rebelling against low expectations

Announcing Our New Editor-In-Chief (And My Next Steps)

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I was 11 the first time I heard about Brett and Alex Harris.

I was introduced to these brothers like so many of you were — through a red book called Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations.

This book lit a white-hot fire within me that burned throughout my teen years. They empowered me: I wouldn’t let culture hijack my youth; I wanted to do hard things for the glory of God.

One hard thing I did was write.

I started a blog when I was 11 and wrote regularly and consistently on it for half a dozen years before I stumbled upon Brett and Alex again – this time through TheRebelution.com.

I was stunned and awed by the fact that teenagers just like me wrote for this website. And they were good. They were thoughtful, intelligent, humble, skillful. And a quiet, small part of me wondered if I could get published here too.

Writing for TheRebelution.com

When I was 16, I did another hard thing: I submitted an article to TheRebelution. And, surprise of all surprises! It was published.

This was an enormous boost in confidence for me, and so I started submitting more articles here. Over the next few months, I saw several articles published and became indirectly mentored by Brett as I built more relationships with the readers of the site and found a community of like-minded teenagers I could never have imagined.

Then, in May 2015, everything changed.

Brett approached me about becoming the Editor-in-Chief of TheRebelution.com.

But he didn’t approach me alone.

He also approached Christopher Witmer. He asked both of us if we were willing to come on board as Executive Editors.

Long story short, the time was right for me, so I said, Yes. The time was not so right for Chris, so he said, Not yet.

I officially became Editor-in-Chief a few weeks after that.

Yet now, two and a half years later, I’ve realized that my and Christopher’s roles have reversed!

It’s my turn to say that life is getting crazy busy and this is no longer the right time for me to serve as Editor-in-Chief. But I am unbelievably excited to announce that it is the right time for Christopher… who as of this week will officially be joining TheReb as its new Editor-in-Chief!

I love TheRebelution.com, but God is giving me other opportunities that are too good and big and right to pass up. And I want to be very careful about stewarding my influences the best I can. Overwhelm is real and crippling, so I don’t want to take on more than I can handle.

And so it’s time for me to officially step down as Editor-in-Chief.

This week I’m handing those reins into the more-than-capable hands of Christopher Witmer (and our tremendous new Managing Editor, Katherine Forster, and team of teen editors!).

What It Was Like Being Editor-in-Chief

Friends, the last two and a half years have been a blast. Agreeing to serve as Editor-in-Chief of TheRebelution was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

The community here has been absolutely incredible, and I’ve made life-long friends. The message here is one I’ll be championing for the rest of my life. The writers here are top-notch. What a joy it’s been to work with a team of deeply gifted, passionate, brilliant young people.

In fact, one of my favorite parts of the job was cultivating new writers and helping them improve their writing.

I think of timid 16-year-old me and how terrified I was to hit, “Send” on that submission. Four years later, I wish I could tell every scared new writer, “Don’t be afraid! Just go for it! The world needs to hear your voice!”

Even if you don’t get published on the first try, don’t give up. Our editorial team wants to see you succeed (and I promise, they’re not that scary!).

Keep patiently practicing, keep writing consistently, and keep doing hard things.

What’s Next for Me?

It’s been over the last year that I’ve come to realize just how passionate I am about helping young writers grow.

When I published my book, This Changes Everything, in 2017, I saw a huge response from other young writers.

That’s why last January Brett and I decided to launch The Young Writers Workshop – an online membership site to help young Christians grow as writers, reach more people, and even get published.

And it’s this that I’m leaving TheReb to devote more time to. The YWW is growing and big things are in store for 2018, so I move from good thing to good thing.

What’s Next for TheRebelution.com?

I can’t tell you how excited I am for Christopher and the team to provide leadership for TheReb.

They are driven, motivated, kind, humble, considerate, bold, and full of dreams. They are committed to building God’s kingdom through equipping young people like themselves to rebel against low expectations and give their very lives to the cause of Christ.

Tomorrow you’ll get to meet Christopher officially on the site. Then, on Saturday, Brett will share his excitement for this transition.

This is a win for everyone involved, and I’m both grateful for my time here and thrilled for the future of this site. If you’re reading this, I’m praying for you. I’ll be supporting this ministry for as long as I can.

(This seems like a good time for me to say that if you love the ministry of this site and want to support it, TheRebelution just launched a Patreon page. This is not a crummy commercial; I just want you to be aware of an opportunity you have to financially support this growing platform if you’d like.

If you are interested, you can learn more about supporting TheReb on Patreon here.)

It was an honor and a privilege to serve here for the past few years, and don’t worry, you’ll still see me writing for the site from time to time.

But for now, I’m signing off as editor-in-chief for the last time – ready to see what hard things are in store for me next.

Soli Deo gloria.


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About the author

Jaquelle Crowe Ferris

is the former editor-in-chief of The Rebelution and author of This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (Crossway). She's the co-founder of The Young Writers Workshop and hosts a podcast for youth called Age of Minority. She's married to Joe and lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.

106 comments

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  • Well done, Jaquelle. You have served this community extraordinarily well. I’m so proud of you and the way you have boldly followed the Lord as a young person. You represent everything this website is about and much more.

    • Thank you, Brett! It’s been a true and absolute joy to serve TheReb these past years. It’s an honor I don’t take lightly but a privilege I’m thrilled to pass on to Chris.

  • I’m so, so excited to see how the Lord will use you this year and beyond, Jaquelle! Thank you for being an awesome leader, mentor, and role model for us. <3 – Abby Franklin

  • Jaquelle, thank you for your awesome service to the Rebelution community, and for your service to us on the YWW!

    Your example is so powerful to all of those who have been impacted by you and I am so excited for the next steps in your journey!

  • We’re going to miss you, Jaquelle, as TheReb’s Editor-in-Chief. Your service here has impacted us in many ways. I’m sure God has so much in store for you. God bless.
    -Michael

  • Jaquelle, your dedication has meant the world to so many young people. Thank you. You’ve pushed our standards of holiness and helped us travel extraordinary paths instead of the same old ones. Someday in Heaven we’ll see the many ways the Lord worked through your time here. I can’t wait to see where God leads you next!
    And thank you, Chris for accepting. I’m so excited to see what the Lord does through you with the Reb!

    • That is gracious, Bethany. Thank you for that abundant encouragement. You are the best! (And I’m so happy we get to keep working together in YDubs; thanks for being such an incredible mentor there!)

  • Jaquelle, you have blessed this community so so much. Your words have inspired, encouraged, and lead others to Christ. You should be proud of your – and God’s – amazing work! I’m looking forward to having Chris take over and continue this amazing legacy! <3

  • I love reading the Rebelution and am deeply grateful for the time and skill you have poured into producing amazing content, Jaquelle. Thank you, and I can’t wait to see all God does through you and your writing!

    • I’m grateful for your kindness, Bethany! Thank YOU! I’m eager to pour even more time and effort into creating great content for YDubs and I’ll definitely keep seeing you around, my friend. =)

  • I’m so glad I’m a part of YDubs, cause this would be terribly sad otherwise! I would never have known you if you hadn’t been the editor here D: And that would just be horrible! Thank you so much for your dedication to the YWW and for all the hard work you’ve put into leading the Reb. 🙂

    • Ahh, Olivia, I would be freaking out with sadness right now if you weren’t a part of YDubs!! But, phew, thankfully you are, so no one’s going anywhere. =P Thank you for your dedication in writing for TheReb and I’ll look forward to continuing to read your thoughtful posts.

  • Thank you for all the work you have done as editor-in-chief, Jaquelle! TheReb was blessed to have you and I know we’re all excited to see what God has planned for you as you move forward. It was a blessing to work with you on the editorial team and I’m grateful for all I learned from you! Blessings, friend. 🙂

  • The Rebelution has been so blessed by you and your amazing work, Jaquelle. You are an amazing woman and you have such a great heart for God. The Reb is going to miss you, but I’m glad we’ll still get to see you on ydubs. The Lord has great things in store for your life. Love you, girl. <3

    And, welcome, Chris! I'm excited to meet you and I know you'll do an amazing job as editor-in-chief. 🙂

  • So sad to see you go, Jaquelle! Thank you so much for all your hard work with TheReb and Y-dubs. I’ve learned so much from working with you! You’re an inspiration to all of us and I look forward to seeing where God will use you next.

  • Jaquelle, thank you for being such an inspiration and encouragement with your words! I am thankful for you and excited to see all the beautiful places God leads as you continue to nurture young writers’ dreams like you have my own.

  • Jaquelle, what do I even say? You’ve inspired so many of us and demonstrated what it looks like to actually live the Do Hard Things message. I’m honored to have worked with you, to call you a friend, to watch your ministry grow, and I’m honored to step into your massive, massive shoes (figuratively).

    Thank you for everything! You’re the best!

    • Chris, what do I even say back? It’s no exaggeration to say you are going to rock this job so much. You are going to take TheReb to great places that I couldn’t and I’m honored that you are the next EIC. Also, now that I’ve been to California, I think you need to come to Nova Scotia… (we have cool hipster coffee shops too, I promise!)

  • I know you’ve made an impact during your time here and will continue to make an impact with your writing and with Y-Dubs. Thanks for all the awesome things you do to inspire young people to live to their full potential.

    • Thank you, Josiah. That seriously meas a lot. It’s exciting and freeing for me to be able to devote more time to the YWW now and I’m crazy thankful for your partnership in helping young Christian writers succeed!

  • Thanks so much for serving as Editor-in-Chief. I really appreciate how willing you were to read and accept my articles for theRebelution. Thanks for continuing to really help us all grow in our writing over at the YWW! =)

    • Zach, it was such a privilege for me to get to serve as your first editor. (And it’s pretty exciting to me that I won’t be the last!) You are a phenomenal writer, and I am so grateful to get to continue to follow along with your writing journey through YDubs! You da bomb.

  • Jaquelle, thank you for all you’ve done in the years you’ve faithfully served the Reb and all the young people a part of it. You’ve made a tremendous impact in so many–myself included! We’ll miss you here, but I’m so excited about what God is leading you towards! *big hug* You’re an inspiration and blessing to me, my friend! 🙂

    • Sara, your comment made me smile so big. You have no idea how excitedly I am watching your successes and cheering for you! It was an honor to have even a small impact on you, and I’m just so deeply happy to watch you grow and thrive! Love you, friend!

      • Thank you so so much, Jaquelle! I’m beyond blessed to have your encouragement, support, and friendship and I can’t wait to see all God will do through you! 💗

  • Thank you for all you’ve done, Jaquelle. The Lord will certainly continue to use you! I am excited for you and will be praying for you!

  • Jaquelle! Congratulations on the new path God is leading you on! Thank you so much for how you have served us at the Rebelution and the ways you have encouraged all of us. You have inspired me in so many ways. I pray God’s blessings on your new journey <3

  • Thanks for the time you have served here, Jaquelle. You have been an inspiration to many! Thanks for being a trailblazer for us young writers, too! <3

    I can't wait to see what hard things you do to the glory of God in the future. 🙂

    Blessings, friend!

    • Grateful for you, Olivia! I’m so happy to continue devoting my time to serving young writers and aiming to continue being an inspiration and learning from those other deeply inspiring young writers. =)

  • Hey Jaquelle,

    I will definitely miss you but I’m so glad you get to lead YWW. I know you’ll be a huge blessing to people there too. Thanks for all the work you did here. For wanting my articles, and encouraging me every time I sent something in. You’re by far one of my favorite people I’ve never met.

    • Faye! Oh, goodness. You’re definitely one of my favorite people I’ve never met too! Not getting to work with you regularly is seriously one of the things I’m saddest about. But don’t worry! I’ll still stalk you on social media and read all your posts until you’re wishing you could get rid of me… =D

        • 😂😂😂 Oh, sheesh. I completely thought you were a different Faye! I wondered what was up with the quotes! Oh my goodness. Well, now that I know who you are… I’m still definitely going to miss reading and championing your articles. And you’re still one of my favorite people I’ve never met!

  • Jaquelle! Thank you so much for your commitment to this sight. When I first arrived at theReb, I felt so amazingly welcomed. I was blown away when my first article was published here. During my days apart of Y-Dubs, I was so blessed with your wisdom and guidance in writing. I hope to read more of your work in the future!
    -Peter Rogati

  • Wow Jaquelle, thank you for everything you’ve done around here, you have been such a huge blessing to so many people, through this website, your blog, your podcast, and your book. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for you as you continue on with new things!!

  • I know I’ve said it many times, but you will be missed Jaquelle! You have been a huge inspiration and encouragement in my personal journey– and I know in many others as well! Thank you!
    Excited to see where God takes TheRebelution in the weeks, months, and years to come! It’s a big change but one I know God is using for His glory. And Christopher’s already doing an awesome job!
    I know God will continue to do amazing things through you! Praying for you!

    • Aw, Faye, I will definitely miss you too! Not working with you will seriously be one of the saddest parts of leaving. But I am not the slightest bit surprised to hear that Christopher is already nailing it. (Of course he is. The dude rocks.) Thank you for your prayers, friend. And I’ll definitely be stalking you on social media and reading all your articles! I’m not disappearing! =)

  • Thanks for everything you’ve done for TheRebelution and YWW, Jaquelle! I hadn’t kept up with TheRebelution for a few years, so I didn’t even know who you were until I joined YWW 🙂 But in the six months since I joined I’ve learned so much from you! I’m excited to see where God takes you next, and I’m praying for you!

  • Oh, Jaquelle- we’ll miss you!!! So excited to see where God leads you in the YWW. ❤️ Bon Courage and God bless!

  • Awww, Jaquelle! I’m going to miss you so much!!! You are the sweetest and have impacted my life so much! You are an inspiration and I am so happy that you are doing what is best for you at this moment in time. I will miss you soooo much and I will be praying that your endeavors are filled with amazing opportunities.

    Love,
    Rebekah

  • I’m sure this is something you feel God telling you to do, but we’ll still miss you! Thank you for all the support you gave us during your time here! Thanks to the support you and Brett have given me I’ve become a published author, and I would not have gotten there without the Rebelution!

    • Samuel, that is so cool! Wow. God works in such cool ways. It’s been a privilege to offer you support, and I’m excited to see where your writing takes you in the months and years to come!

  • Jaquelle,

    This may come as a surprise to some of the readers here, but The Rebelution was the first website I pitched an article to as an older writer who is only now starting to go after this gift with greater intention. You made the decision to publish my first essay, “5 Things That Get Harder As You Get Older” in August of 2015. For that I’m deeply grateful. You have been an encouragement to me to keep polishing my craft one day at a time. My prayers for you in this new and exciting season of life. I look forward to seeing what you will do next for God’s kingdom.

    Gratefully,

    Austin Bonds

    • Austin, it’s been a joy to work with you these last years. I’m excited to see you continue to serve others with your words and build the kingdom. Keep on it, friend!

  • Thanks for sharing this exciting life update with us all, Jaquelle!

    I hope you feel really accomplished with what you’ve done here. This site has taken on a new life since the days I remember way back when. As an older Reb, it’s amazing to see the message continue to inspire young people, and I’m so excited to see it entrusted now in Christopher’s more-than-capable hands. Well done!

  • Aw, thanks, Jaquelle. I’m so glad you’re following God’s call. I’ll be doing YWW next time it rolls around, and I’m so excited that you’ll be leading it. God bless.

  • Thank you for all your hard work and faithfulness, Jaquelle! Not only do you continuously strive to improve your talents and bless others with your writing, but you encourage and motivate others to get out there and write and do far more than just the hard things. You have done the great things. And, I’m glad I’ve been able to be a part of one of those great things: the YWW. Thank you so much!!

    • That is deeply kind, Ruth. I could say the same to you! You are always inspiring others with your voice and spirit of encouragement. You are a light, and someone I’m very grateful for.

  • Thank you so much Jaquelle for everything over the last few years. I still remember how encouraging your emails were when my first article was published on the Rebelution. You not only served as editor, but also as cheerleader for all us new writers. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

  • Thanks for all your work, Jaquelle! This sounds like a really exciting time for you, and you’re totally right that “this is a win for everyone involved” – definitely the best way to leave things off 🙂 God bless in your new ventures!

  • Jaquelle, thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication to TheReb! I am so excited for you as you follow God’s leading, and I pray that He blesses you as you follow Him down a new road. You are such an encouraging and amazing person, and I will miss you! <3

  • When I first discovered the Reb you had just become the Editor and chief, Jaquelle. You are all I’ve ever known on the Reb. I am sad to see you go, but you have served us so faithfully and I know wherever you go you’ll bring the light of Christ with you in inspiring and encouraging ways.

  • Hey Princess-in-Training! The Young Writers Workshop is an online membership site that provides ongoing coaching and community for young people who want to grow as writers, reach more people, and even get published. We only open registration twice a year, but the next registration window is coming up in a few weeks. =)

    • Kyra, can I tell you something about the YWW as a student?
      Brett and Jaquelle have created something unique. The content is amazing, the community is wildly supportive, and our wonderful instructors (Brett, Jaquelle, and Marita Wilson for fiction) are deeply invested in us.
      When I joined, it was like Brett and Jaquelle opened my eyes to what God could do with my writing if I was willing to work hard. I really hope you join us! 🙂

    • Hey Brett, I’m an infrequent visitor to The Reb page and I used to receive your email updates. I haven’t received one in a while and I wanted to know how your wife’s battle with Lyme disease has been progressing. I will continue to pray for y’all as you go through this journey. Thanks.

  • I have just recently discovered the rebelution, and I really love it. Thanks so much Jaquelle for all you have done for all of us. You have been such a blessing to me personally, and I pray your journey glorifies God in everything you do!! Thanks Jaquelle!!! 🙂

  • Thanks so much for all you’ve done for this community, Jaquelle!! It’s been a great couple of years. I look forward to continuing to hang out with you and learn from you through YWW! 🙂

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