Our very own investigative reporter (Lindsey) gives us an inside look at The Rebelution Conference in Sacramento, CA.
9:00 AM: The Rebelution - a rebellion against the low expectations of an ungodly culture. Alex Harris
Alex explained that our culture has created an entire new category of age: the teenager, an irresponsible and immature young adult. The teen years are considered to be a vacation from responsibility, but it isn't. These years can be the launching pad of life! Alex pointed out that just 100 years ago, there was no such thing as the 'teenager': You were either a child, or an adult. He then gave two examples of young adults in the past- David Farrugut, and George Washington. David was only 12 years old when he was given command of his first ship, and told to take the captain, crew, and prisoners back to the United States. And he did. He was given an adult's level of responsibility at 12 years old, and he rose to the occasion. And when George Washington was 11 and 12 years old, he began to learn geometry, trigonometry, and surveying. When he was 16 years old, he became the official surveyor of a county in Virginia. These young adults did hard things at an early age, and we can too!
Alex showed that even though the expectations of our culture for this generation have been lowered so much that they are almost non-existent, we don't have to stoop and meet them! We can rise above our culture's expectations of us. History proves that it is possible! In 1 Timothy 4:12, we see what God's
expectations for us are: "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity
." We can start making a difference for the glory of God... now.11:00 AM: Gospel of the Kingdom- How a proper understanding of the gospel shapes our future.Mr. Harris
Mr. Harris began by describing how important character is. He said that moral character is an expression of what we believe, and belief leads to action. What we do belies what is in our hearts; if we believe that God is good, and that all his commands are for our own benefit and protection, we will obey his commands. He likened the corruption of our culture to a tsunami that is approaching quickly, a tsunami so powerful that it will sweep away anyone who is not firmly grounded in the gospel. Being grounded in the gospel is the only way we will be able to withstand the tsunami of our culture. He challenged us to examine our hearts, and ask ourselves if we delight in fulfilling God's will. If we believe so much that we will obey God, we have entered His Kingdom. His Kingdom is not a geographical place; the coming of the Kingdom occurs when His will is done. Salvation is the obedience of faith! We're saved by faith alone, but faith doesn't stay alone; it is accompanied by works, and our works validate our faith. In the end, we were challenged, "Do you believe the gospel? Do you believe enough to obey?"1:30 PM: Do Hard Things- Practical steps towards taking our teen years back from the culture.Brett Harris
Brett explained that good intentions are not enough for a rebelutionary to have- they must be accompanied with competence. Why? Because the side with the most competence will always win the culture war.
We are called the salt of the earth- preventing the decay of our society-and we must
have competence to match our good intentions if we are to do this! Brett explained that Christianity is not about feelings- it's about action, and results. In Matthew 5:16
, it says that we need to let our light shine before men, so that they can see our good works and give glory to God. The goal of our works is for men to glorify God. So... what is competence? The dictionary defines it as simply, "the ability to do something well
." But Brett continued to say that a rebelutionary should not be content simply to do something well; a rebelutionary should strive for excellence
. Then he posed a question: "How do we become competent people?" The answer was this: "By adapting a rebelutionary mindset- a mindset that accepts a challenge." This is the very opposite of the mindset our culture has-"Take it easy, just get by." Do Hard Things
Brett continued to say that we can learn an important lesson about this from the Vikings. They rowed themselves to battle, setting them apart from the Greeks and Romans, who used galley slaves. Since the Vikings rowed themselves to battle, they developed muscle. How you prepare yourself before the battle determines your performance at the battle. He explained that a failure in competence is due to a lack of prior exertion. Stretch yourself, challenge yourself! Every small stroke of the oar pulled the Vikings closer to the battle. So don't become discouraged with the small hard things- instead, embrace them. Those who are faithful in little things will be faithful in much. This is how we can develop competence.
He said that competence is most often not talent, and it doesn't always come easy. But when things do
come easy, it is very difficult not to become complacent. Brett explained that the reason behind this is that it is hard to concentrate on achieving excellence when people think that you're already there
. It's easy to stand out in a society with such low expectations, so we need to fight against complacency. He challenged us never to become satisfied being 'above average'. There will always be something harder to do! Keep raising your standards! He said that the important thing is that you are always challenging yourself
. And so we face a choice every day: We can adopt the "take it easy" mindset of our culture, or we can adopt the "Do Hard Things" mindset of a rebelutionary whose goal is to glorify God.
3:30 PM: That's What Friends Are For- The power of companionship in light of Proverbs 13:20.Alex Harris
2 Timothy 2: 20-22 says, "In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." Alex explained that when we put off dishonorable things, we will be ready to become a holy vessel prepared for any good work. Separate yourself from sin, and pursue faith, love, and peace- along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
He said that we need to surround yourself with these like-minded people. He explained that when you feel like giving up, you will need good companions who can encourage you to keep going! Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." And Proverbs 13:20 says, "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." But what are some practical ways that we can collaborate with others?Brett Harris
6 Practical Ways To Collaboration1. You must have a hero.
You need to choose someone that you aspire to be like. Having a godly hero helps us heighten our expectations and achieve hard things.2. Make friends with dead people.
Or, in other words, make friends with books. Many authors of excellent books died a long time ago- thus the phrase, "Make friends with dead people." Books are important in our development as rebelutionaries.3. Read the Rebelution blog.
You can read more at the Rebelution
, a co-authored blog by Alex and Brett. This is a wonderful resource, so let me encourage you to take advantage of it!4. Find the secret rebelutionaries!
There are "secret rebelutionaries" all around you... your job is to find them. Most often, they won't come to you, so you have to go to them. Share with them the vision of a rebelutionary, and help them along the way as they join you.5. Find godly, wise people who are older than you.
Seek out these people- then serve them, and learn from them.6. Remember that God is the ultimate companion!
God, who has supplied all these incredible resources, is the ultimate companion. Spend time in His Word, and develop a relationship with Him.Mr. Harris
Psalm 127:3-5 says, "Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." He then continued to explain that since we are likened to arrows, there is going to be the most tension between you and your parents in the teen years- right before the arrow is released. So we need to cooperate with our parents in order to go in the right direction. The Rebelution is not just about teens; it's about families working together to spread the glory of God.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My parents and I were very encouraged by our time there, and I know that God used Alex, Brett, and their father powerfully. One of the points that impacted me the most was when Brett spoke about complacency... an issue that I have been struggling with recently. I was inspired to keep heightening my standards and challenging myself. My mom and dad have raised their standards for me, also, and we're learning how to work together as a team to Do Hard Things for His glory.