The Insider By Jim Petersen & Mike Shamy

ISBN: 978-0781438834

READ: June 2004

RATING: 9/10

Summary: This practical book is aimed at helping the average believer effectively share their faith where they live, work, and play. It’s exceptional in its principled approach to evangelism where continually helping someone take steps closer to Jesus is the key to transformation. Probably the most helpful chapter of the book is that of conversing the faith. This chapter emphasizes making people thirsty instead of forcing them to drink. I’ve used this book for years to help Christians lovingly engage those God has already put in their lives.

Chapter Titles: Part One 1. God’s Eternal Purposes and the Insider 2. The Call to the Kingdom of God 3. A Vision for Spiritual Generations 4. The Insider 5. The Insider’s Role in Missions 6. Insiders and Their Churches

Part Two 7. From Fear to Freedom 8. From Isolation to Freedom 9. How Will I Find the Time? 10. Our Personal Inadequacies

Part Three 11. The First Life Pattern of an Insider: Taking Little Initiatives 12. The Second Life Pattern of an Insider: Praying and Responding 13. The Third Life Pattern of an Insider: Serving Others 14. The Fourth Life Pattern of an Insider: Conversing the Faith 15. The Fifth Life Pattern of an Insider: Partnering Chapter 16. The Sixth Life Pattern of an Insider: Letting the Scriptures Speak 17. The Seventh Life Pattern of an Insider: Midwifing the New Birth

Part Four 18. Life as an Insider 19. Help These People!


“We will consider this effort a success if, when you put the book down, you think to yourself, ‘is that all there is to it? I can do that!’ We will consider our efforts wildly successful when you then act upon what you’ve read!” pg. 9

Chapter 1 - God’s Eternal Purposes and the Insider:

“We all need to live for something….We want to give ourselves to something that will outlive us.” Pg. 18

“Our experience must extend beyond the sun to include the eternal, if we are to be satisfied.” Pg. 19

“The more we mediate on the Scriptures the stronger our desires become to know God and to participate with him in what he is doing.” Pg. 19

“A futile life is one lives on an agenda that has no connection with God’s purposes.” Pg. 19

“Attempting to live apart from God is foolish, even if you’re king. What is God doing? He’s creating an inheritance for his Son. It consists of people of all nations.” Pg. 22

“We want people to see that this calling is to be worked out within their existing relational networks where they are already positioned as insiders. God intends that every part of our daily life should line up with his purposes, to his glory.” Pg. 25

Chapter 2 - The Call to the Kingdom of God

“We need to train our eyes to see the kingdom of God.” Pg. 28

“…righteousness and justice’ is frequently used to describe the kingdom of God.” Pg. 29

“According to Jesus, the kingdom of God is within certain people. It is not in our structures, nor in our organizations, nor in our sweeping strategies for world evangelization that we will see the kingdom.” Pg. 30

“We see the kingdom whenever we see people acting ‘kingdomly’; whenever, because of their love for God, they love the people in their lives.” Pg. 32

“But as kingdom citizens live their lives together, actually loving one another, it becomes a different matter….The message of the kingdom is amplified as its citizens live out their unique calling in community. As they do the kingdom grows.” Pg. 33-34

“Jesus was here to reveal, to everyone who saw him, what his Father was like. That’s what it means to glorify.” Pg. 35

“The kingdom is in the small voice, in the unobtrusive act. Yet it cannot be shaken! We cannot market it, yet it advances forcibly. We cannot build it,; we can only receive it. It is subversive against the systems of our society because it turns values upside down. It sit he way of life of the insider.” Pg. 35

Chapter 3 - A Vision for Spiritual Generations

“The idea of spiritual multiplication showed how an ordinary person could have global influence in the course of living an ordinary life.” Pg. 38

“The Bible is the account of God searching for and reaching out to people who, because of their rebellion, have lost their way and are heading towards judgment. He is reaching out to all peoples of all nations, and of all generations.” Pg. 39

“He intended a convergence of physical generations with the spiritual, right from the beginning. God had this generation of ours in mind when he gave Abraham his promise. We, too, are children of Abraham and, as such, have rights to those same promises!” pg. 44

“Where there has been little sowing there will be little reaping.” Pg. 48

Chapter 4 - The Insider

“Every believer has a part in the ministry. Contemporary theology refers to this as ‘the priesthood of all believers’” pg. 56

“It is not our religious activities we want people to see; it’s the grace and mercy that comes from God’s love that needs to show.” Pg. 57

Chapter 5 - The Insider’s Role in Missions

“Jesus was sowing broadly in those days. He wasn’t reaping very much. Apparently, people weren’t ready for that. He never did reap large numbers.” Pg. 69

“Paul’s whole strategy hung on the insider. He accomplished his work through an apostolic team, a handful of gifted men, available to co-labor with him as he took the gospel to people ‘where Christ was not known.’” Pg. 70

“…an effort wasn’t a success until he could see the gospel growing in lives (as evidenced by faith, hope, and love) and then outward among the people around them.” Pg. 70

Chapter 6 - Insiders and Their Churches

“We still aren’t skilled at enabling believers to engage with the unbelievers in their world.” Pg. 81

“Simply put, the Reformation has yet to return the ministry to the laity.” Pg. 82

“The circle a church draws in defining itself must be large enough to accommodate the fruit of the insider’s labor.” Pg. 84

Chapter 7 - From Fear to Freedom

“Fear is probably our most uncomfortable, unpleasant emotion. Fear and its derivatives—anxiety, stress, and worry—conspire to make our life uncomfortable.” Pg. 91

“Fear makes us irrational” pg. 95

“We need a bit of healthy fear in our social relationships in the same way that we need it as pedestrians crossing a busy intersection at rush hour. …it reminds us to proceed in a way that values rapport.” Pg. 95

“Boldness and rapport; we need them both. We need to maintain a healthy tension between the two, as either one without the other can cause us to fail.” Pg. 96

“As an insider, we have a restricted field of opportunity. We walk through that field daily and can count the people in it. It our notion of boldness is not seasoned with a quest for rapport, we risk polarizing those relationships.” Pg. 96

“Boldness in loving people is always appropriate. I have learned from her that when I’m bold in acting out of love for people, the right words follow much more easily.” Pg. 96

Chapter 8 – From Isolation to Freedom

“According to Paul, the evangelist is to adapt to those he seeks to win.” Pg. 103

“Legalism is a major issue in the Bible.” Pg. 104

“Paul understood that anything added to the simple gospel of grace by faith would make it a non-gospel.” Pg. 105

“The mobility of the gospel, its ability to move among nations, was at stake in this debate.” Pg. 106

“So what does God want os us by way of lifestyle? The Scriptures identify three types of behavior. There are behaviors that are always right. There are some that are always wrong, and there are ‘disputable matters’ –matters that are right or wrong depending on the context.” Pg. 108

“The list of disputable matters shifts constantly as our culture changes.” Pg. 109

Two laws: 1. The Law of Love 2. The Law of Self-Control pg. 110-111

Four Kinds of People 1. Mature believers 2. Unbelievers 3. New believers 4. Weak believers pg. 112-113

Chapter 9 – But How Will I Find the Time?

“…time has become our most valued commodity. It is scarcer than money.” Pg. 116

“We find ourselves caught in a lifestyle that consumes both our time and attention.” Pg 117

“Nobody is at home anymore because nothing happens there.” Pg. 121

2 Lies: 1. Progress is knowing more, doing more, having more. 2. Liberty consists in doing what one desires. Pg 122-123

“Freedom cannot exist without discipline.” Pg. 123-124

“We make significant progress toward freedom, however, just by identifying the lies we live by.” Pg. 125

“STOP! Take an hour and draw a picture of your life. Draw in your family, your work, your social life, your church, school, little league, lessons, exercise routines, and so on. Look it all over. …Begin to see those people as your ‘household’” pg. 127

“When we’ve refocused our life we will have taken a big part of it back.” Pg. 127

Chapter 10 – Our Personal Inadequacies

“One more obstacle remains….It is our feelings of personal inadequacy.” Pg 129

”It isn’t really faith until we get beyond what we can control.” Pg. 131

“The goal is not to win the argument. It is to help people see Jesus. Instead of turning to Christ as a result of his powerful persuasion, he had to run for his life—in the basket normally used for garbage disposal.” Pg. 135

“As we go through our daily routine, we will either depend upon ourselves, or upon God. In a sense it is easier, less stressful, to live a life in our own way, trusting ourselves.” Pg. 136

“The truth is we are all weak.” Pg. 140

Chapter 11 – Taking Little Initiatives

“They know the kingdom of God advances in people’s hearts as its citizens go through their daily lives living according to Christ’s rule.” Pg. 145

“If people are going to see the kingdom of God today, they will have to observe it in its citizens.” Pg. 146

“This idea that the kingdom advances in the course of everyday life for its citizens is implicit in several of the metaphors Jesus used to describe it.” Pg. 146

“In practice, this means kingdom citizens are just different from the rest.” Pg. 146

“God loves people whether they love him back or not.” Pg. 148

“Love the people in your life without having an agenda for them. Love them because God loves them.” Pg. 148

“He is saying, greet people in your daily traffic pattern that you customarily ignore.” Pg. 148

“We greet people as an act of worship to Christ….We exchange names. When you do that, don’t love that name. It opens the door to the rest.” Pg. 150

Chapter 12 – Praying and Responding

“This time they prayed their way forward, and God led them into fruitfulness.” Pg. 155

“Understanding this truth—that evangelism is a process rather than an event—is fundamental to our fruitfulness as an insider.” Pg. 154

“We tend our field through prayer.” Pg. 154

“Prayer is a request for the Holy Spirit’s active participation in a situation.” Pg. 155

“We can create the opportunity for a person to get a good look at Christ, but we can’t touch the heart. That’s for God to do.” Pg. 157

Chapter 13 – Serving Others

“…expressing our love for God by serving our neighbors. That is the very essence of insidership.” Pg. 162

“Serving is another of those simple ideas that is foundational to fruitful insidership.” Pg. 163

“Not wanting to receive can be a subtle form of pride that deprives the other of something they need to do. Jesus knew how to receive.” Pg. 163

“When we move into conversation about ideas, we have begun to get beneath the surface; and when we begin to talk about how we feel about those ideas, we have begun to really understand one another.” Pg. 167

Chapter 14 – Conversing the Faith

“He was asking prayer for just two things: opportunities and the ability to take advantage of them.” Pg. 171

“We often fail to make the distinction between what is appropriate for evangelists or apostles, who, in the course of their ministry, proclaim the gospel, and what is appropriate for insiders, who are to converse their faith.” Pg. 171

“…their conversations were like salty morsels. You can’t eat just one! …Paul is saying converse your faith in such a manner that people will ask for more! And then be ready!” pg. 171

“Curiosity makes people want more.” Pg. 172

“…the task fo the insider. We are to provoke the search to know God among our friends.” Pg. 173

“Questions are like keys that unlock the storehouses of the mind.” Pg. 175

“Everybody is an expert on something….A good conversationalist will provide others with the opportunity to talk on that subject.” Pg. 175

“good listeners honor people through their attentiveness.” Pg. 176

“Can I trust this person to accept me and not preach at me?” pg. 177

Chapter 15 – Partnering

“We are, in fact, designed against being able to go it alone.” Pg. 180

Chapter 16 – Letting the Scriptures Speak

“It matters not if the reader accepts or rejects their inspiration and authority. If he or she is willing to give them honest consideration they will burn their way into the heart.” Pg. 187

“Rather than worrying about whether or not people would get to the point of decision, I began to enjoy the trip with them.” Pg. 188

Two questions to ask non-believers as you read through the Gospel: 1. Who is Jesus? 2. What does He want from me? Pg. 189-190

Chapter 17 – Midwifing the New Birth

“…my job as an insider is to sow the seed, and to keep on sowing it. I need to persist in my sowing while the Holy Spirit breaks up the hard soil, removes the rocks, and gets rid of the weeds that clog up the field.” Pg. 196

“Reaping true spiritual fruit calls for patience. Where there is a pregnancy, there will be a birth—if there is patience.” Pg. 196

“Conversion demands a choice to ends one’s rebellion against God.” Pg. 198

“…people already find themselves in an optimum environment for spiritual growth. They are already among friends with whom they are accustomed to interacting. And they are already getting some biblical intake. They are born into a little community.” Pg. 201

“New believers need to catch this vision of what they have become—and of what they are becoming.” Pg. 201

“The focus will shift to the issues they are grappling with in their personal lives. Almost everyone lives with pan and is in need of healing.” Pg. 202

“Kingdom citizenship is such a radical departure from the ways of our society that there is no way for us to just blend in with the rest and go along unnoticed. That’s the idea!” pg. 205

Chapter 18 – Life as an Insider

“Time is, to be sure, a factor in our becoming a fruitful insider, but there is another more forbidding challenge that stops most of us. It’s the other cost, another more forbidding challenge that stops most of us. It’s the other cost.” Pg. 212

“We self-destruct when we become self-absorbed and self-indulgent.” Pg. 213

Chapter 19 – Help These People!

“We want our people to bring their fruit into our church.” Pg. 224

“Insiders work is low profile. It can be almost invisible, blending into the social landscape as if it were camouflaged.” Pg. 231