Posts Tagged ‘Rebelution’

The final session of the Rebelution Conference concluded with Brett Harris challenging young people [and parents] to take seven bold steps to change for the glory of God.

  1. Choose a godly hero.  Heroes give you a human-shaped target to aim for.
  2. Read! Read great books, not just good books!
  3. Take advantage of the Rebelution.com
  4. Find other like-minded companions who really want to “go for it” for God (my own translation of what he said)
  5. Seek out older, godly individuals and ask, “What do you wish you knew earlier in life that you know now?  What would you have done differently if you would have known at my age what you know now?”
  6. God is the ultimate companion.  Seek Him!
  7. Change something.

This last point is really important, for it has been said, “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.”

Change is hard.  And structural change–change in the structure of your life, not just superficial change–is really hard.  If you want to stop watching TV for instance and spend more time reading great books, then you may need to rearrange your living room so that the TV isn’t the focal point every time you sit down to relax.  In fact, you may need to remove the TV from your living room, maybe from your house.  Likewise, if you want to change some eating habit or spending habit it may mean some sort of structural change in your life–like not going down the ice cream aisle at the store.

Indeed, change means putting on and putting off!  It means getting rid of sin and “every weight which clings so closely” (Hebrews 12:1). But others have done this. We “are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses!”  So let’s change by running with endurance the race that is set before us!  Start today by doing one or more of the points listed above!

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One of the sessions at the Rebelution last weekend focused the power of companionship and collaboration.

The Christian life was not designed to be lived alone!  Doing hard things for the glory of God is not to be done alone. We live in such a narcissitic, self-focused, navel-gazing society.  It is all about us.  But Christianity smashes that mindset and sets us free from the cult of self-seeking individualism.

Several weeks ago Josh preached from 2 Timothy 2:22, a familiar verse to me, but as he read it my mind awoke to a new truth in that passage.  “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22, ESV).  This reminded me that sanctification is a group project! It is not just about me gutting it out against sin. It is about me doing that and others doing it with me. It is not just about me living a holy life, but rather it is about me doing that along with the church!

This is one reason why I value church membership and community.  Thabiti Anyabwile drives this point home in What is a Healthy Church Member? when he quotes from Jerry Bridges who reflects on his Christian journey:

For many years I took an individualistic approach to the Christian life. I was concerned about my growth as a Christian, my progress in holiness, my acquisition of ministry skills.  I prayed that God would enable me to be more holy in my personal life and more effective in my evangelism.  I asked God’s blessing on my church and the Christian organization I worked for. But as I learned about true fellowship, I began to pray that we as the Body of Christ would grow in holiness, that we would be more effective witnesses to the saving grace of Christ. It is the entire Body–not just me–that needs to grow.

Oh, there is power when two stand together and a “threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).  To illustrate this point, Alex Harris shared that whereas one average horse can pull 2500 lbs, two horses together can pul 12,500 lbs.  There is exponential power in two or more Christians working together.

Alex also stressed that the church needs the power of intergenerational companionship, not just people in your own season of life collaborating with you in the Christian journey. We need to “walk with the wise” from all generations–not just our own.

One more way we can resist the urge to go at it alone is simply by reading solid Christian authors or watching solid Christian teaching–and even doing so with others in a reading group.

Remember the power of companionship and collaboration and the God-designed power of “we” as you are strengthened by God’s grace to do the hard things!

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Gregg Harris,  who spoke at the Rebelution conference, gave an outstanding message on parenting at Covenant LIfe Church last Sunday and my family and I listened to it the last couple of days.  His text was Psalm 127 which speaks about the children of a godly man. Children are both a heritage from the Lord, not a headache to raise. Properly raised and equipped, children are like arrows in the hand of warrior.  Gregg takes a good deal of time to develop this point, speaking about the various parts of an arrow and what they represent.

Parents are the bow that releases the arrow.  For a season the arrow must have a tight relationship with the bow string and the arrow must be pulled back even while the arrow might be thinking, “I was made to go forward not backward.”  But that discipline and restraint is necessary so that the arrow is well aimed and launched. But once the arrow is launched no one admires the bow, but rather watches and applauds when the arrow meets the target.

Gregg urged parents to spend more time with their children.  He said our children don’t need to spend more time with us, rather we parents need to spend more time with our children and impart to them wisdom. We are to talk with them all the time and include them in every area of our life that is possible.  He urged us to train them till we like being with them. Many parents won’t take their children with them to important places because they fear they will be embarrassed by their behavior for their children are undisciplined and need to be bribed to act appropriately.  They fear that children will be bored with what adults do, but children need to “walk with the wise” and not spend their time with foolishe people.

Yes, parents we are all busy, but Gregg implores us to not waste our kids.  Everything that God has given parents to do is compatible with our other callings.  So we should not view our kids as competing against our work obligations, ministry in the local church, or our other relationships in life.  Rather we should bring our children alongside us so that one day they will be a tremendous blessing in the community or as the psalmist says “in the gate” of the city.

Make an investment in the lives of your children today!  Don’t waste your kids.


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The second session of the Rebelution Conference we attended over the weekend was led by Brett Harris who gave young people a vision for what doing hard things in their teenage lives would look like.  He gave seven different ideas:

  • Doing hard things means fighting sin your life. Caving into sin is easy. Resisting temptation is hard.
  • Doing hard things means battling discouragement [I could never do that] and complacency [look what I have already done]
  • Doing hard things means doing more than is required [rise above just trying to do what is easy and expected]
  • Doing hard things means getting over the fear of failure [better to try something hard and fail than to not try at all.]
  • Doing hard things will be different for every person [no one can do everything].
  • Doing hard things often means doing small things [like making one’s bed every morning. “Do small things as if they were great, because of the majesty of Jesus Christ.”–Hudson Taylor.
  • Doing hard things is your best life.  It is not your easiest life or your most comfortable life, but it is your best life!

He closed with a quote from G. K. Chesterton, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

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“Let’s do the teen years better than they have done ever before.”  That was the message at this year’s Rebelution Conference which my son, daughter and I attended on Saturday!

It was held at Covenant Life Church where Joshua Harris (“I Kissed Dating Goodbye” fame) is the pastor.  His younger brothers, twins Alex and Brett, were the main speakers, along with their father Gregg.  Joel Harris, another brother, was the worship leader, and the whole Harris family were there.

Over 3,200 hundred young people and parent crowded (and I mean crowded to the max), the worship center of the church and were together for 8 hours of a dynamic conference featuring music, instant audience response technology, and solid teaching that sought to encourage teens to rebel against the culture’s low expectations for today’s teens.  Attendees came from as far away as New Zealand, Germany, and Nigeria.

In the first session on the myth of adolescence we learned that the term “teenager” never even appeared on the cultural radar until 1941 in the Reader’s Digest.  This age group of “adolesence” wasn’t even in any society until about 50 years before that when labor laws cracked down on childhood labor (which was a good thing) and the mandatory education of children.  But these new regulations had unintended consequences of forming a new group in society that was only previously composed of only  adults and children.  It turned all those who in the age group from 12-19 years old into consumers, when for centuries this age group had been producers.

But the call of the Rebelution was not to encourage teens in the 21st century to pine for the “good, old days” but to do the teen years better than ever before.  It calls young people to “break out of the shackles” of the world’s thinking of what the teen years should be and to do hard things for the glory of God.

We were inspired by the stories of George Washington who at age 17 was in charge of doing all the surveying work for a county in Virginia and of course who later became the leader of the Continental Army and the President of the United States.  At age 17 he had a huge responsibility and a very challenging job. As  one historian wrote, “He became the man he strove to be.”  And that is what every young person ought to be doing: “striving to become the man or woman of God he or she wants to be!”, not viewing these years as a big “goof-off, fun, and sowing one’s wild oats” period of life.

“Do Hard Things” and the Rebelution Conference was a worthwhile conference, especially inspiring to young people but very challening to parents as well.  I am glad we went.

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My two older children and I are off to the Rebelution Conference this Saturday with Alex, Brett, and Gregg Harris.  Last year my daughter and wife attended and this year three of us are taking it in.  I will post on the conference in a few days.

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