.  Most importantly, they encountered Jesus.

    One of these students in particular went on to lead his own trips in the back country and has developed into an amazing leader.  Our church has benefited greatly from all these student’s leadership skills.   They will be taking their new leadership skills to college with them this year and some are looking forward to leading trips on their own while they are in college. 

    If you would like to know more about this outdoor adventure discipleship and how we have developed disciples of Jesus in the great outdoors, please do not hesitate to contact me, Robbie Pruitt, at stay411 at, or on Skype at robbie.pruitt.  We are also facebook friends.  My wife and I are living in Haiti right now, so these are the best ways to connect with us.

    Thanks again for all that you do. 

    In Christ alone,


  8. John Gallagher on September 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Tim, look forward to the book.  Here is one thing that I did with my kids a few years’ back to help them achieve expectations.  They were 9 and 11 at the time.

  9. Tim Elmore on September 14, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I really appreciate the ideas that everyone has submitted so far through comments, email, Twitter, etc. It’s amazing to see so many great examples of leadership! Can’t wait to share some of them in the upcoming book.

  10. Dr. Robert (Rob) Sandford on September 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm

           As a career Baptist Collegiate Minister,  I always struggled with the issue of when to remain silent and when to jump in and speak to an issue even though my authority as the “minister” could potentially be  threatening to someone in the group. This was especially true with new students.
           I found three ways to deal with tricky and divisive dilemmas.  One:  Always try to talk through the pros and cons of an issue/project, etc. with the leadership team, so they would be prepared and aware of potential roadblocks. We did this before we went public with the project.
           On one occasion, our student council met for 3 hours, writing a purpose statement. Everyone had to agree 100% on every word.  It was an ordeal, but  f i n a l l y everyone  agreed to one simple statement. At the next council meeting, a very vocal, outspoken council member (who had missed the meeting) launched a new proposal which ran contrary to the purpose statement. The group responded with a cohesive  unity that totally floored the council member and even surprised me.
            Two:  Seek out  quiet, introspective students who would never speak up in a meeting without encouragement and let  them know that  their contribution to the process was absolutely essential for its success.  Usually, they knew their ideas were good, but they felt their vocal and social  skills  were not adequate.  Once they spoke up for the first time, they began to develop  confidence which lead to greater leadership commitment.
             On one occasion, a very persuasive student leader pushed and arm twisted other students into accepting his idea of making new exclusive membership rules and requirements for the ministry.  No one else was really in favor of  the new set of rules, but no one felt that they could out argue or debate the one doing the pushing. The proposal finally passed a council vote, but then it had to pass a whole group vote to become policy. The proposal was voted down overwhelmingly. The quiet, overlooked students spoke through their vote.  The student, who had put all of his eggs in this one basket, decided that it was time to move on.           Finally, I had to use my experience and ministerial authority only on rare occasions when the fellowship was threatened or challenged by individuals who wanted to use the group for their own agenda.  Usually students had already approached me with their concerns and fears about the situation.  There were times when the sheep needed a shepherd who would step between them and those who would lead them down destructive paths. 
            Our group was often blessed by members of the God Squad.  I mean those students who always have the latest and final message from God. On one occasion, a group discussion was going on, and Mr. Spiritual had just announced that a real Christian would never smoke.  As soon as this pronouncement was made, every other student in the group of about 20 turned and looked directly at me. It was as if they were saying, “We know he’s wrong, but we don’t know what to say. You take this one”!   I had the opportunity to talk about the true nature of faith and  judging a brother.  I also had the opportunity to gently lead this young man off of his holier than thou perch!
                      Rob Sandford,
    Baptist Collegiate Minister, Retired
    Old Dominion University & Norfolk Area


    • Tim Elmore on September 20, 2011 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing, Rob!

  11. Brendon on February 19, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Damn! I’m too late to get in the book. Would love to be in the next one!

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Would You Like to Be in My New Book?