rebelling against low expectations

How can you accomplish anything significant without money?


There are at least two good directions to go with this question (submitted by Liam, by the way). The first is to explore ways to make an impact that don’t require money. The second is to share ideas for raising funds (even if you aren’t wealthy yourself). Have at it!

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Discussion Questions

are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected].


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  • The best thing you can do is trust God with your project. Think about it, all projects start with an idea. You tells others about your idea, and a few think it’s a good idea and want to help. What usually happens is the result of people working together, spreading the word, and trusting God that He’ll follow through. That’s the free part.

  • It’s true. Encouragement can be a very big deal. I am currently writing a dystopian novel. Just talking to my friends about it and getting feedback has been very inspiring to keep writing it. Plus, it gives me no excuse not to finish it :).

    • Hey, just wondering… Are you planning on publishing your novel? I love dystopian and would love to buy it when you release it!

      • Hi, Chris T.,
        I must say that I am flabbergastedly amazed that you would ask me that. Um, I don’t know if I will be able to pursue publishing, but I would like to when I finish it. It’s no where near that stage yet though and probably won’t be for quite awhile because I’m trying to semi-set it aside for awhile and really concentrate on my studies :). If you would like to know more about it, I’m going to be posting off and on about it on my blog: .
        Thanks for the feedback!

      • You may! The main story line is about the people of the land of Kopun. They rebel from their King and fearing his just wrath, they flee to the ocean. There, they build domes to live in, but even here they can’t get along with one another and they quarrel. This results in them building hundreds of domes instead of one central dome. The title of the novel right now (unless I come up with one I like better ;D) is Dome 57 and this is where the main character lives. Her name is Jehoni and eventually she will end up leaving the Dome to seek out the King, but I’m not going to say anything else because I don’t want to put any spoilers on the Internet at this point.

        Thank’s for being interested!

          • Lol I really gotta stop doin that though. My hope it they’ll all become used at some point in the distant….distant…..distant future lol

          • me to my hope is that some recording artist will see them some how an fall in love with them and give me a recording label. πŸ™‚ i’ve prayed about it but God hasn’t brought the right person into to my life yet to help my dream be accomplished. i’ve got a lot of songs sitting around in my song book getting dusty. some of them are terrible but some of them are really good. in my opinion. πŸ™‚

          • Lol good plan! See the cool thing about music is that you’re opinion is all that matters. It’s your art, your sound, your words. Do what you like with them. =)

      • Sorry that I haven’t replied till now. I’m currently staying off of the Internet except for on the weekends. Anyway, about my novel. Thanks for the luck! Um, I really have no idea where you would be able to read it as, I don’t know if I will be able to pursue publishing. If and when I can get it published, I’ll try to say something here on The Rebelution!

      • I have splashed around in the writing pool for literally years, but Dome 57 is really the first real story/novel that I have set my mind to finishing. I have written a children’s story about the Easter Bunny that I would love to see get edited, illustrated, and published, but that probably won’t happen anytime soon. Oh, and sitting in my closet is a giant folder thingie stuffed full of writing ideas, drawings, and old “stories” I pull out now and then to laugh at. That is pretty much my writing life at this point!

  • Hey Guys Madeleine hear! πŸ™‚ what i would suggest is start out by figuring out what your talents are then figure out if you can use your God Given abilities to impact the world. and sometimes when you do that you don’t need any money. like i’m a dancer i’ve been dancing since i was 5 years old (that’s 11 years lol) and i love to use my talent to impact the world. cause when i dance it’s not about me it’s about God and it’s about showing who he is through my dancing you know. and you can pretty much dance wherever so you don’t need money for that. you ketch my drift? I hope this helps πŸ™‚

    P.S. Hey any dancers out their please contact me i love to meet fellow dancers πŸ™‚ i met four last night at a neon dance best night of my life lol πŸ™‚

    God Bless!

  • I love people like that who always make it a point to ask you how your doing and to just help you and make you laugh if your going through a rough time. theirs a girl at my dance studio that’s like that always has a smile on her face and is always happy πŸ™‚ and encouraging πŸ™‚ even when your having a bad turning day πŸ˜‰ hahaha

    God Bless!

  • An impact you can make in your community is going on and participating in mission trips!! There are two mission trips I know of for middle and high school students called Impact Frederick in Frederick, MD, and Impact Yakon in Yakon, North Carolina. They don’t cost a lot, and if you don’t have the funds, you could do some fundraising! During mission trips such as these, you can go out and fix up a house while maybe even preaching the gospel to the homeowner or even their neighbors! Or, during the time when you’re *not* fixing up the house, you could go around and try to make a difference in that community! My youth group has a habit of doing just that, like writing ‘you matter. Love, Jesus’ on on couple hundred index cards and putting them under people’s windshield wipers on their cars in a major parking lot, or buying a few cases of canned soda and walking around and offering people some soda! Honestly, a lot of people just smile so much at both of these.

  • The first thing that came to my mind when I read this question is a quote by Hudson Taylor. He said, “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.” I firmly believe that if this significant thing you want to accomplish is part of God’s plan that He will provide all the necessary money. I’d also say share your vision with believers around you and ask for their input. Hope this helps

  • I’ve been thinking about ways to address this problem a lot recently and I think I’ve come up with an idea that while not new is not currently being used by non-profit and ministry organizations: crowd sourcing. Think, or, but specifically for non-profit organizations. For-profit start up companies and musicians are currently utilizing crowd sourcing with great success. See this link to see what I mean:

    Why not use this to start really good service ministries and organizations that meet real human needs. A 3-D reality headset can raise $2.5+ MILLION (10x their goal) via crowd sourcing. I have to have faith in humanity and God, that a really good ministry that is meeting legitimate needs in a tangible and innovative way could be equally successfully.

    Please respond to this with your thoughts on this idea if you have any. Would a separate website and crowd sourcing company specific to non-profits and ministries need to be created or would it be better to use the already popular companies like kick starter? I really think this has potential and would love to hear other peoples constructive opinions both for and against it.

    • Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter already have the popularity, so doing funding with them might draw more people than starting something else. But then again, I think making a crowdsourcing site just for nonprofits or ministries or mission trips or any Christian-ish maybe, would be a great benefit for the funders and those needing funding. Ministries could get their ideas in front of the people that are actually going to want to fund nonprofit work, whereas sites like Kickstarter may attract more of music junkies or fun invention makers. Either way, I agree that crowdsourcing is the future of grassroots ministries.

      If you want, you should crowdsource in order to get enough money to make a nonprofit crowdsourcing site! I’d support it.

      • Good input, thanks for your thoughts! I like your idea of using a current crowdsourcing site to crowdsource a nonprofit crowdsourcing platform. I’m going to be doing some thinking and praying on this, but I think this has potential. What would be the perks of funding something? I think one of the big draws to crowdsourcing is that as an early contributor the developer gives those who help out unique opportunities to shape the product or music or give them exclusive things they can only get through crowdsourcing (ie: the band playing at a wedding, house, etc. or free early download of the music). How would a non-profit offer similarly enticing perks?

        • I just had another thought…Kickstarter doesn’t apparently let people use it if they are giving the money to a charity or some other good cause. Maybe we could start a website that did crowdsourcing for people who were trying to do things or sell stuff to benefit a cause?
          You totally have some great thoughts about this. Keep praying and thinking about it! πŸ™‚

          • Thanks for the encouragement. I will definitely keep thinking and praying about it. Any prayers from anyone who reads this are greatly appreciated. I have never tried to start something new like this before, so I’m going to need all the help I can get.

          • I’ll pray about it too. πŸ™‚ I would suggest using if you start a website–I’ve done it once before. It’s a little tricky to figure it out, but once you get the hang if it it’s really nice. And if I remember correctly, it’s only like $18 per year to have your own domain name (without the at the end of it). Just so you know that’s out there. πŸ™‚

    • I have thought about kickstarter a lot, and I will most likely use it when I absolutly need funds for my project. I have seen most Christian projects succeed, which is very inspirational to me. I think kickstarter is one of the best places to raise funds, unless you have a website that gets viewed very often.

      Thanks for your input!

    • Thanks for mentioning those websites, I’ll take a look at them. πŸ™‚ I’m thinking the same as Jake and Sam

  • Question: How can you accomplish anything significant without money?

    Answer: Pray.

    Just to be fair, I’ll explain: Pray in order to find out what it is exactly that God wants you to do. Then, in prayerful dependence upon Him, do it. “God pays for what He orders,” or, like Hudson Taylor put it, “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.”

    Plus, the Almighty God of the Universe acts in answer to prayer. In this way, through God’s working in response to your obedience shown through prayer, He can do amazing things that we could never accomplish. There is power in prayer.

    P.S. Remember that “accomplish anything significant,” defined by a biblical worldview would be equal to “obeying the will of the Lord.” Seen from this proper Christian perspective, whether the world thinks you’re accomplishing much or not, in God’s eyes you are accomplishing much if you are simply obedient to Him, in the big things but also in the small things.

    Seek God, and His will, more than the means, for, if it is God’s will, then He will provide the means.

    “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” -James 5:16b KJV

  • I often feel, as I’m reading posts on this site, that people get so caught up in doing the grand, big things and see those so much as accomplishing something significant, that they forget the greatest thing we can ever accomplish is learning to love others the way Jesus loved us. And we can do that without money. It doesn’t take finances to help someone who is struggling clean their house. Or to write someone a letter. Or to give somebody a hug. Or to play some board games with them. Or to give them a gift – it could be something as simple as a flower from the side of the road.
    I think that whilst it’s good to want to start movements, save lives (heck, I want to do that last one) it counts for nothing if we don’t love (2 Corinthians 13: 1 – 4). Loving the people right in front of us might seem like such a small thing, but I’m convinced that, at the end of the day, that is what will make the biggest impact.
    You’re probably already aware of this, but I see it get forgotten so regularly (everywhere, not just here) that I felt the need to write a reminder.

  • Those two simple qualities seem to go a long way with most people. I wonder how much happier people would be if others listened and encouraged more often.

  • I suggest you look on craigslist for stuff like that, or ebay there is a site called ifttt (If This Then That) basically it sends you an email when a new item within your search terms appears on a site. I use it for craigslist particularly because there are not too many things posted on there too frequently. I will pray that you will get what you need as well. Remember our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills!

    • Ooooh cool thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely check those out. Lol let’s hope God developed a way to mask the sound of several thousand cows. 0_0

  • I suppose you could pray I don’t think all significant things require money though, like helping someone clean their house is significant. Or giving used clothing to orphans or something like that is significant and that doesn’t require money. I guess basicallly what I’m trying to say is, not all significant things require money.

  • I typically try not to think about money when I’m considering a project, as it usually distracts me from the main point and ends up being the factor that talks me out of getting something started. I try to just think: “Is this something God wants me to do?” If He’s the One telling you to do it, you have nothing to worry about. Whatever you need to accomplish the tasks He’s given you–whether it’s money or other resources–He will provide it somehow. It’s good to think about fundraising and/or saving up to pay for a project, but don’t let that be the deciding factor (don’t do it just because you can afford it and don’t not do it just because you can’t).

    That said, a lot of little things we do are much more significant than we make them out to be. I know from my own experience how much a few words can mean to me, whether it’s in a positive or a negative way. Sending someone an email or giving them a hug may seem small and insignificant, but it can make a world of a difference in somebody’s life. The little things we may not give much thought to can encourage (or hurt) people in big ways. Try to be intentional with the little stuff. Sometimes big hard things are made up of many small, “ordinary” ones.

    Just some thoughts. πŸ™‚

  • Another tip is to frequent garage sales. People often sell old instruments and often undervalue them, because it’s a garage sale and they want to get rid of them. For example I went a garage sale and found a takamine acoustic-electric guitar for $4 dollars. It retails for 400 new. The owner said it needed 70-100 dollars of repair work done, but when I took it in the technician said it just needed new strings and was then good to go. It sounds as good as my $500 guitar I bought before I found this one.

      • In january it will be 3 years. I also play the piano. I took piano lessons from age 10-17 and then quit due to sport and school commitments. I honestly never practiced and mainly did it because it made my parents happy. When I was 19 I got inspired by music and decided I wanted to play it again so I bought a guitar with money I made the previous summer and found a teach who was a graduate of Berklee College of music and was willing and able to teach me both piano and guitar. I’d consider myself an intermediate guitar player and a beginner-intermediate pianist. Finding a teacher who was so well trained in terms of theory and technique has really helped me understand the theory behind music in a way I couldn’t have without his lessons. It’s been an investment, but I think it’s starting to pay off. I’m trying to find people to play with, but so far have not had any success. I think that will take my playing to the next level.

        How about you, how long have you been playing the piano? the guitar?

        • Wow that’s really awesome!

          I’ve been seriously teaching myself the piano and music theory for about 4 years now, but I started gaining interest in the piano about 10 years ago when I was 7. It really started off as a competition with my brother to see who could play better lol. Eventually he stopped playing, but I still liked learning and playing it. Then I found out more about playing it and music theory and found good artists like Yann Tiersen and Ludovico Einaudi and began learning their pieces. I kinda just fell in love with music after that lol. I got my guitar March 2013 and learned a couple of songs on that, but then I stopped for a while to work on my production skills. Unfortunately I came to a wall when I realized I didn’t have the equipment I need to get the sound quality I want so about a month ago I decided to focus on my guitar playing and I’ve gotten much better. I’d say I’m an intermediate pianist and a beginner guitarist. I know what you mean about finding people to play with, I was asked to join a band recently but I just moved so that didn’t work out. Have you tried asking around a church though? They’re usually full of musicians.

          • Good idea. though the idea of playing in front of the church scares me a bit, I think I need to get a bit better first. Do you know how to play 5th and 6th string barre chords? If not, I suggest you learn them. Once you can play those in songs you’ll be a much better guitarist.

          • Those are things I’m trying to learn now actually. They’re quite difficult. But I’m a determined person lol.

          • Hey guys how did you teach yourselves music theory and how to play piano? i’m having so much trouble teaching myself how to play piano and i want to take a music theory class but don’t know were to turn have you got any suggestions advice anything?

          • The best thing to do first is to find a simple song and learn to play it just by listening to it and finding the right keys. Even if it’s twinkle twinkle little star. You need to train your ear to differentiate between the 13 different notes.

          • that sounds impossible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i can’t play by ear even if i tried. but i have a friend who can. is it easy to do?

          • Lol it does sound like it, but it actually is quite easy once you start doing it. Try learning twinkle twinkle little star. Pro tip: You’ll only need the white keys.

          • how do you do that? do you find a version that has piano or do you just hum it and try to match it?

          • Sometimes I hum, sometimes I find a piano version, sometimes I just listen to the song and try to match the best I can. But I’ve been doing it a while so I can do the last one. It’s probably better for you to try and learn an actual piano piece. It would be easier to hear the notes. Preferably something completely treble too.

          • Only in the treble clef. Like it can be played using only one hand. Then you’re less likey to have to worry about hearing two notes played at the same time. That’s really hard lol.

          • Well for ones that aren’t painfully juvenile lol not really. But I know songs that have really simple melodies that can be easily picked up:

            Melodia Africana III – Ludovico Einaudi

            La Redecouverte – Yann Tiersen

          • And twinkle twinkle little star is still up for grabs lol. =) Honestly, if you learned that you would have had a better start than I did lol

  • hey i can so relate. music has always been a passion of mine. but i’m a dancer and dance is also a great passion of mine. dance is really expensive. and i just can’t afford to take music lessons to further my knowledge of the piano. and i want to join my youth band at church but don’t think i’m able because of this. I pray a lot about it asking God to bring opportunities into my life to help me become a better musician i love music so much. and he’s given me some inspiration on how to learn how to play piano and to learn more about music theory. know if he would just give me some time to do this then that would be great πŸ˜€ but i guess my point is when your faithful and content with what you have God will reward that. i hope this helps πŸ˜‰

  • This is a great question. I think it’s important to realize that a lot of what God wants from us doesn’t revolve around money. The NT talks all the time about how early Christians were always selling all they had and giving the money to the poor. They worked together, as one body, and had “all things in common.” Yet their words and their actions caused Christianity to spread like wildfire throughout the nations, without the help of blogs or books or media or any of the luxuries we have today. We can make a great impact on the world simply by speaking out for Christ and living in a way that backs up our words. As long as we are living to further God’s kingdom, God will provide us with all we need to fulfill that which He is calling us to. We just have to learn to trust Him and follow His calling, even if we can’t see how we possibly can.

  • I would suggest for you to find some odd jobs like raking leaves or shoveling snow (in time) to raise a little bit of money to do some projects. Then you will have done two projects at one time.

  • Realize that the church didn`t start because of money, but because of faith. A simple example would be Philip in Acts 8:26-40 you see Philip not using his money to help the man who didn`t understand a Psalm. But he trusted God and taught the man about Jesus. You see this would never have happened unless Philip obeyed God and went to the chariot when God said to. So in terms of doing big things with no money don`t stress about this. Realize faith in God is more powerful than faith in money.

  • I believe some of the most significant things we can accomplish in life may not be the huge things we read about in the paper or in stories on the internet. Sometimes, it’s simply smiling at a stranger, or going out of your way to be nice to people. The little things in life often turn out to be the big things, it seems. If you’re dream is to change the entire world, that may never happen, but you may just change the entire world for one person. And, in the end, isn’t that what matters the most?

  • You can do a lot of things without a lot of money… especially on the Web. Take the founders of this site, for example: they started out their blog with one of those free websites, but later they launched this site and still impact a lot of teenagers. Granted you have to pay money to get a site like this, but you can also be creative about what you do; everyone has different talents.

    One thing I’ve been trying to do is pull a teen band together, which doesn’t require any money. Right now we just jam together, but we all write songs and might later start recording with what resources we have. We might not necessarily be known by anyone, but we can at least try to encourage others with our music.

    YouTube is also a great place to at least get yourself out there. You can reach so many people for free. Depending on what talents God has given you, you could start putting up music, or just making fun clean videos, or having like a talk show. You can also use other websites to post your writing for free (like if you write non-fiction or novels).

    Some other ways that don’t require you to spend a lot of time online are just investing in other people’s lives. I’m personally not really a people-person, but I know some people love just hanging out with others and getting to know them. You might not necessarily change the world that way, but you will change someone’s world.

rebelling against low expectations

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