We now come to the last two life patterns of an "insider" from Jim Petersen's book, "The Insider." The first five life patterns are: taking little initiatives, praying and responding, serving others, conversing the faith, and partnering.
The sixth life pattern of an insider is: Letting the Scriptures Speak.
Petersen learned, early in his ministry, that his own arguments and clever exchanges with people did not move people. He had been attempting to assume something that only the Holy Spirit can do. He discovered that it is the Bible that reveals who God is. His job, then, was to bring people to the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal God.
Thus, when we invite people to learn from the Bible with us, we are on the journey with them. We are still learning even as they are. God is revealing Himself to us and them at the same time. We do not have to be the teacher or the guru. We don't have to dispense great wisdom. We simply become a fellow discoverer. All of us become engaged in trying to see Jesus.
Petersen has learned what it is to facilitate Bible discussions rather than preach sermons.
A common mistake leaders make is insisting on winning every point of discussion. You don't have to get people to agree with you. You don't even have to get them to believe the Bible. Your part is done when they have made some sense of the text. From there on, it's the Holy Spirit's responsibility.
The seventh life pattern of an insider is: Midwifing the New Birth.
Petersen continues to rely on Scripture itself to produce the new life faith, healing, and obedience of the growing disciple. We are to continue on sowing the seed as spiritual fruit is developed.
He cautions us that we must be patient. Reaping spiritual fruit often takes time. Conversion is more than just a decision, it is a heart-surrender and submission to Christ. This requires the development of faith, over a period of time, as the Word of God is sown. Conversion also includes a healilng process that takes place as the fellowship becomes a place where honest confession and vulnerability opens the heart to the healing God has for it.