The Launching Pad: In 2005, twin brothers Alex and Brett Harris, 19, started a blog. They called it The Rebelution because they wanted to ignite a teenage rebellion against low expectations. They wanted to encourage their Christian peers to think hard and not waste their gifts. "Our culture wants us to view the teen years as a vacation from responsibility." Alex says. "But we think they are supposed to be the launching pad of life. Teens today are capable of so much more than they think they are."
Feelings into Words: The call was quickly heard. With hard-hitting articles on topics like abortion, modesty and achieving big things right now, the web traffic exploded. The response surprised Brett and Alex. "Even by the end of the first week, we had fellow teens leaving comments saying that we were putting what they were feeling into words," Brett says. "They were wanting more, and they were asking us a ton of questions."
The brothers kept writing, sometimes posting two or three times a day. They wrote a series of entries on the three pillars of their Rebelution: character, competence and collaboration. They established a battle cry for their growing movement: "Do Hard Things."
The Growing Rebelution: When their blog began to get hundreds of hits daily, they decided to launch their own site (therebelution.com). Three weeks before the new site's launch, they were featured in the New York Daily News. "We were blown away," says Alex. "We realized we'd touched a nerve. It wasn't something we planned. We're just honored to be part of what God was doing in the hearts of our generation."
And then God opened a whole new door: Rebelution conferences—events focused on worshiping God and showing that God can do anything if believers are willing to step outside their comfort zones and "do hard things" for him. The first conference was held in Sacramento just six months after the new site launch. "It was really a God thing," Brett explains. "After just three weeks of word-of-mouth publicity, we were sold out." The building seated 450, but they packed in 500. Last fall, they held a conference in Indianapolis with over 2,000 attendees from 20 states. Some groups drove as far as 16 hours.
More conferences are coming this summer. In addition, in April the twins will release their first book, Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations (Multnomah). "Another God thing," Brett says. "We're really excited about it."
Alex and Brett don't know exactly what their future holds. But they do know that they'll continue doing hard things—and leading their generation to do the same.
Copyright © 2008 by the author or Christianity Today/Ignite Your Faith magazine.
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