When twin brothers Alex and Brett Harris were 16, they started a blog to encourage their peers not to waste their teen years but to instead "do hard things." Since then, the 19-year-old brothers have launched a website that gets 1.2 million hits per month, started a series of international youth conferences, created a 200,000-member grassroots campaign to support presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and released the book Do Hard Things (Multnomah). Todd Hertz, managing editor of teen publication Ignite Your Faith, talked to Alex and Brett, now freshmen at Patrick Henry College, about their book and future plans.
What is your message to teens?
Alex: Our society expects very little of teens. They expect us to be immature and irresponsible. They don't expect us to do anything meaningful or to care about meaningful things. But that's a lie. [It's part of this culture's] myth of adolescence, a view of the teen years as a vacation from responsibility. But that's not a biological stage. It's a cultural mindset. You don't just flip a switch at a certain age and become responsible and mature. Those are muscles that you have to work out.
Young people are capable. We are challenging them to discover that by challenging themselves for the glory of God. We combined the words rebellion and revolution to create a concept we call "the Rebelution," a teenage rebellion against low expectations.
What has the reaction from your peers been?
Brett: We have been blown away hearing things like, "This is what I'm missing at church or at school. All my friends are shackled by these low expectations. You are putting into words what I have been feeling ever since I became a teenager. Don't stop." They have had this heart cry that God wants to use them ...