Speaker Profile: Trillia Newbell to Talk on Identity & Unity in Christ

"Fearing and knowing the Lord brings us the peace our heart craves. ... To fear the Lord is not to be scared of Him. It's to adore Him. Worship Him. Honor Him. It's to put Him in the right place in our thinking."

—Trillia Newbell (in Fear and Faith, pp. 118, 119)

I’m delighted to introduce you (virtually) to Trillia Newbell, one of our two national speakers at Think Well 2018 (the other is John Stonestreet, our keynote). Trillia will speak to students on Wednesday morning, June 27, as well as during an evening event on Tuesday, June 26, open to parents/families and the community (more on that in the next post).

Trillia is the author of multiple books, including Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity, Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God's Good Gifts, and an award-winning kids’ book called God’s Very Good Idea: A True Story of God’s Delightfully Different Family. She also blogs regularly (check it out HERE!) and has written about issues of faith, family, and diversity for outlets such as Desiring God, Christianity Today, and The Gospel Coalition.

Trillia has spoken at numerous conferences, churches, retreats, colleges, and seminaries, and is currently the director of community outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention. The mother of two, she lives just outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her best friend and love, Thern.

Two questions at the core of Trillia’s writings—and of her talks planned for Think Well—are also at the core of any worldview:

Who am I?

Who is God?

These questions are vital to answer, both from a general truth-claim perspective (e.g., "Who is man?") and from a personal perspective (e.g., "Who do I personally believe God is?" or "Who do I say Jesus is?"). At Think Well, we'll discuss how it's really impossible to answer the first question (about who we are) without knowing the answer to the second (who our Creator is).

Trillia has wrestled personally and deeply with these questions. When she speaks, she combines a thoroughly biblical perspective and passion for God's Word with a keen ability to relate to young people on so many of the big issues and concerns they face. From insecurities and fears about self-image or “not measuring up,” to the feeling of being “profoundly different” (whether for a visible reason, such as ethnic background, or for an invisible reason), she’s got her pulse on the thoughts and worries many of us have, but that young people grapple with in an especially intense way.

Trillia will challenge students to sink their roots deep in God’s Word, anchoring their identity in Christ and in Christ alone. Then, and only then, are we free and empowered to truly love others as God calls us to—including those different from ourselves.

Without Him as our anchor, the concepts of love and unity are hollow and flimsy, and will ultimately fail. But with Him, we have true security, safety, and unity—and we can appreciate the beautifully diverse spiritual family God is building for Himself: one not based on human DNA but on the blood of Jesus Christ.

Trillia’s planned talks to students are as follows:

  • Identity in Christ (Session 1 on 6/27) Description: “God takes dead people and gives them resurrection life. Salvation is gift enough, but God doesn’t only save us, He gives us himself. We can know Him—through salvation and through the work of Jesus—and as our hearts rest in Him, we can delight in Him. Being in Christ is a stupendous reality.” (See Ephesians 2:1–10; 1:3–10.)

  • Radical Love Leads to Unity (Session 2 on 6/27) Description: “God gives an impossible command: love your neighbor as yourself. It’s impossible to love like this without the power and work of the Spirit. He’s also given us the gift of one another, but as we know, relationships are hard. We can, however, learn to love, which displays to a divided and broken world what has been accomplished on the cross.” (See Mark 12:28–31.)

  • Special Q&A Session (Session 3 on 6/27)

Stay tuned for another post about Trillia's talk on "The Race-Transcending Gospel" open to parents/families and members of the public the evening of June 26! Meanwhile, I encourage you to check out these pages on her website:

Meet Trillia

Her books

Her blog


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