Sunday, August 15, 2010

Do Hard Things Conference

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to the Do Hard Things conference here in Nashville. Speakers Alex and Brett Harris did an amazing job. The conference was orchestrated strictly by teenagers and some families, and was very well done. One of the coolest things was that attendees were handed these electronic keypads in which we would respond to questions they would ask. For example, one of the first questions they asked was: Are you... A-Male or B-Female? I pressed A, naturally. Anyway, during the third of four sessions, Alex led the message which was an explanation of how doing hard things apply to being a Christian, which eventually led to a simple explanation of what it means to truly be a Christian. He asked 6 questions to end the session. The first three asked about why you prayed, read the Bible, and how you made decisions. The results to the questions were displayed on the screens. The fourth was a question asking how strongly people believed they were Christians. Again, results flashed upon the screens. The next question was directed to everyone who didn't know 100% that they were Christian; it asked if people would like to know Jesus. The results, this time displayed differently from previous questions, said that just shy of 500 believed they were Christian and that 79 knew they weren't. The sixth question asked those 79 if they wanted to know Jesus. The results said that all but five wanted to. So Alex, inspired by the idea of doing hard things, asked those 74 people to stand where they were and shout "Jesus is Lord!" He said he wanted the new Christians to do this, which was opposite of what was normal, in which the speaker asks everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes so no one was watching. Alex wanted everyone to watch the new Christians proclaim God! He said, "The Bible says if we acknowledge God before men, God will acknowledge us. But if we deny Him, He will deny us. If you can't acknowledge God in a room full of Christians, then you certainly will fail in the real world filled with evil!" It was so cool! People all over the room were standing and shouting! Then after a few minutes, Alex said, "I know there's a few of you out there itching to shout for God, too. So go ahead and stand up!" Then the whole room stood and we all shouted as one, "Jesus is Lord!" It was great, but weird at the same time. But it was the good weird feeling, and I felt God's presence in that room. I hadn't truly felt God's presence in a few days and had been dried out, so this experience was so refreshing.

Right after, the new Christians and their friends went down to the front of the stage to talk to the Harris brothers during an altar call. It was time to worship! I knew one specific person who stood up and went down to pray for him. It was so crowded that I couldn't get to him, but I managed to get close. However, Brett was weaving through the people, talking to them and handing these books to new Christians. He came up to me and asked if I had a book, but I told him that I was up to pray for a friend. He stood right in front of me for the rest of the songs. After the altar call, my friends Matt and David and I waited ten minutes to talk to Brett. Since David and I are leading a study on the book Do Hard Things, we wanted to ask him for tips and pointers on what to do. He talked for about five minutes to us, and I kept trying to bow out and let the 50 other people talk to him, but he kept coming up with great ideas for us!  It was so cool! Brett actually wanted to talk to us! He didn't spin us some political line, but gave us some very good suggestions on how to prepare and where to look for more ideas. While I'm never one to be bold in a "superstar's" presence, not wanting to bother them, this guy was really cool. He turned out to be just a regular kid, who just happened to start a rebelutionary movement with his twin brother. It wasn't like when I happened to see Taylor Swift at Barnes & Noble, and she smiled and took pictures and signed autographs and gave people the same lines she gave to everyone. Brett seemed interested in us and our project! That was  such a huge encouragement to me personally. I really hope the conference comes close to Nashville again so I can go and be a part of it next year!


Jim H said...

It was a great conference - it was cool seeing how they used the keypads and texting to keep interest in a very long day - but I was most impressed by the sincerity and lack of pride from Alex and Brett - I'm sure I wasn't the only "non-teen" there who was also challenged by the call to dig down deep and do hard things

Ashley said...

Dude! I'm Ashley! *holds out hand* Thanks for following my blog. Weird. I'm from Nashville too and I was at the conference! Way cool!

Ashley said...

Rebelutionaries in my area! Hey if you ever pick up a "big" hard thing and need some help lemme know, k?