We Had to Ask: Todd Gaddy
InsideOut: Do you shave with a regular razor blade or an electric razor?
Todd Gaddy: It’s my least favorite part of the day. I do, however, shave with an electric razor. It’s a Braun.
IO: What’s your favorite fast food restaurant?
TG: My favorite would probably be a tie between Subway and my mainstay McDonald’s. I’m not wild about everything at McDonald’s, but it’s hard to beat a Big Mac.
IO: So, Subway when you’re feeling healthy and McDonald’s when you’re not?
TG: (Chuckles) That’s exactly right.
IO: If you had to lose one of your five senses, which one would you choose?
TG: That’s an awful proposition to consider, but if I had to, I would probably say hearing. I know of many friends of mine that have to use sign language and get along quite well. I would think that if you have to lose one of them that would be the one I would want to lose, because you can still see things and smell things.
IO: Do you have any hidden talents?
TG: I enjoy cooking believe it or not. I bake a mean desert every once and a while. I enjoy cooking for my family on occasion, and my wife enjoys the break from that, too. Not many people know that. I’ll surprise the staff of the youth division with something (to eat) every once and a while.
IO: What are you reading right now?
TG: I’m actually in two different book clubs that ironically, are all male book clubs. So, a bunch of guys get together on a monthly or every six weeks basis and discuss books that we’ve mutually read. I’m currently reading The Eighth Habit by Steven Covey. I just finished a book called Snow. It’s a novel by a guy named Orhan Pamuk. He’s a writer out of Turkey. It kind of explores the whole Muslim western world tension that exists there. So, the book clubs keep me accountable and keep me reading. It’s probably outside of what I would normally read, too.
IO: Describe your vision for our youth in one word.
TG: In one word I would say the word “story”, and I’ll explain what I mean by that. I think if every young person, and adult for that matter, can really understand the story of God, namely the fact that God saw humanity, saw its need for reconciliation to Him, and through Christ has afforded us that opportunity. Then, we as parts of that story, namely recipients of that grace, can continue that story on through our lives, share that with other people, and be apart of that story not only on the receiving end, but then propagating that story. I think that is the whole crux of life. So I would say “story”.
IO: Do you think that social action is a vital part of witnessing?
TG: Yes, absolutely.
IO: How so?
TG: I think first of all that the Bible is very clear about it. The Bible speaks about, in the New Testament, helping those in difficult situations: The poor; those that are widowed. So, certainly the Bible gives direction about helping in a socially responsible way those that are in difficult situations. Someone I talked to recently said it well. If someone is in a desperate physical need, whether it be poverty or just doesn’t have much, and we, who have been blessed with abundance, don’t help them, chances are they are not going to be wanting to hear too much about our theology if they are concerned about food and other needs that other people would consider to be “base” needs. So, if we can assist them on that level, I think they would be more open at some point to hear the deeper things of life. I also heard someone say recently, and I really appreciated the way they said it: “Our challenge is to be not only first commandment Christians, namely “Loving the Lord our God with all of our heart”, but also to be good second commandment Christians and that is to love those around us as ourselves. I don’t think it has to be mutually exclusive. I think you can actually do both. You can love God and love your neighbor, and I think that social action part of witnessing speaks to that second commandment idea.
IO: What do you feel is a major issue in the youth of our generation?
TG: I would say, similar to what I mentioned before, understanding what redemption is all about and really understanding the story of redemption, and not taking that for granted. I think the way that we can deal with that in that deficiency, and it sounds simple, is to read the Bible. Read it in a way that it isn’t just a text and it’s not just concepts per say, but it is the story of God. It’s the story of God interacting in our lives, and his expectation of what we do with that redemption, and that is to move it on to someone else and help them be reconciled back to God. Really, it comes down to reading the Bible, and reading it in a way that is allowing God to speak into our hearts what that is as sane as how God moves in people’s hearts.
IO: Tell me if I’m wrong, but maybe our generation doesn’t have as much foundation in the Truth as they do in the Spirit.
TG: Absolutely, and I think that’s well said. I think young people today very much enjoy the experience of the Spirit and the experience of the services and the experiences they have in church and serving God. I think that it’s possible however to be so experience oriented that we neglect other issues, such as scriptural principles and scriptural truth and things that may not be as sensually exciting, and by that I mean our senses aren’t touched, but they are every bit as important if not more, because they are the anchor of our life. I don’t think it’s either/or. I think you can do both. I think you can certainly enjoy the experiences of God’s Spirit, but you can also be grounded in umbilical truth. Both of those together make a very dynamic life.
IO: What has God been speaking to you about lately?
TG: I think the Lord has been talking to me about the Kingdom of God and what that really means. Several days ago I was contemplating in a quiet time Matthew chapter six, when Jesus gives what people call the “model prayer” or the “Lord’s Prayer”. Two phrases that jumped out at me are, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done”. I find it interesting that the Lord told us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come, and His will to be done, and I don’t think that the Kingdom is meant to be something out there that we are supposed to move people to, but rather the Kingdom is where we are and in doing so, people all around us are going to see God and his attributes and be drawn to God, because we are living out the Kingdom. I used to think of the Kingdom in a lot of different ways. I used to think of it as “We’re all just a bunch of saved folks and we make up the Kingdom”, or the Kingdom of God is this “Heaven” thing and we’re going to direct people toward it, but Jesus Christ himself said, when you pray ask God for his Kingdom to come. I’ve been challenged lately to allow God to work in my life so that the Kingdom of God is established in my life, my actions, my attitude, and my words. That’s a big challenge, because you have to get past yourself to do that. That’s what God has been speaking to me about lately.