rebelling against low expectations

Dusting Off The Blog


Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to post their thoughts on Kyle’s essay. The discussion has already been super-helpful. We’ll continue to talk more about each of the points Kyle makes, but for today, I wanted to jump on the fourth problem (i.e. the website has cobwebs) and talk about what we can do about it.

COVERED IN THIS VIDEO: What do you all think of video blogs? // Thank you so much for your input // A great suggestion from Alyssa // An invitation to get involved with the blog // The story behind the cobwebs.

Let me know what you think of incorporating video blogs, along with regular posts. Also, let me know if you like Alyssa’s idea of giving everyone a chance to contribute and having a committee to help screen submissions. What do you think? Would you be willing to be involved? Do you have a story to share?

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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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  • It was so nice of you to make this video and share what has been going on in your life, Brett. I spent my teen years visiting this blog and was always so encouraged by it. I also am married now- to a wonderful, Godly man- and have had to “move on” in priorities, so I can understand why the blog hasn’t been as busy (I am a blogger as well and I’ve had times where my blog has been a little neglected simply because of how my life is different than it was when I started blogging!). It is wonderful that you want to continue spreading this message and having other young people step up for this next generation of teens (a generation that includes several of my own siblings). May God continue to bless you, your family, and your ministry!

    In Christ,

  • I think that it would be great to have other people share things on the blog. As for the videos, it’s a good idea as long as they are kept short because I don’t think many people would watch them if they are long. Thanks for all the great posts!

  • I think having other people post would be great! As far as the video blog goes, I personally wouldn’t ever watch the videos, just because I often read during class when my students are working on assignments. At the same time, I love using technology…so I think it’s cool. I just don’t ever read my blog subscriptions at a time where I could have the audio to be able to hear the video.

    I would be more than willing to write a guest post or two…or possibly to help screen others’ posts.

  • Great to hear things are starting back up again, I know the Rebelution has been a real inspiration to me that young people can make a difference, and also they we can have a role to play in teaching others about Jesus. I would love to be involved with the blog in some way, by writing some stuff to share or even just by helping out with the ‘content screening’ process to see this valuable resource continue to inspire those who are coming up behind us.
    (NB for the past 6 or so years I have been writing devotions encouraging young people to live out their faith that I have been sharing on All4God ( so I have experience with regards the writing side of things)

  • I certainly like the concept of video blogging. It could definitely be a way to bring a message in a different way – sometimes having an even greater effect than simply writing can! I really appreciate your sharing and being willing to be honest. And I totally understand the pursuit of Hard Things keeping you busy these past years.

    As far as Alyssa’s idea, I think it’s great! As long as each submission was picked on a basis of Rebelutionary principles and biblical soundness, God could use the differing experiences and perceptions of others to bring the message of the Rebelution in a lot of different ways. I don’t know exactly what number of teens would be best for the aforementioned committee, but I would be more than willing to be a part of something like that! The Rebelution has been a huge blessing to me and I would love to see others come closer to Christ through it.

    May Christ bless you in your pursuit of Him,


  • I understand. You were right to live the message.

    When I came into contact with the Rebelution roughly one and a half year ago I was quite enthusiastic about it – although I soon had to realize that there wasn´t going on much on the blog as with the whole movement itself. Though, that has helped me to learn that it´s the message which is essential – not the movement.

    To some extent, that has been a painful lesson as I had already put some efforts into promoting (starting a German blog and videos on the topic) the message (which, for me back then, was inseperatedly connected with a Rebelution-like surrounding). But I´ve accepted that this wasn´t my way to go, especially as I have to concentrate on other things now.

    God bless you.

  • Eu gosto muito da ideia ! mas gostaria muito que tivesse legenda em português ! 🙂

    Translation: I really like the idea! But would love to have Portuguese subtitles! 🙂

  • I think all of it is a good idea: video blogging, other authors, reader-generated articles, all of it. It reminds me of the advice Moses got when he needed a more efficient way to manage all the people.

  • Thanks for the video!

    I think it is a great idea for you to get younger voices and committees! I really like the blog and enjoy reading your posts.


  • Hi Guys,
    I really do like the video blogging. It is cool to hear stuff coming straight from you. Like you mentioned, I think that Alyssa’s idea of a committee and taking stuff from the blog followers is great. I would be happy to send stuff in on occasion, though I don’t come by a whole lot of that type of material. Congrats on Patrick Henry College, yes, I have heard that is a VERY academically intense school. I appreciate your practicing the message you teach, keep up the good work!

  • Hey Brett!
    That’s so awesome! I love seeing your thoughts straight from you. So, in answer to your question: yes, the video blogging is a really great idea! Thank you so much for letting us know what’s going on in your life; I’m so excited for you guys and the future of the Rebelution. I found Do Hard Things only about eight months ago, and was disappointed to find that the movement was kind of ‘old news.’ I know the message lives on no matter what, but I’ll be so glad to see the blog recalled to life. I’d also love to see you on tour again if at all possible!
    It would be really great to see some younger guys and girls blogging (I might be interested in writing some articles myself!), but please don’t let us replace you and Alex. You two–next to the Lord Jesus himself–are the heart and soul of the Rebelution, and we love you!

  • I like the idea of making videos, although I think there should be a balance between vlogging and blogging – although that’s your plan, anyway.

    And like Ellen Joy said, you guys are the heart and soul of the Rebelution, so please don’t leave! I’m not a person who always likes change, but I would also hate for the Rebelution to die and there be no vibrant place for the next lot of teenagers – 13+, around my siblings’ ages – to be refreshed and inspired to do hard things. I think if you could build a community of like-hearted bloggers, godly young men and women who could continue to build the Rebelution with you two, that could work.

  • So good to see everything picking up again around here! Personally, a video blog would be a little harder for me to view than typical posts but I’m fine with whatever ends up working best for everyone else. 🙂 I thought Alyssa’s idea was great – I’d love to actually be able to help in the Rebelution community through writing! It always seems like blogs are written by just a “favored few”… I think it would be wonderful to get lots of different ideas and views (all in line with God’s word, of course), plus an exciting opportunity for any budding authors out there.

  • Thank you for explaining things for us, Brett. Everything sounds good to me. I’m excited for the changes to come.

  • I think the vlogs would be a wonderful addition to your already wonderful blogging world. It may even expand your subscribers for many teens do not like to take time to read. Reading your book for a missions trip I was going on really change my perspective on how I can serve and help further His kingdom. Thank you soo much! As for an idea, I think mabey some sort of side blogs that can focus just on guys and just on girls. It is hard to be a godly young women in this day and age and I know having other godly women’s inputs from around the globe in my life would help me soo much. I am sure it would help the men to. I will be praying the the future of the Rebelution.

    In Christ,


  • PS: I completely understand and support you guys for living the message, too. I think that it’s great what you’ve done in the last four or so years, and it could have gone equally stale if you had stuck around talking about the same thing and not branch out into new things yourselves. After all (as someone else said the other day) the teen years are the launch pad of life – including your lives! So keep it up, and keep living the message.

  • Great idea Alyssa!
    Brett, great hearing from you! As for the video blog, I’m more likely to read something that to watch it. (Especially since I can print a regular blog post.) Also, as seen in Helen Peasy’s comment, there are those following this blog who don’t speak English. Google translate works better with text. 🙂

  • I love the idea of video blogging. Like other people have said it’s nice to hear your thoughts straight from you. Sadly, most of the time I wouldn’t be able to view them. Long story short, our internet connection is horrible. The only reason I was able to view this one is because we had a burst of connection with the new month.

    Anyway… I think Alyssa idea is a great way to dust off the cobwebs! I’m so excited to see the blog picking up! I would love to be involved.

    Last, but certainly not least, thank you for sharing from your heart. I might have been a little more updated than others, simply because I’ve been looking into Patrick Henry College myself and seen a couple stories on both of you there. But it was still really nice to get the inbetween stories from you!

    God Bless You!

  • Yay! I hope you can fix the DVD Conference page soon– We want to do that at my church but the link is broken! Hooray for dusters! Also, I think that text blogging is nicer than vlogging…I love reading….

  • As a current college student who was very inspired by the Rebelution as a younger teen, I’d like to point out that when it comes to activity on the blog, many of your readers probably took the message to heart and dropped off the blog as well. Like you, I found that I didn’t have much time for blogs or forums while I was putting better effort into my responsibilities and callings. The message of Do Hard Things changed my approach to life; thank you for continuing to encourage young people to do more than our culture expects from them.

  • First off, this is my first comment on the blog in a couple of years… it’s strange to be back. 😀 I’m older, hopefully wiser, and still bursting with passion to continue to Do Hard Things for Christ throughout my life, even though I’m not a teen anymore.

    Secondly, I love the idea of video blogging. I believe that it one step in the direction of “de-cobwebbing” the blog. (It certainly got my attention when I saw the email that said you were trying a video post!) Video blogging can reach a much wider audience than just text on a page, as long as the video doesn’t descend into pointless, unorganized rambling. Not that I’m afraid that will happen!

    Third, Alyssa has a fantastic idea, and I’d love to see it carried out. Giving young bloggers a chance to share their perspectives on the Rebelution movement would almost certainly provide a renewed energy around here. And it would also give more teens an opportunity to do their own hard things by writing and submitting articles (or reviewing them as a part of a selection team).

    Finally, I want to second what Ellen Joy said. I think you guys both have a lot left to say, and I don’t think you should stop blogging just because you’re “older” than the original audience. I think you still have a lot of valuable insight about the younger generations and the culture as a whole. Besides, a lot of us “older” Rebelutionaries still want to keep on living and doing hard things, and we’d love to hear your perspectives on rebelling against low expectations in college and beyond.

    No matter what happens with the blog, I’m certain that there are others around the world who are just as eager as I am to see what God will do through the movement that began here.

    God bless!

  • Wow! I’m absolutely thrilled that y’all like my idea! Like Ellen, Joe, and Jess said, you guys are the heart and soul of the Rebelution and there will always be a central role for the Harris brothers in the Rebelution, no question! I heard that you guys were going to a really good school and that your life was moving forward. No one blames you for living the message. But really, you should delegate! No one can do everything, only God can. You are the LEADERS of a movement, and leaders delegate. I believe God meant for the Rebelution to be a great blessing, and not a burden to anyone, especially you. As the movement’s leaders, you only NEED to do what ONLY YOU have the knowledge, experience, and authority to do. The rest may be delegated. I think delegation may be the key to the Rebelution’s future. Of course, you need to pick the right people who are able, capable, and willing. Make your expectations clear, describe what you want done and when it should be done by. Give the appropriate authority to accomplish the delegated task and establish when you want feedback on progress like a weekly report or something.

    Regarding video blogs, I think it’s a great idea! It’s more personal to hear someone’s voice than to just read their words and it would definitely freshen up the blog. The length of the video shouldn’t matter as long as it is concise, i.e. don’t take ten minutes to say what could be said in just five. Though with videos, there should still be the option to read and download the text for those with Internet connection problems.

    I hope I have been helpful in some way! I would be thrilled and honored to be of assistance in any way I can! And I’m sure I’m not the only one! Best wishes!

  • After study just a few of the blog posts on your web site now, and I really like your method of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website listing and will probably be checking again soon. Pls try my web site as nicely and let me know what you think.

  • Thanks for the update Brett. I love Alyssa’s ideas. Here in the comment section I see a lot of yeas and nays for video blogging. Personally, I love the idea. But you could get the best of both worlds by posting the video with a transcript. Just a thought.

  • First of all Brett, I want to thank you for your humility in all of this. I think the idea of getting other bloggers on is excellent. It would be awesome to get more effective voices onto one site. I’m no longer a teen myself, and although I heard the Rebelution message at 16, I think I only started putting it into practice when I was 20. I wrote about this journey on my blog in September. I have added the link in hopes that it may be an encouragement to someone who feels the same way I did.

  • I received a message to download Adobe Flash Player (already on my computer) or switch to a different browser (I like Firefox better) if I wanted to watch. Please make the change to being compatible with Firefox. There are a lot of Mozilla fans out here.

  • Katherine, I was able to watch on Firefox, are you running the most current version? I sometimes can’t watch things if I let Firefox get out of date. Or maybe it’s because my computer already has Adobe Flash Player. But I haven’t updated that in a while…

  • I heartily agree with all who have said you guys are the heart and soul of the Rebelution. They’re right! God planted the vision and the revival in your hearts. I hope you guys will always be involved and leading us.

  • Thanks so much for your purposeful re-evaluation of the rebolution! I was 13 when I first read Do Hard Things, and now I’m 15, which still puts me on the younger side of the rebolution (based just upon reading other comments). Although I agree that you both still belong in the center of the rebolution, I think it’s important to stay focused on empowering teens to live out Do Hard Things, not adults. There’s space for that ministry too, but it’s a different one. On the subject of blogging, I really like the idea of getting new bloggers on board. We also need to start brainstorming about ways to get the new generation onto the blog and contributing. There’s no point in revitalizing the rebolution if teens aren’t listening.

  • so when i heard that you guys were restarting, i was pretty stoked! i’m a 17 yr oldfreshman in college now, but i was very much inspired, and helped by reading and following you all in highschool. i may not have understood before that you had obligations that you needed to fufill, but i deff do now!i can relate to the busy college student, and i don’t think any of us would pass judgement. just excited to see u back!!!!!

  • I like the new video blog. It’s much more personal. Thanks Brett for your thoughts on the blog and how to remove the cobwebs.

  • Hey Brett,

    Thanks for taking the time to make the video. I am so happy to hear about what God is doing in your life. As a blogger I understand how blogging tends to take a backseat when you get busy actually living. 🙂

    You guys have really inspired and encouraged me in the last few years. At a time in my life when I did not have, but one or two likeminded friends you guys were very encouraging. Since I first read Do Hard Things in 2011 I have started helping out with Bloom! the online magazine, graduated homeschool early at the age of 16, started a small photography business, started training my first horse, and now at 17 work as a paralegal at a small town law office. I give all glory to God, because without Him I could not have done any of it. To be truthful when I think about the Christians giving everything they have for the Kingdom of Christ, I am ashamed of the little that I have done and the fact that most of what I may call a “service” is really for me in some way. Glory to God and may I serve Him more!

    I love all the new ideas and I hope there will be more video posts! I would be honored to help in any way possible…photography, graphic design, editing articles, spreading the word, really anything!

    Praying for all you Rebelutionaries,

  • Thanks sooo much for posting this video, I love the idea of a committee of younger students over viewing articles to post. I think it would help aspiring writers to write for God and give Him their talents. Video blogging is an interesting concept, and if it works for most people I would say do it, I usually read the blog in the morning and I don’t want to disturb my sleeping family so it wouldn’t work for me. Lastly I want to encourage you guys to keep up the good work and to never falter in what God plans for you. I’ll be praying.

  • Thank you for posting the video! I think it will be a fun way for the world to communicate with you guys! I like the video blog idea. it makes things so much more personal! I LOVE the rebleution!!

  • Thanks so much for posting this video. I’ve recommended The Rebelution to many of my friends, and they seem to be interested. I pray that younger rebelutionaries will come on board and continue to do hard things!
    I really like the video blogging idea.
    I hope and pray that the Lord will use TheRebelution for bigger and more ways than we can imagine!

    Never forget the Lord is with you! You are never alone!

  • I am new to this blog( about a month ) and I myself was thinking this website needed a bit of clean-up. It is extremely evident by the events of the world that the end of times is close at hand. And the only ones who will have the strength and energy to carry on the message will be the young people. I am willing to help with anything that you guys need.

  • Thank you so much for the vlog, and I LOVE the idea! Thanks for taking time to catch us all up to date. It’s so encouraging to see all that God has brought yo guys through hese past few years as well as the ways He’s continuing to use you.

    I think having a commitee and a variety of contributers is a fabulous idea! I’ll be turning 20 in a couple months so I realize that I’m part of the “older” group and also hat you’re wanting to incorporate younger writers,but I would be more than willing to contribute as well as screen potential posts.

    Again, thank you guys so much for all you’re doing! I’m so excited to see what God has in store for The Rebelution!

  • Thanks for this video and on personally sharing your reasons with us. Having that video made me feel like you’re talking to me in person–I love this idea, especially to tackle things like this, issues about getting stuff done and bouncing off ideas from everyone.

    I say Alyssa’s suggestion is a great one; almost everyone who commented on your last post said the same thing! I did, too. And it’s true that living the message is the most vital thing if you’re a Rebelutionist. We could only truly sustain the life and spirit of the Rebelution by living it and letting other people know about it through what they see in us! And now that we (as in the new Rebelutionists who’ve seen and read little about ‘current’ Rebelutionaries) are living it, it’d be a great tool for us to hear/read other’s stories–something to inspire us, ignite us and maybe interact with some people who prays to go along towards a same goal or vision for the purpose of beating the low expectations even though we’re from the different corners of the Earth. It is true, as you pointed out, this shouldn’t be our focus: blogging and keeping other people updated about what you’re doing/what you’ve done isn’t as important as doing those very things you’re advocating, BUT it’d be a great driving force to gather more people to join in with our personal stories, encourage one another, and brick by brick start a new era of the Rebelution.

    I’m from the Philippines and personally, I haven’t personally met a Rebelutionist; I met some on-line and it seems that we are all idle. I know there are many out there, but since we don’t have a medium or connection to formulate plans or share our stories, or a place to ask for other’s help if we’re thinking of a big project (example is the Modesty Survey you’ve done years ago), we tend to shut those ideas and just start with things that we could do ‘individually’. If you’d let other people to contribute on your blog, I personally would be one of the first ones to send some stories and articles. And I’ll be constantly checking back for my fellow Rebelutionaries’ stories. I’d really love to collaborate an article or a project with you guys—to finally be surrounded AND work with my fellow Rebelutionaries!

  • Hey! I think this would be an awesome idea. 🙂 Many different people have different insites on different situations, and it would be awesome to hear from different teens and hear their hearts. I think it is amazing how one book, one website, two people can make such a huge difference. You guys are living proof that every single one of us can make a difference. And that if every one of us tries to make a difference, the world will be a better place. I never thought I would see the day that 2 people would rise up and take a stand for us teenagers and show us that there is light and with God we can do anything we put our minds to. So, thank you for that. 🙂 I would be willing to help with anything you need. Photography, write articles, anything. 😀 Have a wonderful day, and thanks for reading!

  • So excited! Oh my gosh! So our school is making us Freshman do History Fair and the topic is a Turning Point in History. I trully believe God has called me to share what He has called you guys to do through this. The Rebelution is my Turning Point in History! Yay! Haha! I’m gonna tell ALL my friends to check out the blog once ya’ll get it back up and running! You guys are great role models and I think that idea about getting younger bloggers to help out is great! Good luck!

  • This is my first comment!-I have read your blog for the past few years and its amazing-I never knew teens upholding God’s truth existed-I still am a teenager and I think the material on this blog is valuable.

    My suggestion is perhaps you should expand the movement to a larger extent outside America and have a function that translates articles to say Chinese (huge societal problem among teens their as a result of the one child policy resulting in a lack of responsibility due to 6 adults coddling one child-even the communist party identifies this as a problem!)
    That is just one example-I am sure you know way more in many different countries and since many people overseas , especially in china/Indonesia etc are not very good at English they may just happen to come across a website that gives them the truth in their language!

    I sincerely hope and pray this movement does not die out, but would instead bless more boys and girls all over the world

    God Bless

  • I love Alyssa’s idea of letting rebelutionaries from around the world all contribute to the blog! I’d also appreciate transcripts on the videos…thanks again for your humility, Brett!

  • I really like the idea about letting other rebelutionaries contribute to the blog! And the same goes for the video blogging, I like that a lot because I can listen to it for a minutes while doing chores or something. But I do still love all the typed posts. 🙂 God Bless you and your family!

  • Also, I think it would be a great thing if you and Alex could think about doing another conference some time in the future. I was barely 12 when the last one ended, and had no idea that this existed; now that I’m older, I really wish I could go to one. A few of my friends are starting to be interested in the Rebelution, as in they picked up the book and started reading the first few pages and said it sounded interesting.

  • Well, this is my first comment on The Rebelution too! I read Do Hard Things back in 2008, and through it, God rocked my world! I went from being careless and discouraged to being challenged and encouraged. What Rachel M noted about the possibility of your readers following the blog less often because of their engagement in doing the hard things, like Alex and yourself, is true in my case as well.

    The ideas for selecting additional contributors and having a combination of written posts and video blogs sound great! And I “third” the idea for including transcripts along with the video blogs!


  • I think Alyssa’s idea is awesome! I also think the ideas of video blogs is awesome!
    I’m so excited the blog is restarting.
    The Rebelution has challenged me so much and changed the last 5 years of my teenage life for the better! There are so many things I wouldn’t have pushed myself to do if it wasn’t for the Rebelution and it’s message!

  • Welcome back!

    So glad to hear what God has been doing in your life, Brett, and in Alex’s as well. I know the Lord has used the books and the blog here in a mighty way in my own life. A lot of what we have been doing at Bloom! ( the past six years is closely knit with The Rebelution and we are so thankful for your faithfulness in living for Jesus – on the blog and off it.

    As for answers to your questions, I did like the video blog and think it would be nice to have one every once in awhile. I also agree with Alyssa and think that one way to help dust off the blog would be to have a committee to help out with things like submissions and such.

    May the Lord bless this dusting off and give you both guidance, wisdom, and direction!

  • The video blogging is great! It helps the blogging become more personal, and is a great way to communicate ideas. Written blogging is great too, though, and as others have stated, incorporating both would be a good compromise.

    I agree that Alyssa’s idea is great. It would help incorporate teens who are also living out the message of the Rebelution. Teens who can share how God is working in their life in order to encourage others. This would also help the blog become more interactive to people who visit the site with amazing stories of their own. They can then submit a story to share, and with a committee to sort through submissions, it wouldn’t result in an overload of work for you and Alex.

    As the two of you get older, and the world is continually changing, it is important that the Rebelution continues to be influenced by the teens themselves. The amazing thing about the book Do Hard Things was that it was written for teens, by teens. With Alyssa’s idea, that concept and the relatablilty can still be retained. As you said, the two of you aree getting older, and though you still have the same great ideas, and have only changed for the better, it is important that the Rebelution stays fresh.

    God bless the two of you and your ministry!

  • Great idea to have others help with the load! What would probably be helpful is to have a list of criteria for submitted articles. That way you can have a guideline for those who will be writing for you, and that you, Alex and Brett, won’t be overburdened with articles that don’t go with the central message you are trying to get across.
    Thanks for all the hard work! May God bless both of you!

  • Good point Jocelyn! Criteria would defineitly be needed…I hope I can help with something!

    Thanks for the transcript-it’s a lot faster (4 me, anyway) to read it than listen to a whole video, most of the time.

  • Wow! Thanks so much Brett for the post. I realized that you guys were getting busier with life and things were moving on. But I appreciate hearing it from you guys! As far as the blog posts, I think that is a great idea, in someways I think that videos will be easier. Were you saying that you would do the videos or anyone that you approve of putting their post on the blog could do a video? I think that Alyssa has a wonderful idea, how is that gonna work though? Are the emails gonna be sent to you? Now that Alex is in Law School is he kinda out of the picture for a while? I think all of us would still like to hear from you guys even though you have families, you guys created this movement and I am appreciative of that!

    I am really excited to see what the Lord is gonna for Rebelutionaries in the future. I am really thankful to you guys Alex and Brett, for all the work that you have done and will continue to do, you guys have changed the way that I look on the teen years, even though that is sometimes harder to do than it seems. I hope that my younger siblings will be as excited about being a Rebelutionary as I was and still am.

    God Bless!

  • Thanks the video blog is a really cool idea. I think I’ll be sending in something. It’s a great idea. I really want to become part of this more.

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 →