rebelling against low expectations

The Future of The Rebelution


What lies ahead for The Rebelution? As we ring in the New Year, we’d like to start a conversation about the future of the movement — open to anyone who cares. We’ve been seeking the Lord for direction and have some ideas we’d like to share, but not before getting some honest feedback from you.

Helpful Commentary from Kyle Johnston

To kick things off, we’d like to share an essay with you, written by a young man named Kyle Johnston. Kyle has been following the movement for some time now, and in January of 2012, wrote a college application essay reflecting on where the movement has gone wrong and how it should move forward.

It’s not a flattering essay, mind you. That’s why it is helpful. Kyle says that is “fading towards staleness and obscurity” and that the movement requires renewal and change. Here’s how he outlines the problem:

  • First, The Rebelution became viewed as a purpose in itself.
  • Second, the real movement is not as flashy as portrayed in the book.
  • Third, Do Hard Things became synonymous with Do Big Things.
  • Fourth, has cobwebs.

We thought these points were insightful and worth discussing further. I’ve had one phone conversation with Kyle and hope to have more in the future. He gave me permission to share his essay and invite all of you into the discussion as well.

Here’s What We Need From You

Start out by reading Kyle’s essay for yourself — then come back here and share your thoughts. Do you agree with Kyle’s assessment of the situation? If so, do you agree with his proposed solutions? Do you have any additional thoughts to share about the future of the movement?

We’ll be engaging with your feedback in the comment section and will post our thoughts on each of Kyle points in the coming weeks. Please pray that God would take this movement and these ideas and use them however He chooses.

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About the author

Brett Harris

is co-founder of and co-author of Do Hard Things, along with his twin brother, Alex. He is married to his best friend, Ana, who blogs at He is the founder of the Young Writers Workshop — an ongoing coaching program for serious writers.


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  • Thank you so much for posting this essay. It’s humbling for all of us; not just the Rebelution itself. These same thoughts were shared by me and I’m sure many others as we watched the Rebelution presumably dissolve. However, the fact that the Rebelution is “back” shows that it won’t fade that easily.

    Though this is true, I’m sure that Alex, Brett, and many of the rest of us know that the Rebelution won’t stay forever. Over the course of history, movements like this have come and gone. Not that this is the end of the Rebelution, but it’s time to realize that it’s not just their job to inspire this generation. The reason movements fade is usually the same as why Christianity itself appears to fade: because the MESSAGE isn’t spread. As Christians, we’re not just meant to be followers. We’re meant to be leaders. Christ called us not to simply follow a movement, but to spread the message of the movement and of His Son to others! We’re meant to LEAD others into a closer relationship with Him!

    This is where the solution comes in. The message can’t just stop with one blog. WE have to share the message with other people and, as Rebelutionaries, be our own “Rebelutions” to those who are still stuck in the mud of low expectations. Practically speaking, this could be done in a number of ways: blogs, books, speeches, essays, or dozens of others. As Kyle’s essay mentions, Do Hard Things doesn’t necessarily mean Do BIG Things. It’s simply stepping out of your comfort zone and having faith in what God can do. However God has (or will) called you to share this message, share it! He can use any attempt to share his message in miraculous ways.

    We are immensely blessed to be in this generation and to have the Rebelution as a collaboration of teens, and I thank God that He inspired you (Alex and Brett) to start it. I’m certainly looking forward to all that the Lord will do with the Rebelution this coming year and what He will do with each one of us Rebelutionaries to share its message.

  • I agree with Kyle.

    After I read the book I was disappointed to see that the activity on the blog had died down for the most part and that the conferences would not be continuing. I am so thankful I was able to attend one of the last conferences!

    However, when I was sharing my disappointment with my mom, she showed me a new perspective. If you (Alex and Brett) continued to spend every waking moment with the Rebelution, you would be a walking contradiction to the message and the standards you were trying to set. One of the messages of the Rebelution is using the teen years as a launching pad for the rest of our lives. We should expect you to spend more time with your families than the rebelution, because that was/is the message of the movement.

    So yes, I do agree with Kyle, even though it hurts to say it.

    I’ve also noticed that the activity on the forums has slowed down. I joined the forums mainly for the deep discussions. Sadly, those are few and far between. This may be (like Kyle mentioned) because many of the founding people have moved on. They are embarking on a new season of life (and rightly so). It might be beneficial to appoint new teen leaders on the forum who will be able to continue with the original vision. The forums could be a place to re-ignite the fire.

    In answer to “Do Hard Things means Do Big Things”, I admit I know where Kyle is coming from. I struggled with being stuck in the mundane, everyday “small” things. But when I allowed God to expose the true motives of my heart, my eyes were opened and I was able to find the treasures in the “small” things. God reminded me that if I didn’t learn how to recognize the treasures in the “small” things and learn how to glorify God in every area of my life first, there is no way I could be trusted to have a humble heart doing the “big” things. The message of Do Hard Things is a wonderful, God-given message. We humans have corrupted it by wrongly associating it with “Do Big Things”. If we want to rediscover the true meaning of Do Hard Things, we need to remember God’s meaning of Do Hard Things.

    I hope this didn’t sound like I was blaming you guys. That was the furthest thing from my mind. The direction of my life changed when I read Do Hard Things. I can’t imagine where my walk with God would be if I hadn’t read the book.

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for following God’s call when you heard it. Thank you for being an example to all of us. I can’t wait to see where God takes the Rebelution movement next!

    God bless you and your families!

  • I agree with Kyle’s essay and with Nathan and Leah as well.

    It’s wonderful that you, Alex and Brett, have restarted the Rebelution blog. I always look forward to reading your posts! However, like Kyle, I also believe that it is time to pass on the torch, maybe appoint new moderators and new bloggers for who can initiate new events, new discussions and new ideas for the next generation of Rebelutionaries. It is time to fly off the launching pad and take off for the moon. ☺

    Honestly, though, I was a little bit disillusioned when I read about all the big, earth-shaking things my fellow Rebelutionaries were doing in Do Hard Things and Start Here. My everyday life seemed mundane and meaningless compared to theirs. Then, when I joined the forums, it seemed like everyone was talking about blogging about certain issues, and these are great! But there are just so many blogs and sites these days that I think they are becoming more and more cliché and less and less exciting and unique. I don’t have a ready answer for what to do besides blogging. I am just saying that there are many other, more effective, ways to tell others about the gospel and the cause.

    One thing I think this site should have is an ongoing Bible Study, sent out to Rebelutionaries via email. This might keep everyone centered in the Word, provide a means for spiritual growth for all the Rebelutionaries and keep us in perspective that all of this is not really about doing hard things and more about doing things for the glory of God. I feel inadequate to lead others in their spiritual growth but if God wills it, I am willing to volunteer to do this.

    Lastly, despite the wonders of technology, I believe that it would still be good if Rebelutionaries in a certain country/ part of the world could gather, meet face-to-face and have times of fellowship and Bible study together. More than gaining new friends and putting names to faces, this would solidify the relationships and connections made in the site while making us all physically accountable to each other and reminding us that we are not alone.

    Now that I come to think about it, I realize that what I am suggesting is that shift from being just a place to rally the troops and bounce ideas off each other to focus more on becoming a place for like-minded young believers to come together, worship and further the kingdom of God – an online church for Rebelutionaries.

    Have a blessed 2013! 😀

  • Alex & Brett, thank you so much for posting this article. I’m going to come back and read it a few times and see if I can think of anything else to say about it, but for now I just have a few comments.

    First, I want to let you know that the things you have been posting the last few months have been so encouraging. As “adult” life is hitting me, there are a lot of new things I’m having to think through and make decisions about. The Rebelution posts popping up in my newsfeed on Facebook have reminded me to keep going in this new season of life, once again relying on God’s help each day to help me do hard things. There are many days that I think, “This thing that I’m dealing with is SO HARD” and then I stop and hear what I just said to myself and realize that just because it’s hard doesn’t mean I can’t do it.

    When I first read “Do Hard Things,” it was such an encouragement to me. It helped me understand things my parents had been teaching me my whole life (to work hard and do my work completely and neatly, even if that just means putting the socks away where they go instead of shoving them somewhere easier). To me, the Rebelution was not just a movement, it was a tool that gave me a clear picture of what it means to glorify God in everything you do and Yes, people often label me as an “overachiever” in the last few years because God has opened my eyes to see that I need to work hard and glorify Him in everything, but those comments have opened up an opportunity for me to share what motivates me to do those things, and share the message of the Rebelution often without mentioning the movement or the book. So I want to say that although you may feel like the Rebelution is dying, in my life I’ve seen the message of it spread to others, although without the movement’s name attached to it.

    Today is actually my last day being a teen – I’ll be turning 20 tomorrow. For myself, I would like to see posts (either from you two or others) on how this message carries over into your adult years. What does it look like to do hard things as a wife and mother or husband and father? What does it look like to do hard things through college? What hard things did you struggle with through college? I know there are old posts that would answer some of these questions… maybe you could repost some of these while you seek to figure out what direction the Rebelution will be taking? One of the things that encouraged me the most were those posts where you shared areas that you struggled in, times that you failed to do hard things or chose the wrong hard things to do. *Cue image of one of you on the ground at some college event after making an unwise decision to participate*. Also, I would love to see guest posts from others who can share how this message of doing hard things has impacted them since the time they first heard it and become a driving passion for them. I think this would be an encouragement to other young readers who are just now reading your book and finding the blog. I would be willing to expand on some of the things I’ve already said and send it to you in a more concise and better written post if that would help. 🙂

  • Thank you so much for posting this essay, it reveals a lot about the Rebelution and its members.

    I’m thankful in the blog for the Big Hard things and how Alex and Brett have such inspirational and amazing posts on the blog! They help me see that sometimes teens need to rise up and do the unaccomplished. But, yes, we need more teens to write, younger teens to stand up and take a hold of what their predecessors have done and build on it. I think the best way to do this would be to spread the word of the Rebelution to the younger generation and make it more streamlined for the younger teens. The younger teens have to especially learn not to compare themselves to their potential and not to others. The point of the Rebelution should be to encourage teens to do what they can, regardless of how large it is.

    I think another great idea would be to send out a teen devotional. I agree with Roxine that the Rebelution needs face-to-face socialization and building. The conferences are great and I think they should be continued but maybe a “Do Hard Things” course could be sent to churches to teach in their youth services. Also having each country/state/region could have their own regional Rebelution core group to meet and have events in their particular area. This could strengthen the grassroots community of the Rebelution and spread the word further than before.

    The website would obviously need an update, possibly having writers put up articles to help with specific topics that teens deal with: sexuality, technology, and so on. This would make the site a helpful resource to any teen.

    May 2013 be a great year to the Rebelution and its members!

  • It’s sad to say, but I do agree with the essay. When I first read the books and began following the blog, I wondered what would happen to the Rebelution movement when you guys (Alex and Brett) ended your teen years. I assumed you would appoint someone younger to take over, who had the same vision. But you never did- you turned twenty, started college, got married, and the movement sort of died out.

    I do think a new team of teenage Rebelutionaries should lead the movement. I think one of the reasons the Rebelution was so powerful in the beginning is that it was run by teens. We would have never listened, at least not most us, if some old guy had written “Do Hard Things.” You guys need to keep an eye on things and stay involved, but I think for the blogging, forums, and possibly even confrences, it’s time to pass the torch to the next generation of teens.

    Also, about big hard things. I totally understand what Kyle is saying. After a few big ideas that never worked out, I learned to focused on small hard things and things that take me outside my comfort zone. That’s where God has me right now. I have a friend, also a Rebelutionary, who has done the opposite. She does big things and recieves lots of praise, but in the small hard things that people don’t see, she is totally lacking. People look at her and say “Oh- there’s someone who does hard things for God.” But people forget that making your bed, brushing your teeth and washing your face are also important. I think we tend to want to do do the big, glamorous hard things, rather than the little, difficult, repetetive ones. Don’t just encourage us to do big hard things. Please encourage us in all the different types of hard things.

    Thanks guys for being open to critism and willing to change. It means a lot. I know we all appreciate you guys!

  • Kyle and some others hit on an important point with the idea of doing “big things”. It seems that teens could be drawn to the idea of doing “big things”, but lose an emphasis on Christ and the Gospel. The Gospel is not really about the magnificant things that we do, but about what Jesus did. I’m probably preaching to the choir, but I know that, for myself, I need to be constantly reminded to not let anything overshadow what is Most Important.

    I think Roxine brings up another really important point with her comments about face-to-face interaction and the idea of an “online church for Rebolutionaries”. From reading the New Testament, it seems that the *local church* is the primary means–the homebase–from which God intends his kingdom to be spread. By “local church” I mean a flesh-and-blood body of believers (young and old, red/yellow/black/white, and everything in between) led by godly leaders/elders/pastors in which the Word is taught, and in which the Lord’s Supper, baptism, and church discipline are rightly administered.

    I don’t want to say that the Rebolution has no place though. I know that, though I haven’t followed the movement closely, I have been blessed and encouraged by blog posts here (like the article about the Newtown shooting). But there are significant problems if the Rebolution begins to replace the local church as a teen’s primary source of accountability, fellowship, and kingdom motivation.

    Here’s just a quick anecdote: a couple months ago God really motivated me to evangelize more–not by having me talk with other teenagers on an online forum, but by having a fifty-year-old man at my church pray for me. (And again, teenage peers and online forums do have a place, as long as relationships with other types of people and involvement in an actual church are not excluded.)

    For every gallon of blood, sweat, and tears we pour into the Rebolution, let’s invest just as much and more into the ministry and relationships of our local churches.

    God Bless y’all!

  • I do agree with the essay when it says that Do Hard Things became the same as Do Big Things. When I first your book I thought that I should be leaving to go on a mission trip or something right away. These past years I’ve been realizing that God does not call everyone to do world-shaking things. I have been really blessed by your blog posts though and I am thankful you are starting it again. 🙂 God bless you!

  • I completely agree with Kyle.

    In fact, he’s put into words what I’ve been thinking and feeling about the Rebelution movement for quite some time.

    Before I say anything else, I want to say that Alex and Brett’s message changed my life when I was 15. Their book gave me hope that God could use me and it helped me to see past the low expectations around me. I am eternally grateful for all that God has done through this movement! My brother was saved at a Rebelution Conference. I believe that only eternity will reveal the lasting fruit that has come through this movement of God’s Spirit!

    But I do have a few concerns.

    Firsly, it seems to me that The Rebelution has been interpreted by some to be an end to itself rather than a launching pad for life. The ideas of doing hard things and defying low expectations are not unique to this movement; they are the very expectations of Christ for all of His followers… from 13 to 103! It seems like the focus, in some ways, has become all about being a Rebelutionary rather than being a Christ-follower. My concern is that some teens who are insecure and looking for a cause to belong to are finding the Rebelution to meet that need, and thus they are becoming somewhat “canned” and unoriginal. Rather than focusing on belonging to Christ and being wrapped up in his cause, their focus is on becoming bigger and better Rebelutionaries. Again, this is not faulting the core values of the Rebelution! I agree with them. I’m just saying that some are looking at The Rebelution as having invented them and rediscovered them for this present generation, as well as providing them with a purpose in life. We should be looking to Christ and not a movement to provide that.

    Secondly, it does seem that The Rebelution has somewhat grown out of it’s prime. Many of the writers and the readers are well out of their teens and have thus moved on to an entirely different season of life. The Rebelution was started as a ministry to teens by teens and I think it should remain that way. Otherwise, a great amount of credibility and the ability to relate with your readers is lost.

    I’m so glad to see that you have the blog up and going again, and I’ve really enjoyed your recent posts! I especially admire your humility in opening yourselves up to critism. God has used ya’ll so much in my life and I so appreciate the way you’ve allowed Him to use you to touch a generation for His glory!

    God bless you guys!

  • I find myself agreeing with everything that has already been said. I will apologize in advance for any redundancy on my part. 🙂

    I have been around The Rebelution since the beginning. In fact, it was through this website that I first heard of two girls that are now my closet friends. I appreciated that I was not the only one who seemed “different” in the world’s eyes, that there were other young people like myself. I was one who pre-bought “Do Hard Things” and would have attended conferences had they been near my city. I stalked the website for any new post and when the Modesty Survey hit, I was all about promoting it on my blog.

    But then, I noticed things somewhat changing. The “doing HARD things” seemed to be more synonymous with “doing BIG things” as Kyle and others have stated. I immediately compared myself (which was bad on my part I readily admit) and felt that I wasn’t doing enough to promote Christ. It was as if what I thought was a “hard thing” wasn’t really a hard thing when compared on a scale with missions trips, and sailing around the world, and providing clean water to third-world countries. I still did what I felt God wanted me to do–I just felt that that was not as highly regarded, if you know what I mean.

    I totally understand about moving on. I’m now 23 and in college myself. The time for “rebelling against teenage expectations” doesn’t exactly apply anymore. And both of you, Alex and Brett, have definitely grown up. (Married and kids?! WOW! Where does the time go? 🙂 ) But I feel like the movement died and that pains me to see. The more I see of the direction this current generation is headed, the more I find myself crying out to the Lord. Apathy is alive and well, even in our Christian young people. Maybe we ourselves are part of the problem; we didn’t pass the baton as we should have. We maybe made doing hard things seem way more glamorous than it actually is. (What I mean by that is more of us have ordinary events in life that require doing hard things as opposed to either high profile or global opportunities…..) And frankly, we (myself included) abandoned The Rebelution, giving rise to the idea that we didn’t agree with the concepts and the founding principles of why we became Rebelutionaries in the first place anymore.

    I don’t want to come across as bashing. Alex and Brett, God used you guys as a way of doing work in my heart; I’m sure others can say the same thing. I’m not the same young woman I was when I first found my way here at age 15. It comes down to it that I want other 15 year olds to say the exact same thing! What the answer is I don’t know…..but I just wanted to share my heart with you guys. Thank you so much for heeding God’s call in your own lives. It can be hard to do…..but it is always, ALWAYS right and rewarding!

  • Well, it seems to me that the solution is simple– if you’ve got cobwebs, go get a Swiffer and dust! I am 13, so I’ve got plenty of energy (lol) and really want to do hard things.I am willing to go get my Swiffer….

    P.S I applied to the forums like two months ago and still have no reply.

  • I agree with Kyle as well. I read ‘Do Hard Things’ when I was 15 years (I am 17 now) and wasn’t what I had expected after reading it. However, the book is really awesome and I thank you, Alex and Brett, for writting it.
    Since it’s a common opinion that is not what it used to be, we need to change that.
    Perhaps the solution is not so simple, but we must find it.
    A new generation of bloggers would be great, at least at my point of view.

  • Thanks to Alex & Brett for being open to criticism and considering Kyle’s essay. A movement that spawns criticism from inside and then graciously deals with that criticism and changes as a result is not dead.

    – The point about doing big things vs. small hard things is indeed important, and I think partially addressed in Start Here, but apparently in our sinful natures it’s probably easier to want to do big things, which people will see, than small things, which they won’t. Alex & Brett have said this before. Perhaps part of the reason the message didn’t come through so clearly was that there are always stories in the books that illustrate the points, but it’s kind of hard to tell a story about a real person doing a small hard thing that nobody sees — because it requires somebody seeing it to tell the story (unless you make the story up).

    – (Side point: I think the tendency towards Big Things is reflected in a lot of large, conservative Christian organizations. Perhaps it is the easiest response to the cultural decline around us. By the same token, we should not be afraid when God opens the door for big hard things–but we also should remember that Kingdom priorities are often very backwards from the world’s point of view. I need to remember this myself.)

    – There’s a certain way that people in the same group connect. Rebelutionaries, perhaps, connect easier than Christians in general. It takes less work to blog and write posts on a forum than be a real friend, sibling, child, student, Christian–or for that matter, adult, spouse, parent, employee. Seth has a very good point about the importance of the local church. I think I can remember Tim Challies also talking about online relationships and realizing that God wants us to first be who we’re called to be within our geographic settings. He put us where we are on purpose!

    – Passing the torch is a hard thing!

    – We need to remember that the Rebelution didn’t start with Alex & Brett and it won’t end with them either. The Rebelution as “The Rebelution” may end, but God working in people’s lives will not.

    Also, I’m not sure if Alex & Brett ever saw this video from the late Ralph Winter (of US Center for World Mission): It may or may not have any effect on this conversation.

    Many thanks to Alex & Brett Harris for all they’ve done, by the grace of God, to inspire our generation to do hard things for Christ. May He continue to give grace to guide this movement.

  • I believe this essay is, mostly, correct, but I feel Kyle might have made it seem a little worse than it really is. For example, I have joined the Rebelution in the past couple years, and have been encouraged by the blog as it is. That said, I by no means think it should stay this way. 🙂 I love the idea of recruiting new Rebelutionaries to write in the blog and to lead up new projects, although I think older Rebelutionaries are a valuable asset to have as well.
    I want to commend you on actually putting this less than flattering essay up for the whole Rebelutionary world to see – it shows integrity and a strong desire for the best, even if it means painful change. Way to go! That in and of itself was an encouragement to me and proved the backbone of this movement to still be going strong underneath a recent lapse of activity.
    I can’t wait to see what this metal sharpening metal brings to light! I’d love to be more a part of doing hard things!

  • I hate to be saying the same thing as everyone else, but I would have to say I agree with Kyle. And again, a lot of others have said the same thing, but one of the biggest weaknesses of the Rebelution is that it has become “Do Big hings” instead of “Do Hard Things.” I’m one of those people who isn’t very accustomed to failure (and i don’t handle it very well either! ;D) But it took me a while to realize that the hard things sometimes AREN’T the big things, but the little things. I know it sounds lame to write about teens getting along with their siblings and putting their clothes away, but if you want a blog that encourages teens, you might need to start by addressing their real life issues. I don’t want to sound to harsh here, but the real life stories that have been published on this blog for the past year have been the big things- finding a cure for cancer and saving kids in other countries. These are great, and I’m all for them, but we need to start with the smaller things. We can’t find a cure for cancer if we aren’t even motivated to do our homework and we’re hypocrites if we’re going on missions trips to impact kids halfway across the world when we don’t bother to make a positive impact on our younger siblings lives.

    I first heard about the Rebelution when I was almost 11, I was one of the youngest people at the conference I attended. At 15, I feel like the movement has “gotten too old.” If I remember correctly, you guys were 18 or 19 when I first heard you speak. That was nearly 5 years ago. Alex and Brett, you’re great, I love your writing and your awesome speakers, but you aren’t teenagers anymore. The Rebelution needs some younger faces. I still want you guys in charge, but what if you got some younger rebelutionaries into leadershipas well?

    Another thing, I kind of wish Te Rebelution put more emphasis on the importance of family. I remember when I first got interested in The Rebelution thinking, “wow, I wish i could do that, but it wouldn’t work with my family. I have too many siblings and our schedule is too full for me too go do big things.” Years later, I’ve come to realize that, after being a committed follower of Christ, there is no hard thing more time consuming, or more worthwhile, then establishing a thriving, godly relationship with your family. I’ve seen the teens I know who are known as the “leaders” who haven’t prioritized their families. They may be the movers and shakers, but what they do is easy compared to what they don’t do. They may sing on the worship team, but doing so means more time away from their family and more work for their parents. They may help out in the church nursery, but they don’t have much of a relationship with their little sister. Teens need to understand how important their families are.

    The Rebelution has really impacted my life, I think my teen years so far would’ve been rather different if i hadn’t been impacted by you, but I don’t know very many people younger then me who can say the same thing. I’d love to see that changed.

  • I have a suggestion. I’ve been reading this blog for over a year and I read both books. I’ve been watching…and thinking.

    This essay said i’ll the things that were beginning to form in my mind, took the words from my mouth you might say.

    It seems to me the most hard hitting part of the message is the part about big things. I know that reading do hard things gave me a lot of questions. I was confused for a long time. Shouldn’t I be DOING something? But I tried and doors got slammed and I tried and different things happened and finally I just sat down and said to myself, “this is silly if everyone goes out and spends their teen years doing fundraisers who does the dishes?” Fundraisers are great! But it seems to me that the small things the building blocks are getting lost in the wash.

    I want to be a mother someday I want to be married and have a family and teach my kids. Isn’t training for that just as important as something bigger? I know this is not a new concept I know you all know small things are important. But my suggestion would be to even for a little while focus on the small things. This is supposed to be about getting ready for adulthood maybe for awhile there could be some articles or a challenge or something about the smaller ways of growing up. Cooking, learning responsibility, patience, I don’t know finding out about a job you want someday. Basically being an adult in preparation for adulthood.

    Digging wells in Africa is WONDERFUL! I hope that there will always be someone doing that. But maybe we could all for I don’t know a month a year just focus on learning how to be grown ups. Learning how to love and be patient. Exercising our faithfulness in the little things. Cutting out procrastination, laziness, disrespect. The little things.

    I’m not quite sure what that would mean on the blog, maybe a series of posts? Maybe a challenge of some kind?

    I’m personally taking this year to learn unconditional unrewarded love. I want to learn how to unselfishly love others. That’s not a big thing in the scope of the world but it’s hard for me. It’s outside my crabby comfort zone.

    That’s another thing maybe the Rebolution needs to stretch its comfort zone a little. How I don’t know. But sense a little complacency.

    Wow this is a long comment. Sorry.

    ~The Anne-girl

  • Hey Rebelution. I want to add onto what K commented above. I’m thirteen as well and I think the Rebelution has got tons of potential and ability left, as well as a younger generation that is hungry for it’s wisdom! I agree that the Rebelution has kind of gathered cobwebs over the last few years… but! I see another generation of people who are ready and willing to step up to the plate and be leaders. As I also see adults that are just as much in need of the message of the Rebelution as we are.

    Also, older Rebelutionaries, just because you are moving out of the teen years doesn’t mean you have to stop being a part of the movement! You have still got a lot more to give! It’s up to you to train us younger teens to be leaders as well.

    The Rebelution isn’t finished yet, it’s still got a long ways to go! I feel that in my bones.


  • Brett and Alex, I really respect you for sharing this essay! Thank you for your humility and wisdom.

    I halfway agree, although in some ways it’s odd because I know you tried to avoid these very things. I mean, “Start Here” was about starting with hard things right where you are. I remember you saying specifically that Hard doesn’t necessarily mean Big. Perhaps this kind of pride, of thinking “big” things are the only important things, is a natural pitfall of the Do Hard Things message, since it is calling teens to rise above their peers. This mistake could also be the result of insecurity as we want to prove to the world that our abnormal choices are in fact good choices. The best remedy is to literally follow God and let Him write your story, rather than trying to control your own life by your own strength. (Again, I think you’ve already said this many times in many different ways, so this is why I don’t completely agree with the criticism.)

    The Rebelution made a big impact on me when I was 15, totally blowing my mind with it’s truth and hope. I went to one of the conferences, read the books, and shared the site with others. However, I did move on from it. I’m 22 now, and am in a different season, as I know you are too. To be honest, I would love to see you address the issues 20-somethings are dealing with in our society. In a way, our age-group is just as misguided as the teens. Of course we need to keep teens inspired and purposeful, and I think people of all ages should be encouraging them. 20-something Rebelutionaries can and should still speak to teens, but they can also take advantage of their seniority by filling more of a supporting role for the next generation. Teens, then, can still have the opportunity to be involved in leadership roles, but they’re not doing it alone.

    I didn’t mean to write a long comment, but I do care very much about the Rebelution and its message! Seriously, could we have a branch-off for 20-somethings?

  • I agree with the conclusions that Kyle draws in his paper. I have seen a lot of this first hand in several ways. I joined at a much older age then many (nearly 18), and in the later years of the rebelution (Early 2010).

    I was able to see fairly quickly the stark difference between many of this things soon after I joined. One noticable thing to me was the sort of rift in regards to age. There was a group of people my age and older (mostly those that had been in for a number of years or from the start), and then a group in the 12-15 range. Which this in it self was not an issue but I believe led to some of the issues that we see.

    The issue though was this, many of the older held a firm grasp as to what the core of the movement was. The younger seemed to view the movement itself as core. There was something missing when it came to passing on the vision from the old to the young. This was what I sorta walked into after reading the books. To be honest the books do outline something that is sorta an ideal situation. Come up with big idea, work hard on big idea, and in the end it all come together to work great. A lot of the younger members either didn’t know or realize that it had nothing to do with the size of the task. It was a willingness and a predetermined yes to do the hard things God placed before us, no matter how seemingly small it might be. It was living a yield life to Christ, and following His leading no matter were He had us go. It had nothing to do with a group, a phrase, a movement, a forum, or any other thing. It was in a yieldedness to the Spirit of God, not being part of the group.

    So when the older members been to disappear (Mainly because we have all entered stages of life that keep us rather busy), there was a practical shift from yieldedness to Christ to being part of the group. If the true focus though is regained, and a renewed vision captured then much can change. Without a return to the core value of following Christ no matter what, then I believe the spiral down will continue.

    Now to a little personal experience and maybe this will help some of the younger members. There is one thing that is talked about hardly at all. There are times that God call us to do a hard thing, and we pour ourelves into doing it. Then seemingly out of no where it all falls apart on us, this is a most discouraging situation to be in. There is a shift of thinking though that must take place. God has actually just given you another (and much harder) thing to do. To remain cheerfully following after Him despite the discouragement. We are all called to hard things, but often they are small and come in a different manner then we expect so we miss them.

    Sorry for such a long comment, but I hope that it is helpful. I for one want to see this group flourish and be around for a long time to come as I have three younger siblings that I would like to see join.

    Press and pursue ever more after Christ.

  • Okay, so I read the essay, and the summarizing points:

    First, The Rebelution became viewed as a purpose in itself.
    Second, the real movement is not as flashy as portrayed in the book.
    Third, Do Hard Things became synonymous with Do Big Things.
    Fourth, has cobwebs.

    I agree with the critique one hundred percent. The author was spot-on. I have not been following this movement for as long as most people. Ironically, I actually learned about this when I read your book on my 20th birthday. So, it has felt a bit like I didn’t quite belong in this teen world, but I am still interested in the development.

    I think that the Rebelution is a great idea. I feel it should aim to support and coach people into achieving their goals. However, pray about the direction of this site.

    No, the movement isn’t as glamourous as it was in the book. However, life is not all bells and whistles. That argument was a bit unfair. That being said, I was expecting a bit more.

    This movement really did get turned into “Do Hard Things.” I keep remembering that teen in Zimbabwe who started his own business. While many of us can do that, we need to take on a step at a time. Keep showing us the hard things, but show us the smaller things -like someone raising money for a charity, preaching at their youth group or something. We need to see things that are slightly difficult to achieve and things that are very difficult to achieve.

    I can’t comment too much on the site, but, last time I tried, I was disappointed to see that some of the links on the sidebar did not work. It is annoying that I can’t share these posts on social media networks easily.

    I think it might help you all to have a Facebook page where you can stream your posts.

    Also, new bloggers could be helpful.

    I have really enjoyed your posts and this journey. I hope to see continued increase in your lives and this mission.

  • Oh, and I think it is important to have this movement expanded. Many people who followed the blog from the beginning are in their 20s. So, maybe you could also gear content to that group.

    Another thing to try may be to address different parts of the body of Christ. Your blog has given a lot of attention to missions trips and speaking engagements. If you focus on other callings and gifts, it might help improve the blog.

    Maybe it is a good idea to slowly pass on the torch, by integrating other teens (on fire for God) as contributors.

    Thank you for being so humble and so open. Thank you for giving us a chance to contribute.

  • Most of the content on the Rebelution blog is timeless. IMO this blog will still be relevant to teens in 50 years time – even if it’s never updated. Indeed the challenges you present are timeless and relevant to everyone – no matter whether they are in their teens, 20-something, or even 50 something… And I don’t feel it matters if you only occasionally update your blog – what you have to say when you get nudged by the Spirit to write something is more important than ritually writing something every week.

    I first found the Rebelutionary blog when I was researching for a Christian fiction series I was writing. I was living in remote Australia and I was incredibly inspired by some of the articles. Ever since I’ve included links to the Rebelutionary blog in every subsequent ebook I’ve penned.

    Only a small percentage of the world’s population can get to a conference or afford to buy Do hard things. But a much higher percentage of the world has access to the internet – and that percentage will be even greater in 20 years. Your blog is an incredible opportunity for outreach. It’s like a jewel in your crown – but you’ll only get to see the full extent of its impact in heaven. Keep on blogging – even if it’s only now and then. People all over the world are interested in what you have to say – and they aren’t all teens either!

  • I agree with what Kyle says. I am 14 and I read the book and was introduced to The Rebelution last year, so I wasn’t able to attend any conferences. I read the book and it changed my outlook. I immediately got online and entered my info to become a part of the forum and started reading all the articles on the site I could find. I was a little disappointed when I noticed the last post on the blog had been several months ago, but I passed over it. I wanted to join the forum because I knew I needed help. I was young and even though I had been a Christian practically my whole life, I was weak. The Forum was viewed by me as something through which I could connect with other Christians my age for encouragement and advice, something I sorely lacked. I can’t comment on whether the Forum still does that, as I have never received a response to my application to become a member. I was still able to learn a lot from the articles you had on here, but I felt alone. I think the Forum and Rebelution in general should be a place where teens can connect for advice, encouragement, and accountability.
    Another person mentioned being able to meet face-to-face, but perhaps something like Skype would be better because of high-travel costs. I would also like to agree with several other people who have given the idea of passing the baton, so to speak. I don’t want to shove you guys out of course, but you aren’t teens anymore, so I think it is easier for a teen to reach a teen.

  • I have to agree with what Kyle said in the essay. I’ve been thinking some of those thoughts myself and wishing the Rebelution blog and movement would get back to what it was. I think Kyle’s suggestion of adding some younger bloggers is a very good one, but I would still like to see post from Alex and Brett. You guys have gone through the teen years and college, you have the experience to guide others through them that those still in their teens do not. Low expectations do not stop when you turn twenty. Most people have low expectations of college students and grads. It is an on going fight, at least people I know have had to fight it. We need older people guiding the younger ones. So it would be good to get some teens on here blogging because they can blog about what they are living now, but still have Brett and Alex blogging as they can provide guidance since they have already experienced more and know what lays ahead better than a teen can.

    I would really like to see the cobwebs dusted off the blog (so to speak). It seems to me the best way to do this would be to have more post, a couple a week. Having more bloggers on the team may make that easier. Also, I think it would be good to go back and revisit the foundations.Do some new post on the Myth of Adolescents and what it means to Do Hard Things, even if those Hard Things are small things like cleaning your bedroom everyday or studying before play. Perhaps even getting current teen Rebelutionaries to share what hard things they are doing, again small things are great. Not everyone can do big things. Everyone can do hard things, (serving others, taking initiative, meeting a new friend.) Depending on who you are any of those could be hard things. I know for myself when I see other people doing hard things where they are, in their family, around their house, school, or church it inspires me to step forward and do something that I might find hard where I am. Hard things needs separated from the idea of big things and it would be a good topic to address over and over again on the blog.

    Those are just my thoughts for whatever they are worth. I hope and pray that the Rebelution can grow again and get revitalized.

  • It’s the third point that strikes me the most, because that’s basically the line of thought I’ve been following. I feel like God needs me to do BIG things and if I’m not I can’t possibly be following His will for my life. But that’s not the case; God needs people to do the little things too 🙂 We aren’t all destined to host conferences, write books, and inspire thousands of teens, but that doesn’t mean God has left some of us out of His plan. We all have a purpose, we all have hard things that need to be done.

    By the way, I’m not really sure what the first point meant, the Rebelution becoming a movement in itself. I probably would understand if I read the essay but I can’t seem to download it 🙂 God bless!

  • First of all, thank you, Kyle, for articulating these problems with grace and tact. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from Toastmasters is that evaluations are crucial for improvement.

    Rebelutionary Purpose.
    Kyle said, “The Rebelution is not a purpose, but an exhortation to pursue purpose purposefully.”
    Y’all said something like this recently in an email update. That the reason we do hard things is not for the rebelution, or for Alex and Brett, but for the Glory of God. When I first read DO HARD THINGS, I think did start doing hard things just to be awesome like the Harris brothers. After I matured mentally and spiritually and I gave my life completely to God, the reason I really did hard things started to be for God. That is the reason everyone should do hard things, but looking back, I don’t think I was mature enough to understand that initially. Positive peer pressure, and maybe idoling Alex and Brett a bit, was what got me started. I wasn’t thinking about glorifying God, I was just wanted to be in on the rebelutionary club. What Kyle said the Rebelution being viewed as a end in itself rings true. Ideally, every newbie rebelutionary should understand that. Maybe somewhere, the real purpose of the rebelution could be empathized more. Yet, seeds don’t always fall on fertile soil. What I want to say is that, although I didn’t “get it” when I first heard the message of the rebelution, I still glad at least the glitter and the coolness of the message made me stick around until I was mature enough to get it. God works in people in different ways.

    In psychology, the glitter vs. message is called the difference between central route processing and peripheral route processing of a persuasive message. In central route processing, the target person is highly involved, motivated, attentive, and in our case, spiritually mature. In central route processing, the interpretation of the message is characterized by the real issues and arguments. In contrast, in peripheral route processing, the target person is not so involved or motivated, and again, spiritually immature. It is the source of the message (the epic Harris brothers) and other general information (coolness of the movement & peer pressure) which is considered instead of the core of the message itself. (Advertisers employ both routes alternatively, think of celebrity endorsements with peripheral route processing.) Although central route is better, and that’s what we’re going for, if you can’t get it because of the spiritual state of that particular person, peripheral route processing will have to do. Better it than nothing, because at least the seed is planted in the [immature] soil and we can leave the miracle working
    up to the God of miracles. Conclusion: in promoting the Rebelution, we should still use both routes, the hard hitting arguments and the glitter.

    Big vs. Hard Things.
    Kyle is right, Hard doesn’t always equal big. Though, I understood this by reading some of the articles on here. I think y’all already made it clear already that hard doesn’t always equal big.

    I have been thinking for a while that has cobwebs, I’m glad someone broke the silence. Getting fresh bloggers is a good idea. Start delegating. You could stat by recruiting people who have been blogging about rebelutionary stuff for a while and then include more. Why don’t you create a way where anyone could submit an article to be published? Like and email address for people to submit their own stories and insights. Form a committee to shift through the submissions and send the best ones to you to approve and post.

    Anyways, I hope this helped.

  • Firstly, I would like to thank Alex and Brett for sharing their ideas and thoughts with us through their books and blog. I read Do Hard Things two years ago and it had a huge impact on me and a lot of my friends…
    I agree with Kyle – especially on his first point that the Rebelution can very easily become a purpose in itself – but I also agree with Beau Cornerstone that the posts on the blog and the books contain timeless truths that apply to everyone.
    I personally think that Alex and Brett made it clear in their books that doing hard things doesn’t necessarily mean doing big things, but I did notice that most of the posts on the blog were about big hard things.
    Although the Rebelution has a few cobwebs and shortcomings, I know that God has been using it and I pray that God will guide you and all of us onwards.

  • As far as many of the comments on this post go, most seem to agree that the Rebelution needs to begin to focus on the small things as well. However, as a blogger, I realize that it’s not easy to have a blog completely centered on the small things. We have to still remember that the Big Hard Things are still important. Finding the balance between the two is the difficult part. The Rebelution blog has become one of the central parts of the movement, and I’m sure has inspired many people to do Big Hard Things for Christ. I believe it’s important for those who have never seen the Rebelution before to be able to see the Big Things they as teens are still able to do through Christ, and as a central part of the movement I believe that the blog should offer that. The blog can offer inspiration to those who want to do big things but don’t yet know what it is they should do.

    In order to find a balance, though, the blog could still offer occasional posts on the small hard things as well. This could be done, as others have said, by other teen writers/bloggers contributing as “guest bloggers”. This being said, the blog would still be able to inspire others to do Big Things for Christ.

    One of the best ways, in my opinion (and others may share it), to encourage others in the small hard things is through an online body of believers; an “online church” as one person put it. The reason why this must be different from the blog is because of the comment format. Just take a look at the comments here. It’s hard in a comment-based format to have conversation between Rebelutionaries – no fault of the blog or of anyone. It’s simply not created for conversation; just comments. This is why the Forum was such a good idea. The Forum can be used as fellowship for like-minded Rebelutionaries to encourage one another in Christ.

    Given this, I believe one way we can keep the Rebelution going is to “repopulate”, so to speak, the Forum. As K. mentioned, I too have been trying to apply for four months with no reply. (And it wasn’t because I wasn’t accepted…) Either way, the Forum would be a great way to revamp the Rebelution and to give one another encouragement in doing the small things OR the big things. This, of course, would still include posts on the blog. It’s simply two different sites for two different purposes: Encouragement/fellowship and inspiration/challenge.

    Those are just some ideas, so what do you all think? (Sorry for another long comment, by the way…)

  • Okay, so, I have the essay printed out to read! but I was reading these comments and wanted to add something to the conversation 🙂
    I am a teen (15) and the message of therebelution is real special!
    I notice a lot of people are commenting about turning the gears more towards 20 somethings on the blog. You guys alluded to having other teen bloggers (as mentioned in the video blog) send in articles/posts and I wholeheartedly agree! I would still love to have you guys post every now and then, because I think your ideas are tops, but I would really love to hear those who are in the same situation as me, encouraging me to strive for what is better- God’s Way. The rebelution was created for teens, and I think it should stay that way because there is a huge need for that. Posts for the “adults” would be great too, but I don’t think it should over power the blog. (Having some would be great not only for the blog’s original followers but also because teens (at least me) like to look at what their future may look like)
    Just some thoughts, might post more later after I’ve read the essay, but the idea of turning the whole blog into something geared towards young adults saddened me greatly.
    Thanks for letting us post our thoughts, and I admire your hearts- Brett and Alex.
    (I also apologize for a long, and possibly repetitive comment!!! Haha)

  • This is such a blessing to hear all of these comments and the essay. I’m 14, I’ve read the books, I checked out the forum about a year ago, but the most recent post had been about a month previously. This has irritated me to see the great movement like this disinigrate to nothing. At my age it’s early to think about family, but even so, I want my kids to be able to experience this movement. Kyle made a really good point about the “hard” vs “big” thing. You (Alex and Brett) made this clear in Start Here, but I feel this point has been lost. I have been feeling this for some time and had no idea anyone else noticed it. I was about ready to send an essay about the topic myself, but this is just so amazing to hear others think the same thing. I know God has gifted me in certain areas, but whenever I saw an opportunity to use them in the blog, someone else stepped in first. I love the idea of allowing a place where others can post about different topics. Also group devos would be really cool. Lastly, I’ve been having trouble posting in forum. (whenever I try to post, it posts a blank message) If this could be fixed it might help me as well as others trying to gather together ideas in the forum. I don’t know if I’m really just saying the same things as other people or if what I’m saying make any sense, but I hope maybe it is a little bit helpful.

  • Something I failed to mention in my above comment is that many members of the Rebelution have started their own blog almost to make up for the Rebelution’s lack of activity. (including myself) This is a good thing that is a little bit in disguise. It would seem like multiple other blogs would just detract from the Rebelution, but maybe that is the was the movement should go. Multiple blogs with multiple “personalities” reach different crowds and sects of teens. Maybe the Rebelution could become some kind of head quarters for christian teen bloggers to keep them refreshed in the Word as they through God’s grace reach other people through their own blogs. Again, I don’t know if this is a good idea; I’m just throwing the idea out for Rebelutionaries to think about and pray about.

  • I’ve purchased your book just last year, after I turned 18. Honestly, it was so refreshing and liberating that it ignited a strong feeling inside of me that made me wanna do more to serve Him. I am a new Christian and having the thought of my age not being a limiting factor to what I can do and contribute for His glory, I was so pumped with the idea! I felt so blessed and God has revealed so much to me from what I read! And as I read, I tried to track down these Rebelutionaries, and to my disappointment (sorry for the term, but that’s how I really felt), I only saw a few, and close to none. I visited this site with no new post or forums. I looked for groups on Facebook to meet some fellow Rebelutionaries,and to every group that I’ve joined in, nothing and no one seems to be active in the Rebelution. I know, I may not know the things that they’re doing in their personal lives, but I kind of wanted to see how the others are keeping up the Rebelution spirit alive. You know that feeling that I was so in fire to ‘do hard things’ and as I looked for encouragements and some things/someones to turn up to, I found none. 🙁 I’m not saying that you, Harris twins, are doing nothing. I’ve followed and read about what you’ve been up to these past few years since the Rebelution started and I was amazed by your accomplishments and works. I also admire the things done by other Rebelutionaries, but very few seems to be working up to the present.

    I agree with the essay, specially with his 2nd point. Also, I second Mr. Brandon Buchanan’s comment here. “Many members of the Rebelution have started their own blog almost to make up for the Rebelution’s lack of activity.” I, too, have done this through my blog I have a passion for writing, and I wanna share His revelations and blessings to me to everyone, too. And because I can’t find a place to contribute these, I made my own blog. It’d be really nice to work with other Rebelutionaries (not just doing all the thinking alone, for I maybe wrong for one point and there’d be no one to correct me or help me!), tackling different issues vital to our present situations about our spiritual walk and growth, and having an interaction, creating analyzed posts about it. It is said in the bible that there’s strength in numbers, and as I can see, many prays for this kind of ‘working together’, too, may we be far or close. Personally, I’m half-way around the globe away from America. And I don’t want that to limit me to talk, work and be involved in the lives of my fellow passionate Rebelutionaries. A good friend and mentor once told me, “to keep a charcoal burning, you must put it around its kind that are ablaze with fire.” I wanna be around different people who are in ‘fire’ to serving and pleasing Him! And that seemed to be one of the ideas of the Rebelution, as I pictured it from the book. But now, I can’t seem to feel that.

    Let’s all work on keeping the Rebelution alive, may we age and graduate out of the ‘teen years’. Let’s build other teens, too, so that when we’re older and won’t have as much time as we do to keep the world wide web posted about our endeavors. I hope and pray that we could create and maintain an interactive community alive, writing, reading, tackling and battling things together the issues and blessings we’re graced with. To showcase different blogs, too, as others have established. Everyone has something to share and tell and contribute. To encourage and be encouraged. To teach and be taught. After all, that, I think, is the spirit of the Rebelution: all being together in working for and pleasing Him. 🙂

  • I completely agree with Kyle. I noticed that the blog and the website seem dead. We do need a new generation of rebelutionalries. I like that Kyle was willing to speak his mind and say what he really thought at the risk of offending people. he’s right when he says that the website will die of it isn’t revived. I recently read both books and they (along with strong Christian metors) changed my life and brought me closer to God. I hope that I can (with God’s help) bring others to this community. I have to admit, I got caught up in the excitement of this movement. But now that the initial rush is over I am not any less willing to work towards hard things, big and small.

  • I am glad that Kyle wrote this essay. People may say that I’m not a true “Rebelutionary” because I didn’t go crazy about the site/forum/or finding a BIG thing. I read the book when I was 12. At 14, I felt that I was prepared for whatever God called me to do in my teens, I was ready for a new chapter. He answered my prayer, and I began working at a crisis pregnancy center. . .sorting baby clothes. I never did anything huge, I was just there, making sure that our clients could get what they needed. At 15 I decided to do an informative speech in 4-H about adoption, the alternative to abortion. With high expectations still planted in my mind, I ended up trying to reach the stars, and by God’s grace I did. He gave me an interview that I never expected to get. This past summer went to a leadership class that most people my age don’t get into. Now please understand, this is all by God’s grace, and none of my own ability. But God planted the ideas of the book in my head. I have sought out entertainment that encourages such ideas. Doing Hard Things isn’t about what we do, it’s about being willing to follow God outside our comfort zone. We don’t pick what we do, we follow God’s leading in every area, the small and the large. That is what I learned, and hopefully will carry into college and on through life.

  • Shoot!!!! That boy, Kyle nailed the “thing” right on the head!!! When I read the book, I guess I did take it to heart. I helped to create a teen prayer group at my Christian school that I attend, and I guess I also took your name a little bit (I named the group the Rebels, and I lend the Do Hard Things book out of my locker every now and then). Well, that’s what we are supposed to be right? The part that affected me a lot in the book was the part on Small Hard Things. It meant a lot to me. And it should to the rest of us! If you need a blogger, I am not sure how often I could or if I could even be qualified to blog, but give me a shout if you need me! I am 15 years old by the way. Listen, what I guess what we need now is a Revival. A Revival that starts with us, and I want to be at the forefront of that. I don’t want anyone not knowing about God’s amazing love and His comfort that He can only give. We are the Change. God gave us not a heart of timidity or of cowardice, but one of love, of power, and of strength. We need to fan the flames. Since reading your book, I have indeed tried to shoot higher, and do more for God. We need a Revival of the Rebelution for sure!

  • I agree with Kyle and everyone who has written comments on this blog post. I started reading Do Hard Things about a year ago and I am almost 13 now. I remember reading the book (my mom read it also) and saying “I want to check out this blog!” And so I did. But when I got to the site, I thought, “this is it?” In the book Do Hard Things it portrays the blog as awesome, and really powerful. But I do think it has some major cobwebs and isn’t as powerful as it once was. I still love the blog, but Kyle’s essay brought together the feelings I had about it a couple months ago. His essay was not meant to discourage, but to motivate all of us to focus on the true purpose of the Rebelution. Thanks Kyle, Alex, Brett, and everyone else who has contributed to this.

  • On some points I agree with Kyle. The blog seems to be neglected lately and the contact emails do not work. It seems as if the teen leaders have disconnected and moved on from the blog. I love the Rebolution and I don’t want to see it fade away. I would love to lead, my church has extremely low expectations for teens. Please don’t fade away.

  • Hey ya’ll,

    I wanted to thank you all for your thoughts, and your passion. It’s really cool to see so many people who care about The Rebelution and where it is going. 🙂

    God Bless,
    Kyle Johnston

  • I am not a member of this online forum, for a few reasons, but I am very passionate about the Rebelution. Like one of you said, and I’m not sure who, but the Harris’ twins book Do Hard Things was also a huge turning point in my life. But I feel like I am alone…I’m seventeen and graduating this year. Two years ago I read this book. I was so disappointed to find things so completely died off since the book was written…I wish I could get more involved. Pray for me, that God would open a few doors so I could do more…Please pray.

  • I totally agree with Kyle. Great essay.

    Also, Leah’s comment really encouraged me. I get easily discouraged when I seem to be stuck in the “small” hard things.

  • I sort of agree with Kyle, but I have joined the Rebelution in the past three years, and have been so encouraged by the forum and the blog!
    I really like Alyssa’s idea of having a comitee to help contribute and I think it would bring a younger generation in!

  • Sadie again. I just read Justus Lifeblood’s comment…right on. I agree with Kyle on many levels, and I would hate to see the end of the Rebelution. I also am not sure how great at blogging I would be, but I would give it a shot if you (meaning Alex or Brett) needed or wanted me to…We definitely need a revival, not just of the Rebelution, but in the entire community of Christian teens throughout the USA…just think what we could accomplish for God together!

  • I just read what Nathaniel commented, and I can’t help but second it: “The conferences are great and I think they should be continued but maybe a ‘Do Hard Things’ course could be sent to churches to teach in their youth services. Also having each country/state/region could have their own regional Rebelution core group to meet and have events in their particular area.”

    In addition, a small church dvd pack would be really good for youth groups like the one I am in with about 15 teens. Though only a few of the books have infiltrated my Christian high school, I know the Rebelutionaries that are in my school would love to share the dvd conference, but considering there are only about 50 teens there, and the over all size of our school, there is no way the current price would be payed for just a set of dvds no matter how spiritually rich.

    Just something to think about.

  • Kyle has some good points, but I do think his essay was a little hard on this blog, etc. I admit that when I joined the forum I was expecting blog posts more often, but has some really good articles. I also enjoyed the results of the modesty survey. I think that new leadership however would be a good improvement. Also Kyle’s point about doing hard things equating to big things was a great observation. Sometimes its the small hard things that matter most. Thanks for the post.

  • I agree with Kyle’s essay. I think he did a great job of pointing out the weak points and offering hope for the future. I read Do Hard Things in 2010. When I came to the blog, I felt like I had missed out on the Rebelution movement. I did attend a Rebelution conference and was incredibly blessed and challenged by it. I was so sad they were ending. That said, I totally understand that Brett and Alex have needed to move on…and they should. Like others have said, that is the point of the Rebelution after all.

    I think DVD conferences are a great idea. My siblings and I have considered doing one. As I have have thought about it, I have felt that there needs to be some more direction and mentoring in that. But I think we all feel that DVD conferences can never replace the live ones.

    Regarding the equation that hard things equals big things, I would agree that I have felt that sentiment. However I would also say that I do not get that from Brett and Alex. I think they have tried hard to place value on small hard things too. Usually those are the most important things and the big things are made up of small things. The fact is, our culture places value on big things and not small things. Big things make the news. They make us important. As fallen humans we gravitate to being noticed by doing big things.

    It has been great to have Brett posting on the blog recently. I think it is bring the Rebelution back together. I think it would be good for new teens to take part in posting on the blog and providing some leadership. After all that is what the movement it about.

    I fully believe that the message of the Rebelution is as vital if not more as it was back in 2005. I am excited to see it being reassessed so that it can be a more useful ministry in God’s kingdom.

    Also Brett, I just want to say that I am really sorry Ana is so ill. I am praying for both of you.

    God bless you all and enable you to keep serving Him.

  • I am not yet a member of this website, but I thought that what Kyle was saying is very good and pretty powerful in his point. I definitely agree that the small, hard things are equal to big things. My dad has a saying in my family for if we are slacking a bit on our school or running (we run competitively), that if we do the small things well, we will do great things. I think that maybe a reason things are getting a bit dusty/uninteresting, is because Alex and Bret can’t be constantly blogging 24/7 because they have their own grownup lives. I do not want this website to go away though, it is so encouraging still. I read their book Do Hard Things a while ago, and learned about the modesty survey from that. It encouraged me SO much! I am brought up in a home where we cherish modesty and we are brought up to always dress modestly, but sometimes I felt a little bit discouraged about making sure I dressed modestly, because it always seemed that like even Christian girls were dressing immodestly. I do think though that this website will GREATLY benefit from having MATURE young teenagers (or should i say young adults. ;p) becoming leaders too, and helping out, blogging, and etc. We can’t lose the vision of being an impact in our teen years, and having big expectations for ourselves and other teens!

  • Great essay Kyle, but wow, what a lot to think about! I agree with a lot of what it said. I have also been thinking some of the same things. I think that it’s a great idea to introduce some teen writers to the blog, but not because I’m tired of reading Alex and Brett’s posts. It’s important for us teens to learn from other young people who were teens themselves not long ago. I love your posts. They are written in such friendly, understanding way, and are so inspiring! I only started reading the the blog a few months ago, and I’ve already read nearly all of the available old posts, as well as the new ones!

    It does seem sometimes like the “big things are the most important,” but I hardly think it’s The Rebelution’s fault. Sure most of the blog’s news is about teens who are doing “big” things, but the blog states specifically that “hard things” do not have to be “big things.” The big things will always seem the most glamorous, even if it’s the small things that are often the hardest. Part of the movement is to show teens that even teens can do “big hard things.” I used to believe that you had to be a grown up to do “big hard things,” but thanks to The Rebelution I now know better. The Rebelution also helped me realize that today, just like in Bible times it doesn’t matter if you are super smart, or exceptionally talented because God often uses the simple of the world to confound the wise. I want to thank you guys for stepping out of your comfort zones and making a difference. I just hope God will grant me courage to do the same! God bless The Rebelution!

  • Kyle is right.
    I’m new to the site and though I’ve just entered my teen years I already see the low expectations. I’ve been reading Do Hard Things and it has really impacted me. I would hate to see the community of the Rebelution die off.

    I have often wondered if “small things” were hard things. I thought it was just stepping out of our comfort zone that made it hard. Hard is different for everyone. Yet, while reading the book, I feel as if it’s supposed to be big.

    I’ve always been one for doing hard things, even at 9 years of age I was speaking at town council meetings. So I understand that doing “big” things is hard, but I have friends who wouldn’t dream of talking in front of others. Sometimes praying in class (something so simple at a Christian school) is the hardest thing they have done.

    I feel so blessed to have found the Rebelution. I’ve been on the site for like 2 weeks and I think it is great! I see the cobwebs, but I’m ready to do something. I’m part of the younger generation of teens that are part of this so I’m pumped and ready to go!

    Brett and Alex, you started something that I have shared with my siblings and friends and will teach my children and grandchildren so they pass it on. Thank you so much for this and I’ll you’ve done! I look forward to what the Rebelution has in store for us younger folks and I hope that I can be part of it!
    Thanks again!


    I know it is long, but I just don’t want to be missed 😉

    I agree with Kyle with everyone else, so what do we do about it?
    We need to ask ourselves what we are going to do to keep this movement and this fire for God and his Glory rolling. How do we pass the Torch to other younger teens and older?

    I am kind of a late Rebelutionary, I did not read: Do Hard Things, till 2013. But even before I finished the book, I wanted to rush to the website, pick up a phone, call Brett and Alex personally and offer them my personal services. But instead I found a dying rebelution. But we are not a dead movement yet.

    I believe we need to start rebelution sponsored camps and events. What if we created a rebelution headquarters, where teens and people interested could call and get involved. Even if we were just putting up flyers at schools, or trying to get Rebelutionaries to come and speak at our schools. What would God do if we put our faith in him and started spreading the message of Do Hard Things, and then we trained people to go and spread the Gospel. (or just got teens to collaborate)

    What if we created a do hard things website, where we had a blog for teens to submit ideas about goals that we have for the rebelution, and then a regional director orchestrates those events? You said yourselves, “imagine what 100 coordinated teens could do?” Well what if 1000 teens were working together? Let’s go even further, what if 10,000 teens were involved?

    In order to keep the rebelution moving, I think we need an executive leader board, a group of people that skype for meetings, or meet and discuss the operations of the rebelution and talk at least twice a year about the future of our movement. I’m not suggesting that twenty teens run this executive board, but maybe adults and teens can run it. If someone is particularly gifted with leadership than they could be elected to the board. (of course, there should be an option to turn down that role, if the person does not see fit) I the Harris’s should find the first leaders, maybe later we can elect them, but for now we need some concrete leadership to get this ball rolling. Someone to take this movement and do something with it. I believe we could change America if we had the right people running this movement, and if God blessed it.

    We could have rebelution sponsored camps, I am applying for a great program this summer for juniors in highschool. It takes a group of students, and guides them on an expedition in the mountains for a week, to build teamwork and a well oiled team. The second week of the camp is spent at Gordon Conwell, and you spend a week in theology. Finally, the last week your team goes on a missions trip to Nicaragua.

    I encourage you check this out at the following link

    Maybe we could have something like that for Rebelutionaries. We need some leadership, and we need to re-invigorate this community. I am excited and ready to do hard things. But I want to know what hard things I can do.

    I recommend we pray about this, and that we try to find a way to re-ignite this passion in our hearts, for the Glory of God.

    My suggestions are meant in humble and blunt truth. I hope we can learn from this and get this thing going again. Brett and Alex, I hope you will contact me with your responses and thoughts, you can reach me by my email, and Maybe if you want I can give you a phone number, I would love to talk with you guys to get some ideas out there, if you have time, shoot me an email. God bless you all, and the rebelution 🙂

    Connor Janney

  • /\ that post is EXACTLY how i feel!! i picked up the book and couldnt put it down! Then i came on here so psyched and ready and on fire to find that the conferences were over and that yeah its still alive but not like it was before!! PLEASE ALEX AND BRETT GET THIS GOING AGAIN!! you can email me as well and you have my services i would LOVE to set something up and get things going again PLEASE dont let these posts go unheeded! i just want to do so much and want this up and striving again!!!!

    -love, your sister in christ

  • In Start Here Alex and Brett Harris said “Think about what you would do with unlimited time and resources.” What is your plan for We need to know so we can help.

By Brett Harris
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →