Rebels Wanted. Explaining faith in "millennial" language.

In 2020 was born Rebels wanted a YouTube channel in which priests, lay people, nuns, etc., explain, in "millennial" language, the basic truths of Catholic doctrine and controversial issues related to the faith. This initiative already has more than 22,000 subscribers. 

Maria José Atienza-October 11, 2021-Reading time: 4 minutes

The first floor of a parish and the basement of a family home were the first "studios" for Rebels Wanted, a Catholic doctrine channel on YouTube that was born thanks to the initiative of a group of priests and lay people during 2020. 

In its year and a half of life, Rebels Wanted has already reached more than three million reproductions of the channel and thousands of people receive, weekly, the news of this channel through various social networks, especially through Instagram, which already collects half of the reproductions of the videos, and YouTube.

How do you define Rebels Wanted? As a channel that offers Catholic doctrine, the first announcement, the kerygma. No more and no less.

The creators of Rebels Wanted did not start this channel until after a thorough benchmarking and testing of different formats. The idea was born before the pandemic when several of the priests received orders or requests for videos in which they could explain the faith, in a simple way, for those remote communities, almost without resources, where it is not easy to give catechesis due to lack of people. Why make a video channel? The promoters of Rebels Wanted are clear about it: "YouTube is the largest library in the world, there has never been so much content, so accessible. It is surprising to know that 95% of the people who search for religious material do so on YouTube or the Google search engine that usually redirects them to YouTube. We find that there is a lot of religious content and, above all, a great demand for Catholic content in Spanish.

The pandemic was a key moment to get to know YouTube in depth: "We saw what kind of videos people were watching, how we had to do SEO positioning, the importance of the first 5 seconds of the video... so we were preparing the material. One surprising thing is that 90% of the videos we see are 'suggested' and, with this knowledge, we found out what were the most frequent searches on Christian topics: why be Catholic and not just Christian, the end of the world, the devil...".

Your reference points

There are three major preaching references for the promoters of Rebels WantedFulton Sheen, St. Josemaría Escrivá and St. Teresa of Calcutta. "All three had impressive communication skills." stand out. In addition to this, the drivers of Rebels Wanted Robert Barron, the Ascension Presents channel with Mike Schmitz or, here in Spain, the work of Bishop Jose Ignacio Munilla in this field of communication of the faith. All of this has been a notable influence when it came to launching Rebels Wanted

The turning point came at the end of Easter 2021 when one of the priests met producer Nacho Robiou and told him what he wanted to do, the canl project and how it was very close to the style of Priest Mike Schmitz's Ascension Presents. Nacho listened and didn't hesitate "I'm going to help you."and thus began what is today Rebels Wanted

"We started testing videos in the basement of the parish, we recorded a lot of people... we spent a month training and thinking. And the first videos arrived. We started from the beginning, but we named them with today's language, what is metanoia, for example, if not God's revolution in your life, another example, the first homily of Christ was the Beatitudes: happiness... how do you search for it on YouTube? The secret of happiness because that's what we call it. We sent these first tests to priests, to friends, who gave us advice. Little by little, we began to improve certain aspects such as putting music in the background, highlighting certain phrases, introducing videos...", describe the drivers of Rebels Wanted.

One of the most striking features is the quality of the videos. Rebels Wanted: "We prepare and take great care with the recordings, the material, everything that is said and how it is said. The content is completely written so that it has rhythm, does not repeat itself and can be followed easily, with highlights in such a way that the listener can understand everything perfectly". 

The organizers were very clear, from the very beginning, ". that they did not want it to be a personal channel but a channel for everyone and in which priests or lay people from different groups or sensibilities can participate. The only thing they have to do is to be faithful to the Magisterium and to let themselves be advised in the technical, production, etc. fields".. In fact, there are many different people who participate in the videos of Rebels Wanted: priests such as Ignacio Amorós, Pablo de Lecea or Javier Sánchez Cervera, lay men and women, and also religious sisters such as Mother Olga.

A channel dedicated to training

Apart from the variety of people who participate in it, the distinguishing feature of the Rebels Wanted is that it is a Catholic formation channel. "On YouTube, we have many channels of Catholic music, or testimonies... but we also need formation so that the feeling does not deflate when problems or routine arrive. As there are many issues to address, we start from the anthropological point of view and we raise it up to the dogma. Always appealing to the person watching the video, because, surely, he or she has gone through some of the issues raised in each topic: love disappointments, falls, problems at home or economic problems. The wonderful thing is to see how the Catholic doctrine has answers to all the concerns and aspirations of man". 

Every week, both on the YouTube channel and on Instagram you can find a new video in which different doctrinal topics are addressed: the mercy of God, the meaning of suffering, the Holy Spirit or the Holy Mass are some of the issues that can be found. "The idea of Se buscan rebeldes is not that the ideologies of the moment mark the themes. We want to make Catholic doctrine known, starting with Jesus Christ. Indeed, we also touch on some "controversial" topics: the body and sexuality, the infallibility of the Pope... Always, in all the videos, the center is Jesus Christ. In all the videos, Jesus Christ has to be in the message: Jesus, son of God, Savior, who illuminates everything, because, as Pope Francis says in Evangelii Gaudium, if Jesus Christ is not mentioned, there is no proclamation of the Gospel".

Currently the Se Buscan Rebeldes YouTube channel has more than 22,000 subscribers, along with more than 11,000 followers on Instagram and a dozen Whatsapp groups through which the weekly videos are received. 

If this channel has shown anything, it is that in this society, there are many people who need training and are very grateful for it: "We love to read the thanks that people leave in the comments, there are also comments to the contrary, of course, but there are many people who write to you because they had not had the opportunity to have an accessible catechesis through which to know and live the faith".

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