Dear Parent of a Young Rebelutionary,
I have asked your son or daughter to deliver this letter to you in hopes of making a personal appeal to you as one parent to another. Your teenager(s) want you to take them to a conference. It is important to them that you pull away from whatever else you may have scheduled and do so. Please don't take this lightly.
As you may know, my twin sons, Alex, Brett (now age 22) and I, will be traveling to seven cities this year to present The Do Hard Things Tour. This is a series of one-day conferences for Christian teens and their parents. What you may not realize is what the impact this conference could be on your family. If your teen has delivered this letter to you, God is offering you a wonderful opportunity.
If this is all new to you, the Rebelution is "a teenage rebellion against low expectations." It is not just another youth ministry. Though it is not at all legalistic or joyless, it does not indulge teens in their usual laziness and consumerism. There is nothing silly or gross about it. It expects more of your teen than many others do because it is rooted in the Gospel itself and in God's eternal purposes. The Do Hard Things Conference will speak to your teen as a young adult who is expected to shoulder the responsibility for making his or her own family, church and city both godly and strong. It asks teenagers to stop living like guests in their own homes or worse still, to stop living like orphans who have no parents, and instead take their place alongside of you on the family team, listening respectfully to you and helping you achieve your goals for your family. Imagine that.
The Rebelution has become a movement. Though it is still in its initial stages, it is tracking well ahead of everyone's expectations. Millions of people now follow the blog. Hundreds of thousands have read and reread the book. Thousands of young people around the world participate in the forums. Many of the Christian leaders whom I most respect in the church today have endorsed Alex & Brett, the Rebelution and their book Do Hard Things -- men like C.J. Mahaney, Dr. Albert Mohler, Mark Dever, John Piper, and Randy Alcorn.
I have traveled and spoken extensively over the years in the home schooling movement. But this movement could have a bigger impact on world culture than all my own workshops. My oldest son, Joshua Harris has written several best-selling books, but the Rebelution and Do Hard Things could have a bigger impact than Joshua's books. What I am saying is, God is doing something that is already bigger and better than anything we have known in the past. Why? Because God is waking up Christian teens and breaking them free from the low expectations we have all been holding them in. Think about the potential of that!
Christian parents have prayed for years that God would allow our children to be "arrows in the hand of a warrior." Well, by God's grace, that is what He is doing now before our eyes. You already have the privilege of being one such "warrior" if you are willing. Your son or daughter is now one such "arrow" in need of your careful aim. This is what it looks like when God answers our prayers as parents. But it is time for us to wake up as well and get behind them to support them and advise them in their vision to do hard things for God.
As I write this letter, alarming events are making the headlines day after day. We live in very challenging times. It is understandable that many short-sighted would choose to stay home from everything for a while and just wait to see what happens next. But that would be a very bad mistake because it would send the wrong message to your teenager at this very pivotal point in his or her life.
I say this because it is more important than ever that our sons and daughters understand and believe in their hearts that even though life is hard, God is still good and they still have a bright future to prepare for. Though I do not know what that future holds, I do know that God still holds the future and that in His goodness and wisdom He is still sovereign over all things. What Satan and others clearly intend for our harm, God means for our good. He is actively working everything together for the good of all those who love Him because they have been called according to His purpose to become like Jesus Christ. Nothing will ever separate us from His love! (Read Romans 8 as a family.)
But most likely, we and our family members will still have to live through the gathering storms. If you have read any biographies of great men and women, you know that great trials often reveal great character. The opportunity to make a positive difference in this world for the glory of God has never been greater, but it will not be easy. We will need to know our God, believe His Gospel, and be loyal to Him and loyal to one another as Christian family members and faithful church members. It will not be easy. We will all have to do hard things. And God will give us the grace to do whatever pleases Him.
May I be candid with you? You will have serious regrets if you and your teens miss out on this conference for any reason. Not because we are such great speakers, but because God is doing something so good you won't want to miss it. It may be a long drive or an expensive flight to attend any of the five conferences. Believe me. It will be worth it. When you watch your teen actually begin to "Do Hard Things" you will be so glad you came. There are thousands of parents from the past decades who only wish they could go back now and do things differently with their children. They cut corners to save a few dollars by staying home when they could have been right in the middle of what God was doing in their day. Please don't make that mistake. This conference may be one of the most effective things you will ever do to motivate and inspire your teen to grow up and live competently for the glory of God. If you check out the Rebelution website and blog you will see what I mean. This is no teen pizza feed. It is a revival.
I will personally be speaking at some of the conferences along with my two sons and I assure you that you will not be disappointed. By hearing all four sessions together with your young adult, you will be able to plan your response together. Your sense of team work as a family will be stronger. Your vision for your future as a family will be clearer and issues of college, career and marriage will be seen in strong new light. Whether you use public schools, Christian schools or home schooling, you will find an auditorium full of like-minded fellow enthusiasts who are ready to walk with you into a more grace-filled and more adventurous future.
In closing, I want to remind you that the Rebelution is a non-profit ministry of Noble Institute. Your registration fees will be used to build up this important ministry and make it even more effective. If you are unable to afford the full registration, we will gladly reduce or even waive those fees. Pay whatever you can. In other words, we want to do all we can to make it possible for you to attend. But without your visionary support your teens are not likely to make it. That is why I am writing to you now. Join the Rebelution. Do your part as the parent or grandparent of a Rebelutionary to attend the conference as a partnership in the faith. I know you will be glad you did. Thank you.
Your Servant In Christ,