rebelling against low expectations

Do Hard Things: The Official Study Guide


If you’re like us, talking with others about what you’re reading helps you decide what you think and how to respond to what a book is saying. This chapter-by-chapter study guide is intended to help you do just that.

Use it for personal study, if you wish, but we think it works best in a group. And the best group is one where you’re surrounded by others who care about the same things you do and are ready to put truth into action.

Don’t feel you have to process every question. It’s not a test, and as often as not, there’s no one right answer. Also, don’t let our questions limit what you ask or where you go. Ask God to direct your thoughts and decisions. And ask Him for courage — lots of it. Because big ideas are weak ideas if we’re not willing to let them shape how we think and live.

So use this study guide to zero in on the ideas, choices, and actions that seem most promising and helpful to you and your friends. Then expect great things to happen in your lives as you do hard things for the glory of God!

Your Fellow Rebelutionaries,

Alex and Brett

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


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  • Ok… this is kinda weird, because I was just thinking today that y’all should come out with a study guide for your book! And presto, here it is! πŸ™‚
    This is going to be a valuable resource! Thanks.

  • This looks awesome. My dad’s been asking me every week, “So is the study guide out yet?”, because we’re working on ministering to the kids, teens, and adults in our neighborhood. I look forward to going through this! God bless!

  • YAY!!!!! w00t! You guys have no idea how excited I am to see this out!!!! I have been working on trying to figure up some of my own questions and stuff, for my group study, but this will be extremely helpful.

    Muchas gracias!!
    Laura Ansley

  • YESSSSSSSSS! I’ve been waiting for this since the book came out! Can’t wait to read through the book using the study guide again. I wanna get a friend to do it w/ me too, now! Thanks, guys!

    Have you considered making a printed booklet format available?

  • Hey Everyone!
    I went to the Rebelution conference in Hickory, North Carolina, and God radically worked in my life there. I want everyone I know to get the chance to attend this conference, so while I was there at the conference, I started a petition for the Rebelution to come to Michigan. I even got Brett and Alex to sign it! Michigan is a central state, and people from Canada, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin would have easy access to the conference. If u live in Michigan or a surrounding state, please email me at [email protected] or join the facebook group at to get ur name added to the petition! Thanks!

    (I realize this is off-topic, but I’ve seen others asking for the Rebelution to come to Michigan on this blog, and I don’t know how else to spread the word)

  • My mom and I were just brainstorming ways to apply “Do Hard Things” and some other lessons taught through the blog and conference, practically — it’s been really fun (and challenging). So this’ll be really interesting to read — I’m looking forward to it (and am trying to be patient as I cannot download it for another few days).
    Also, I really appreciate that you reminded us to ask God to direct our thoughts and decisions and to ask Him for (lots of) courage. That is so much needed — as we read this, the Bible, ANYTHING. God has really put on my heart lately about decision merely in words vs. decision in action, as well. Thanks for confirming what He’s been teaching me — so encouraging. God bless you guys!

  • Awesome. I was just saying to someone the other day that there should really be a study guide to go with this book. Thanks guys!

  • YAY!!!! WOOT! (and any other expresion of excitement), I’m so happy this is here I was already think about going back through the book and taking note so I can recap without having to read the whole book again. Anyway great job I havn’t look at it very much but it looks cool.


  • Whoohoo!!! This is great!!!
    My family was going to use this as somewhat of Bible study type thing, and this will be perfect for that!!! An extremely big thank you to you guys!!

  • Hey guys, great study guide, it’ll go well with the book!

    Is it just me though, or is the page on chapter 5 cut off a little bit?

  • awesome! thanks!
    Yea, the last question of chapter 5 does seems to be cut off a bit, maybe its just Billy and me that cant see it?

  • The 5th chapter looks great now. πŸ™‚

    So how are we supposed to do it in a group? Something like getting together weekly like for a Bible Study? Or emailing back and forth? I was just wondering if you (or anyone else) have any suggestions as to the practical application of how to organize doing it with others.

  • Hey everyone,

    For those of you who said that you would pray for me, today is the day of my oral surgery. I know I’ll need them today πŸ™‚
    Brett, Ashley, Mary G., and Aimee,
    Thank you so much for your prayers. Just knowing that you will be praying for me is helping give me peace of mind. Thanks again.
    I’m praying for you! I pray for a quick and speedy recovery with minimal pain.

    God Bless!

  • This study guide is wonderful, thank you! During your final challenge of encouragement at your conference, you told us to seek out the secret rebelutionaries. Well, I have been doing that and have discovered that there are a lot of them! I’ve been considering organizing a local group of rebelutionaries to get together to fellowship and encourage one another and this study guide will be a perfect start!

    On that note, have you considered any forms of local Rebelution Clubs?

    Hannah B: I moved from Clarkston, MI a couple of years ago and I have lots of friends up there that would love to be able to go to the conference. I’ll be sure and sign your petition and encourage my Michigander friends to do the same! And one last thing….Way to go Red Wings!

  • I know my cousin in MI would probably sign the petition. I want her to get aquainted with the Rebelution because she is one without knowing what the term is πŸ™‚ Come to think of it, one of my friends in MI might also sign it. (I moved from Detroit a few years back.) Our parent/youth group is going through it on Sunday mornings (well, all those who want to are).

    Alli T: I agree, yay for the Wings! It will be so much fun to wear my Red Wings shirt around all the Capitols fans here in VA.

  • hey guys. love your book, Do Hard Things, I was turned on to it by one of my students, I have taught HS Bible for the last 12 years in Cincinnati and have worked with teens for the past 20+ years. It is refreshing to see teens challenge teens in the areas of character, doing the right things, living now for the future. I pray that you will touch lots of lives, blessing on you and your ministry,
    Ken Bashford,
    JH/HS Principal Cincinnati Christian School
    Pastor, Kenwood Fellowship

  • Wow! Haha, I just got the original book from Na 2008, and I haven’t started it yet (I’m in between another book). But when I begin reading Do Hard Things, I believe this study guide would come in handy!

    Keep up the wonderful Christ-exalting job! πŸ™‚

  • Wow. What timing. I have been asked to lead a book study on your book in my youth group girls sphere, and was starting to produce my own study guide. I am SO glad you have released this! Praise God! Thank you so much… Now I am more equipped to start our study. God bless!

  • Alli Thompson: Thanks for joinging the group and adding ur name to the petition! PLEASE email me with your friends’ and relatives’ (parents, siblings, etc.) names who would like their names to be added!

    Nan H.: If you could get ur friend and cousin to email me, that would be awesome! Every name counts!

    65 names on the petition after two days…and counting!

  • WOW! This is amazing guys!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    my mom was just saying the other day, that she wanted to start a bible study with

    this, and now we have questions that go along with the book!!! WOOHOO!!!!!

    God bless you guys, over and over:) We’ll be praying tons for you as you go to your

    conferences! one question: would you consider coming to Atlanta, Ga. or somewhere

    near there anytime soon, if your able to?

  • WOW!! Thanks so much guys! This is very much appreciated. I think everybody agrees with me when I say that you guys have perfect timing! I am going to print it out and pass it out at youth group. Thanks Alex and Brett!

  • Hey Laura! We don’t have to make our own anymore! It is sort of disapointing though because I was having a blast doing it. Oh well, now I don’t have to spend hours and hours working on a study guide. Even though our project is done let’s keep in touch.
    In Christ,

  • Oh my goodness. That last verse on the study guide just *jumped* out at me. It’s the same verse that jumped out at me when my family and I were reading Ephesians 3. And…it *can’t* be just a coincidence. I haven’t got ya’ll’s book yet. I wonder if it’s at Barnes and Noble’s? If it’s there, I’m definitely going to go look for it this summer =). Continue to be blessed and be a blessing!

  • Thanks so much for the book and the study guide. I am trying to talk my mom and dad into teaching the Junior/Senior High Sunday School class at our church using the study guide. Thanks again!

  • Hey guys, thanks so much for putting out a study guide! Your book’s really cool and this is even cooler! Thanks for the ministry!

  • Amanda, I’m through with my operation now, and it went really well. How was yours? I’ve been praying for you, and I hope that all went well. I’m recovering really well, and I pray that you do even better!

  • Hey guys!
    I just saw the new t-shirts today! They look really cool!
    Are you going to sell them and all of the others at the Gaithersburg conference?

  • Hey Aimee,
    As far as I know my operation went well also. I’m doing better than I expected, which is nice πŸ™‚ However, I am very sore and stiff. I’m trying to keep the ice on, but have found myself drifting off half the time. I am so glad everthing is gong well for you πŸ™‚ Well, I need to go ice again. Thanks so much for your prayers πŸ™‚
    God Bless!

  • I know about the ice–it’s been taking the swelling down, but it’s hard to keep it on. I’ve been sleeping a lot as well…seems to help! Still praying!


  • I was at a homeschool conference today, and I saw several vendors had “Do Hard Things”, and not only that, but a couple of different people were talking about either you two (Alex and Brett) or The Rebelution.

    The Rebelution spreading….

    Seriously though, that’s pretty cool.

  • ok I’m beginning to think you guys are mind readers! I was just thinking that you guys needed to write a study guide and two days later…here it is! Thanks guys!!!!!!

  • Wow! I haven’t even finished reading the book, but hey! I just got it like, 3 days ago. My mom’s all over study guides. She likes to get me to read stuff I think will be boring, and then I realize it’s STA (So Totally Awesome)!

  • I haven’t finished reading the book yet but I am very impressed with what you guys have said in it so far. I’m a shy person, and reading stories of other shy people breaking out of their comfort zones and talking to new people is very encouraging for me.
    I think that the study guide will be very helpful, I will definitely be telling my youth group about it (we are all reading your book right now, so an interactive study guide is exactly what we need!)

  • My friends and I are reading this book. I have loved it so far! I actually came to the website to see if there was a studyguide! I think it is great what yall are doing! Thanks so much!

  • I would like to get a tee-shirt, but I’m currently saving up money for an intercity ministry thing I’m doing in Tulsa. I’ll try to save up a few extra bucks though, and get one so I can bring it with me!

  • Hey, thanks for this study guide, it’s going to really help me in my quiet times. My church is in the midst of going through this book and bouncing around new ideas inspired by the Rebelution. Thank God for you guys!

  • Hey Alex and Brett,
    I don’t mean to be rude or anything but it would of been really nice if you guys could of emailed me back almost a month ago when I was asking about the study guide because that would of saved me quite a few hours of work that I had to do to make a study guide for section 1 for the group of girls that I am studying it with. But I guess It isn’t that bad because I met Laura that way and it was really fun working on a study guide. Plus I needed it by last Sunday. So oh well. Thanks for putting it up.

  • Awesome! Thank you..thank you…thank you!

    I’m a youth leader at my fellowship and I lead Jr. & Sr. Highers..and even a few college age people. I picked up your book and I can’t seem to put it down! It’s hitting me right between the eyes and the young adults that I work with seem to think I have lost it. I’m always bring up expectations and challenging them constantly to do hard things (Only because I’m applying can’t preach it if you’re not living it!). So, this guide is a blessing. Seriously!

    I’m so thankful that there are people out there that are just tired of low expectations!!

  • The book Do Hard Things came in the mail today I’m so excited!
    thanks for the study guide guys!

  • Aimee,
    How are you doing? I’m doing pretty well. Not quite normal, but getting there πŸ™‚ Saturday, I heard that someone I know of got his wisdom teeth pulled Thursday as well. Seems to have been a popular day πŸ˜‰ I just wanted to check base, praying that you’re still recovering well and again thank you for your prayers.
    God Bless,

  • Thank you sooo much! My youth pastor, a couple friends, and I, are about to start a bible study on the book. He got a copy of the book for me, and was going to give it to me for the bible study, but I could not wait, and persuaded my family to get a copy. As soon as I got my copy, I let one one of my good friends from church borrow it, and it changed his life, as well as mine. This guide will be a lot of help for the bible study! Thanks again!

  • I’m so sorry that I missed your email, Olivia! We were getting dozens of those a day and I tried to respond to as many of them as I could. πŸ˜• Glad to hear God worked it out for good! πŸ™‚

  • […] Do Hard Things study guide Published 13 June 2008 Culture , Helpful Stuff , Study Tags: Alex and Brett Harris, Culture, Do Hard Things, Teenagers As if the book wasn’t good enough, Alex and Brett Harris are now providing a study guide: If you’re like us, talking with others about what you’re reading helps you decide what you think and how to respond to what a book is saying. This chapter-by-chapter study guide is intended to help you do just that. […]

  • Hey Brett and Alex, Ever thought about establishing or encouraging “Do Hard Things” or “Rebelution” Chapters in various cities across the country? I’m ready to start one with the 10-20 year olds in our homeschool group. I could see us doing “special projects” once a month as a team in our cities as Rebelutionaries. What do you think?
    Anyone else thought of this?


  • Starting a summer study on “Do Hard Things” with my youth group tonight, and just found the study guide! Thanks guys! Terrific job.

  • Hey Alex,
    No problem. I know that you guys get tons of emails. I met you at the conference in MN and when I went back to my brother he asked if I had told you about how I had already started making I study guide, but I forgot and I was already holding up the line. (I talked to you after your dad’s session and I mentioned how I was leading a study and how much you guys have been a blessing to me and how I am praying for you guys. Remember me? I forgot to give you my name when I talked to you, sorry.) If you guys have time, could you check out my blog and tell me what you think. It is just started but I would love your opinion.
    In Christ,

  • […] On Wednesday’s I will post questions from the Study Guide.Β  You are more than welcome to read the questions ahead of time in order to formulate your response.Β  However, NO comments will be posted in response to the questions UNTIL I actually post the questions on Wednesday.Β  So this means if you comment on the chapter prior to my posting the questions, your comments will not be approved until that point and time.Β  […]

  • I am so excieted to use it. Right now I am working on making the DVD and Study Guide into a class at our church for Wednesday nights. I think it will really challange and grow my youth group.

  • This is great! My friend and I have been thinking about starting a bible study group at our middle school off of “Do Hard Things” and have been trying to figure out questions and boom! here they are! thanks so much! this will come in super duper handy πŸ™‚

  • I have fallen in love with the book DO HARD THINGS! My youth group has started using this book and we are going to go to the conference and we have gotten this book to help with the teaching of the book to others! it has helped us a lot! Thank you for putting it in perspective for teens! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and all. Nevertheless think of if you added some great images or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this site could undeniably be one of the greatest in its field. Fantastic blog!

  • Hey, are you guys still doing anything with this website or anything? I noticed that the last forum post was three years ago.

    • Hey Ronnie, the forums are largely inactive and are being phased out. But the website is very active and we have a bunch of new writers contributing to the site. Check out the home page and you’ll see lots of new content. Thanks for checking in!

  • Also I’d just like to say, I know the book is several years old but I read it quite a few years ago and I’m now going through it with my youth group, as a youth pastor and I’ve got to say they are eating it up. Thanks you guys!

    • That’s awesome. Thanks so much for sharing the book with your youth group! Also, since you’re commenting on the Study Guide post, you should know that the new Five-Year Anniversary edition of Do Hard Things comes with bonus material and a complete study guide in the back. It’s available on Amazon, ChristianBook, Barnes & Noble, etc.

  • My teacher made us read this over the summer. At first, i was not thrilled but once i got into it i was really inspired. I’ve been feeling God calling me to missions and i know he can use me now, I don’t need to wait until i’m an adult. I realized how many teens are out there doing awesome things and i’m really excited to see where he leads me. It’s nice to not feel alone.:)

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectationsβ€”a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More β†’