The official definition of the ‘rebelution’ is “a teenage rebellion against low expectations.” When you look around today, our culture does not expect much of us young people. We are not only expected to do very little that is wise or good, but we’re expected to do the opposite. Our media-saturated youth culture is constantly reinforcing lower and lower standards and expectations.
The word ‘rebelution’ is a combination of the words “rebellion” and “revolution.” So it carries a sense of an uprising against social norms. But in this case, it’s not a rebellion against God-established authority, but against the low expectations of our society. It’s a refusal to be defined by our ungodly, rebellious, and apathetic culture. Actually, we like to think of it as rebelling against rebellion.
And it’s exciting, because the Rebelution has become a type of counter-cultural youth movement among young people from around the world, who are not only rejecting the lies of popular youth culture, but they’re returning to biblical and historical levels of character and competence.
In 1 Timothy 4:12, the Apostle Paul tells Timothy, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” In other words, as young people we are called to be exemplary in all areas of life. Our generation is falling incredibly short of that calling. Instead of serving as the launching pad of life, the teen years are seen as a vacation from responsibility. We call it the “myth of adolescence.” And the Rebelution is all about busting that myth.
Our battle cry is just three words, but it’s an explosive concept: Do Hard Things. That’s it. And “do hard things” is a mentality. It’s a mentality that flies right in the face of low expectations. The world says, “You’re young, have fun!” It tells us to “obey your thirst” and “just do it.” Or it tells us, “You’re great! You don’t need to exert yourself.” But those kinds of mindsets sabotage character and competence.
Do Hard Things is just the opposite. It’s how we build character and competence. It won’t drop to meet the low expectations, it won’t just do what comes easily, and it won’t become complacent. It applies no matter who you are or what level you’re on, because there’s always something harder to do, something that will take you outside your comfort zone and cause you to grow.
The Rebelution is made up of three fundamental parts. We’ve talked about character and competence. The third is collaboration. It’s not enough for us to be individual exceptions. We have to create a counterculture. We do that is by networking and encouraging one another in our common cause. That’s what the Rebelution has become. When you have a community of young people committed to doing hard things for the glory of God and the good of others, that’s an incredibly powerful thing.
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