A Servant’s Heart: An Interview with Alica Joy RollinsBy Trillia Newbell | May 7th, 2013 | Category: Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Servant’s Heart: An Interview with Alica Joy Rollins
Young, vibrant and capable of pursuing many things, yet Alicia Joy Rollins has made it her aim to pursue Christ and the things of Christ. Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to interact with Alicia and walk away each time reminded of the beauty of diversity in the Church. She is a servant who emulates Paul’s charge to the Galatians not to use her freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13).
I draw attention to Alicia to draw attention to the work of God in her life. She serves in the background which is why I’m excited to introduce you to this Buena Park, California native.
Q: What is your testimony? When did you become a Christian and how?
Rollins: When I was in Jr. High, I had been reading the Left Behind series. Eschatological viewpoints aside, the big picture of Christ’s definite return really shocked me. The fact that one day judgment would come for every person really drove me to start talking to God. The judgment of God and the love of Christ’s sacrifice reached me in a costly way. That is when I started to pray regularly with an honest heart; I was relating. I also realized a sense of urgency for the unsaved had started boiling inside me. I am honestly not sure if this was my point of conversion or rather, a chapter in life that deepened the relationship with God I had from my upbringing.
Q: How did you become interested in Reformed theology?
Rollins: My J.V. basketball coach in high school gave me a couple of her John Piper CD’s and faithfully discussed topics of faith with me for a few years. I distinctly remember the title of the first one, “Let Your Passion Be Single.” I had never heard someone teach so passionately about Christ and it quickly influenced me to have a more singular focus for the kingdom. As a freshman in college, I read through Desiring God by Piper as well. Here is where a lot of loose ends in my worldview were tied together. As I grew through the Desiring God ministry, I started thinking in a Reformed manner without realizing it. I was living and clinging to these truths, but I probably couldn’t tell you the proper terms. As I have learned the technicalities in more recent years, my delight has only deepened.
Q: Where are you from originally?
Rollins: My nationality and ethnicity are a divine mystery. I was adopted and placed in my family when I was less than one year old. I know I am at least half African-American, and the rest has been left unknown to me. I see this as an interesting blessing from God, and see his purposeful hand behind it. I am able to adapt and interact with diverse groups of people, and I believe God has made me a connector. I love the differences of people and believe they reimage the glory of God in a beautiful way!
Q: I met up with you at the recent TGC National Conference. Why did you want to go to TGC? I understand you walked three miles at times to get to the meetings!
Rollins: It sounded crazy, but it literally felt like the Lord was telling me to go for networking purposes. I remember when I first saw promotions for TGC13 announced; I felt the strong inclination that I was supposed to go. This was strange because normally I would write off an expensive and long-distance event as something I will just have to “attend” to online. This felt different, however. I knew that there was something to being around all of the like-minded people and making new relationships that was very unique to being present in the conference atmosphere. The speakers were incredible and I felt instructed in many. Yet, the networking aspect was what became most meaningful.
Q: You met a few ministry leaders at TGC13 and will now be serving in various capacities. Who and in what ways?
Rollins: There are a couple ministries in particular that I was led straight to. I became acquainted with Phillip Holmes and Jemar Tisby of RAAN (Reformed African American Network) and Brandon Smith and Owen Strachan of CBMW (The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood). I absolutely love the heart and mission of the two, so I was brainstorming ways I could possibly support it and make it spread.
I have heard Pastor John describe Calvinism and Reformed theology as analogous to his favorite picture of his wife. He loves that picture. Now, does he literally love the paper and ink? No, he loves that particular photo because it gives the best picture of the person he loves, his wife. Reformed theology points us to the personhood of God in the strongest and most astounding way. I see this reflected more particularly in the areas of the multi-racial church and in gender through RAAN and CBMW.
I am particularly interested in any marketing strategies that may be used to get the message of these ministries out. I have a pointed belief in Instagram, and the opportunities it provides for people to search for or stumble upon important content. Associate editing and graphic design are areas I hope to grow in and use for the development and distribution of this important content!
Q: What are you most passionate about?
Rollins: I am passionate about God’s Word getting out there in as many different ways as possible. When I say “out there,” really I am referring to the unbelieving and the saints alike. I want the content of awesome ministries such as Desiring God, RAAN, or CBMW to be reaching people who do not frequent those circles. I want the message to be getting outside the camp. One way is through graphic illustrations. I also deeply desire to see this theology brought down to a very practical level for believers struggling through life. Biblical Counseling is something I hope to receive training in when the timing is right.
I also love seeing the Word of God reflected in the natural revelation around us. Scripture is being reimaged and animated everywhere I look! This is exciting because natural revelation is the “stuff” of humanity, the place where we all have some common ground and can be easily brought into conversations about God and our purpose. For example, when I look at Psalm 19, I am reminded that “God’s creation speaks the common human language in a wordless fashion. I think this sets the pattern for all of our creations. Though they may or may not use the words of Scripture, or any words for that matter, they still may speak the message… Patterned after the speaking-power of God’s creation, his mini-creators (mankind) are building a world that reimages his glory.” I have recently embraced my passion for writing and illustrating, and I hope to develop this more through practice and the examples of people like Trillia! I have created Reimages, a blog based on Trinitarian principles for the purpose of displaying and enjoying illustrative knowledge.