Our guest today is Trillia Newbell. Trillia is the author of the kids’ book God’s Very Good Idea, as well as Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts (2016), Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves (2015) and United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity(2014). Her writings on issues of faith, family, and diversity have been published in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Desiring God, True Woman, Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, and more. She has spoken at numerous conferences, churches, women’s retreats, colleges and seminaries, including True Woman, The Gospel Coalition Women’s conference, Southeastern Theological Seminary, and more. She currently is the Director of Community Outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention.
- In your book you say there is a richness in knowing — really knowing — someone who is different from you. Trillia, can you elaborate on this, maybe with a personal example, of what you mean here by “richness”. This is about as close to the heart of group life as it gets.
- As you have addressed issues like reconciliation and diversity, what biblical foundations have you tended to draw from?
- Let’s challenge ourselves with a different perspective. You are at times very transparent about your own experiences in United. You use words like fear, ashamed, and embarrassed. How would you articulate the experience of feeling alone even amidst hundreds of people.
- A church’s group ministry would seem to be uniquely positioned to serve others in ways that combat sentiments of isolation as it relates to diversity. How have you seen or can you see groups in their various expressions help churches work towards greater diversity and unity?
- How do you think groups can counter a sense of rejection that some carry?
- Trillia, why would a church work towards greater unity? It’s hard and in some places simply because of location and a city’s profile it feels almost impossible. In your opinion, why is it worth the effort?
“In any group situation, we want people to go from surface to deep. We want them to know one another.”
“One of the great benefits of knowing people is knowing people who are not like you.”
“We are all made in the image of God. That is the foundation for how we think about other people. God values all people.”
“Throughout the scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, we see a picture of God creating a people for Himself, to be saved by His son, to be in community with one another, and to one day be ultimately worshipping together for eternity.”
“In a group setting, it’s good to ask people how they are doing, and then probe a little bit deeper.”
“It’s so easy for small groups to be comfortable and insular. It’s really difficult to break into a small group that has been together for a long time.”
The Group Answers Podcast is a weekly show designed to resource, train, and encourage small group leaders. Each episode considers current trends and resources as well as timeless truths and methods of discipleship. It is hosted by Brian Daniel, a Bible study and discipleship expert in Lifeway’s Groups Ministry, and Chris Surratt, the small group and discipleship specialist at Lifeway and author of Small Groups For The Rest Of Us.