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inSignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World

inSignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World

4.3 14
by Chris Travis

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You Matter More Than You Realize

If you're looking for a life of meaning, take hope. God wants to use you in his surprising plan to change the world. Who would have guessed that Jesus would conquer evil not through force or victory, but through defeat? He makes the weak strong, the foolish wise, and the insignificant matter.

Author and pastor Chris Travis


You Matter More Than You Realize

If you're looking for a life of meaning, take hope. God wants to use you in his surprising plan to change the world. Who would have guessed that Jesus would conquer evil not through force or victory, but through defeat? He makes the weak strong, the foolish wise, and the insignificant matter.

Author and pastor Chris Travis shares powerful, soul-stirring true stories—including his own gritty experiences teaching in one of the most dangerous public schools in New York—to cast a vision of how much we matter to God and his work in the world. True significance will cost you everything, but you will get more than you ever dreamed in return.

Includes end-of-chapter questions for personal study or small-group discussion.

"InSignificant is the story of a man who has been stretched by the extent of God's love for 'the least of these.' Whether you are in the middle of a similar journey, or preparing to take a step of faith, this book is for you."
—Dave Stone, Senior Pastor, Southeast Christian Church

"Through his experience as a teacher in a very rough school, Chris Travis has done a tremendous job of answering the question 'Do I matter?' to kids who have every reason to think that the answer is no. Sometimes we just need someone like Chris to remind us that God says yes!"
—Dr. Tim Harlow, Senior Pastor, Parkview Christian Church

"Chris Travis has written an incredibly honest book that speaks to issues all of us wrestle with but few have the courage to talk openly about. Let his words challenge you, encourage you, and provide you with a new framework to understand your significance in this life."
—Aaron Brockett, Lead Pastor, Traders Point Christian Church

"I someday hope to be an author. If that day comes, I'd love to be able to say I came close to matching Chris Travis's ability to take his readers on a journey. This story will not leave you untouched. Every teacher, pastor, communicator, and parent should read this book!"
—Bert Crabbe, Lead Pastor, True North Community Church

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It's short, it reads fast, and it builds on a single tale of a public school classroom. But this book is anything but insignificant. Author and pastor Travis (Unnamed) brings a humble, approachable style to his story of two years of teaching in one of the most dangerous middle schools in New York. Detailing days where he was abused by his own students or felt depressed and bitter, Travis extends the metaphor of the classroom to finding one's purpose and obeying God's will, even under tough circumstances. His revelation that helping others means more than finding comfort reminds the reader what really matters: unselfish love, serving others, dependence on God. Examples of disciplining sexual predators and telling scary stories to reach unruly students make this book a useful learning tool for first-year teachers. At the same time, incorporation of Jesus' parables and nuggets of wisdom (e.g., use your mistakes as knowledge gained) will help to refocus and inspire anyone who feels stuck or unappreciated in their lifestyle or career. Grab this book and read it. (Aug.)

Product Details

Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Chris Travis is currently planting a church in Manhattan. Before that he served as campus and teaching pastor with LifeSpring Christian Church in Cincinnati and then taught at the most dangerous middle school in New York City. Chris is a former college drop-out, atheist,
and drug-user who met Jesus in the pages of Scripture and never looked back. He lives with his wife in New York City. Visit his website at christravis.wordpress.com.

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inSignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
redKnightMT More than 1 year ago
The teacher , in his own view had bit off more than he was expected to chew. But because of his persistance, amid the crtualty of the students, Gaind confidence in the class, and felt as time draged on he was making headway. I think that anyone that is prepariing to become a teacher, realy needs to read this book. No matter what field they are planning to ork in, this story will give support to the individual who thinks this is going to be a piece of cake, and find a mouthfull of mud. So be prepared.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first 44 pages were good, then the book developed blank pages. I brought this to the attention of tech support. They were to research, fix it, and get back with me. I had forgotten about it until I received this review form. I have yet to hear back from them.
happyasalark More than 1 year ago
Well written and thought provoking. Great read to help you focus on what is important in your life and what is "insignificant".
katia60 More than 1 year ago
I would recommend any of this type of book for people that enjoy spiritual readings and clean books..
Steven_Ruff More than 1 year ago
Each of us have our days when we would rather give than go on. We have our days when we would rather, if given the choice, quit instead of continue. I think that most of us at one time or another have thought about just dropping off the radar of life because we felt as if our lives don’t matter and we’re not making a difference. If no one else can identify with the above, I certainly can. Sometimes you just feel insignificant. “Insignificant; Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God is Changing the World” tells the story of Chris Travis, a successful pastor who gave up his pastoral position and moved to New York City to become a middle school math teacher in one of the toughest schools in the entire city. This book is an honest look into the journey and struggles that Travis and his family dealt with in his transition from the comfortable suburban life to the uncomfortable life of the inner-city. It is the honest look of his transition from the certain significance to seemingly insignificance. The book takes place in his classroom and he writes with great honesty about the dealings and conversations with his students. He speaks of his times of wanting to give up, while at the same time sharing the God-given victories along the way that allowed him to keep going. These victories showed him that he was truly making a difference in the lives of his students and that he mattered in the kingdom of God. This book teaches a very powerful lesson. A lesson that I believe I knew but needed to be reminded of. The lesson is that is significance must be found in the everyday things we do, understanding how all we do works into God’s plan for our lives. What makes this book powerful is that Travis uses his story and scripture. He does not pull in a lot of other outside quotes. He just tells his story of how God worked through him and his students those two years in that classroom. My favorite quote is found on page 58. Travis writes, “Some days I would go into that awful school and deal with the stress for the sake of the kids. Some days I couldn’t. On those days, I did it for Jesus.” Powerfully simple and engaging, Travis challenges each reader to stare success in the face and ask, “If no one knows my name, is Jesus enough for me?” This book sparked something inside of me. I’m not sure if it was the story, his journey, his courage, his faith, or God’s faithfulness. A great book. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
MissouriMadeMomma1 More than 1 year ago
We all have times when we feel like we don’t matter. We can be going through relationship problems, health issues, or a life that is hard. All of the hardships in life can make you feel so small. In the book “InSignificant” by Chris Travis he shows us how we can be find our significance in the worst part of our life and how we actually measure how significant we are. Most people measure significance by their possession or occupation. We don’t realize that those two things are the least important items in our lives. Travis talks about how he was a engineer major in college simply because he was good in math and science. Little did he know he would instead become a pastor and eventually a middle-school math teacher. God definitely had plans for him. He was teaching in one of the worst public schools in New York City’s public school system. There was violence, graffiti, items being thrown at him, and this was all on a daily basis. But, he was helping kids that truly thought that they would never matter, that THEY were insignificant. So, by showing them the mattered he found out that he was actually significant. Travis realized that his significance lied in God. He must be a servant for God before he would matter to God. Teaching might not be the most affluent when it comes to profession (how can a teacher be significant) but, it’s not about your profession when it comes to how much we matter. Travis was working in one of the worst schools, living in a poor neighborhood, and dealing with violence on a daily basis but, found that he was important to God. He was doing God’s will. To be significant you must become insignificant first. I know that sounds weird but, to matter you must first be a servant to others. Really, can our possessions make or break us? Or is it our character that matters more. If we don’t have any physical possessions, are we still the same person? I have to say that when I first started this book I didn’t get it. It was a hard read for me in the beginning but, once I got past the first half it all clicked. The book started making sense and got me thinking. Yes, I feel like I don’t matter some of the time but, why is that? Is it because I don’t have what I want out of life right now….YES. Is that how I am supposed to measure whether I am important or not…NO. Maybe this was hard for me to read because it hit too close to home. Even though it was hard to read once I definitely plan on reading it again. It set my proprieties straight and got me thinking about what I am doing with my life. I think I will get even more out of it a second or third time going through it. I want to leave, you the reader, with a couple of thought provoking questions. What makes me significant? How do we judge whether we are significant or not? This book have changed my thinking and I am sure it will change yours. I received this book free from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this book, Chris Travis talks about the real power that God is using to change the world—His love; and He is doing it through the lives of those who are willing to love the way Jesus loves. It calls for a life where we see our days through God’s perspective, being kingdom focused instead of self focused, and partnering with Christ to bring that kingdom here on earth. Travis states that loving the way Jesus commands can sometimes make one feel insignificant. After teaching for two years in Harlem at what the New York Post called “School From Hell”, Travis himself felt the slow death of his significance yet at the same time, he was compelled to love the way Jesus loved, which in retrospect meant dying for others and feeling the pain of loving a sinful world. He found that loving others God’s way makes our life more meaningful, no matter what we find ourselves doing day after day and sometimes longer than we desire. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, especially those who feel they do not matter in their little corner of the world or feel they have lost their purpose. This book is truly a practical approach to help anyone understand that they are significant to God and to the people He longs to reach.
Kateinthecity More than 1 year ago
As someone who has personally experienced a truly horrible job - the kind that makes you dread the coming day and feel physical anxiety, fear and sadness every Sunday night - I could really relate to this book. This book is for anyone who has ever had to endure a tough - or downright miserable - experience. The type that keeps you asking, "why am I here?" and "why does this part of my life have to suck so bad??" This book shows how an everyday guy was able to get through some of the darkest days of his life and inspires hope that even in the worst of times, we too can find meaning and purpose in our lives. I really loved this book and recommend it to anyone who has ever questioned why bad things happen to good people.
Eys More than 1 year ago
Chris Travis's book, inSignificant, is one of the most inspiring and encouraging books I've read this year. Chris's conversational and descriptive narrative make your reading experience feel much more like a conversation over coffee with a good friend. Even though the book is an easy read, it is immensely powerful. This book tells the story of Chris's experience working at the most dangerous public school in Harlem. There are moments in this book that will make you cry and make you laugh, but most importantly, there are moments in this book that could change how you see yourself and those around you. I highly recommend this book. It's an easy read, powerfully simple and full of insights that will stick with you.
BrentFoulke More than 1 year ago
Chris Travis is a real guy who encourages other real people. His style draws you in, his stories come alive, and his punchline makes a difference in how you think. If you've ever wondered if you were making an impact, or have known someone who doubts their own value, here's a simple remedy that is not a quick fix. But InSignificant is profoundly direct and eminently helpful. Really.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chris Travis takes us with him on a two year journey into the most dangerous middle school in New York City, and then shows us how God taught him many lessons through that experience. Chris is an outstanding story teller and I could not wait to read each chapter. Through Chris' amazing story, God used him to also teach you and me lessons about our significance. I am already looking forward to reading book #3!
nymart More than 1 year ago
Chris Travis has written a beautiful little book. I was reminded of some great films like To Sir With Love, Stand and Deliver and Freedom Writers. In other words, this book inspires. But it goes beyond mere inspiration and challenges us. You may feel insignificant. You may be insignificant. And God may be planning to use your insignificance to change the world. I had to stop reading several times to let my tears settle. It is hard to see a grown man cry and in this narrative, he hurts and cries. It is also moving to see how children strive to just get by in one of America's most dangerous middle schools There are a myriad lessons here. Sometimes life hurts and sometimes we learn the most about ourselves and what our lives mean through pain. Sometimes we have to be completely humbled before we can be completely used by God. I'd like to see a movie of this book. But the end the inSignificant story is still being written. We still don't know how it ends. Chris is changing the world and inspiring us to join him. And I, for one, would like to see inSignificant made into a film.