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The Advocate



Insignificant by Chris Travis

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

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"If you’ve ever entertained the idea that where you serve is more behind-the-scenes than you expected or if the desire to know what you’re doing has eternal value lingers deep within, Insignificant is the book you should read."

Feelings of insignificance and being discouraged by the monotony of life is sadly the realities for Christ- followers at times — especially if we’re not doing something front-page newsworthy for God’s Kingdom. If you’ve ever entertained the idea that where you serve is more behind-the-scenes than you expected or if the desire to know what you’re doing has eternal value lingers deep within, Insignificant is the book you should read.

Insignificant is the honest and transparent life story of Chris Travis, a well-loved pastor turned humble middle school teacher turned energized church planter. Chris believes you matter more than you realize. In this fairly-condensed book of 160 pages, there is a balanced blend of preaching, teaching and autobiography—yet all in the same conversational tone and style.

The difference in his approach to teaching between his first and second year was much more than a surface attitude adjustment. Teaching in one of the most dangerous public schools in New York wasn’t something he took lightly. In his own words, "During that first awful year, I suppose I became a better teacher. If you looked in from the outside and compared my skill as a teacher from one year to the next, you might conclude that I had really improved . . . . To me, I became weaker, smaller and more dependent upon God, and some cool things started to happen."

Each step of his journey, Chris learns to view his life experiences within the biblical context of dependence upon God. Within these pages, Travis’ words will either inspire you or make you uncomfortable. He learned, amongst many other biblical truths, that true significance will cost you everything. And yet, you’ll get more than you ever anticipated in return. It was a gentle, yet strong reminder that all our work should be done as unto God.

Travis’s words are not as organized as one of my Dad’s four-point sermons, but his foundational thesis of “God wants to use you in His surprising plan to change the world” is covered very well through personal stories and poignant insights. His perspective on parables is authentically straightforward.

Placing the discussion questions after each chapter instead of being placed after the epilogue would have served a greater prompt in immediately furthering more reflection.

Chris Travis would be an excellent example of "more of Him and less of me!" Jesus continues to make the foolish wise, the weak strong and the insignificant matter. Knowing that gives me hope and an increased desire to serve well — even outside the spotlight.

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.