Gabe Taviano – a Modern Day Hero of the Faith (part 1)

A wonderful man of God is our interviewee this week in the Heroes of the Faith series.

Gabe Taviano is husband to Marla, who I interviewed last week and is an incredibly creative guy who manages to mix business with faith in a way that I would love to be able to emulate.

If you’ve never met Gabe, he’s a website designer, tech guru, Apple aficionado, Kingdom Technologist (yes, I did just make that term up) and all round nice guy. Oh, and he’s pretty awesome with a camera too.

Last week, Marla answered a set of questions and this week Gabe has answered an identical set of questions (all but one are identical, at least).

What really excited me about this is that this is a family who really live by faith in a way that most of us can’t even imagine and with these two interviews, we get both the husband’s and the wife’s perspective on how it works and what God is doing. If you didn’t read Marla’s interview answers you should check them out to get an amazing additional perspective.

The Interview

Gabe, you guys amaze me with the way you walk out your faith. Finding time and ways to share our faith and minister for Christ is something many of us have great difficulty with. What would be your advice to people wanting to become more effective in their Christian walks?

First of all, thanks for inviting me here Peter! Whenever I talk to someone about serving God, I always share that God doesn’t work on a title / status basis. His work is in the heart business. I think we’re the ones who have it all wrong when we think that preachers / speakers have been given more authority to share or lead. I would say that 1 Peter 2:9 makes that clear! Regarding the work we do, we’ve actually been in a position (although for only a few years) where we were supported by over 30 families and a few churches. That then led us to four years where we were both doing work we love from home before I joined the management team of a Christian radio station here in Columbus, OH.

What I think sets someone apart from the pew-sitter is what they give God outside of work as well. Everybody isn’t called into what the church likes to call missions work. But everybody is called to live an Exodus 20:3 and 1 Corinthians 10:31 life.

I think for most people who read your blogs the hardest thing to understand would be your attitude toward money. Most of us spend the majority of our lives working for (and coming up with new ways to spend) money. You seem to mostly rely on God for your income though. Those who read your blog will probably know that your dishwasher broke down almost two years ago but living your lives by faith like you do means you haven’t been able to afford to fix it. Is it hard to live that way?

Every time I’ve read Mark 10:17-25 I am reminded that it’s not about money. God blesses us and most of the time we don’t realize it. What is really confusing to me is when I see people trying to live like that’s not true, when they know that’s how God works. There are many things that God will ask you to do if you are following him that require money not to be the first part of the equation to success. The same people that don’t get that equation are more than likely the same people that don’t take steps of humility and serve people that they might consider “less important” than them.

Here’s something I’ve learned from a pastor friend of mine. God chases us, even during times when we abuse free will and run away from Him. I’ve even disagreed with Dave Ramsey’s teachings of building wealth / savings a few times. Some of those teachings lead us into places of building up enough money to be able to save enough to cover our own rears. Sure, getting out of debt and saving money is a pretty smart thing to do. But should that rule our life or dictate what we’re willing to do for the Lord. I believe that happens sometimes. Christians treat their financial stability often better than their spiritual health. How does that kind of teaching apply to someone who doesn’t have that much? The person that needs to understand that when they turn around after a failure, God is right there waiting on them. Our trip to Cambodia just threw all of that in my face at a level I haven’t experienced before. Our definition of wealth is so subjective, while God explains it pretty well.

Marla writes and speaks and Gabe, you design websites. Those are both occupations which don’t guarantee an income. You have three daughters to look after, do you ever get people telling you you should get ‘real’ jobs so you can support your family?

God’s really pushing me (us both) hard at the moment, while still asking us to be the parents He wants us to be to our three girls. I have the “hard-to-say-no-to-people” disease. That mixed with the fact that God has a desire to speak through the web / technology are making life a bit more full than I would prefer. I accepted the position here at the radio station because I saw a big need for improvement and opportunity to truly impact a multitude of lives (as a team). I thought the freelance projects would go away and life might be more comfortable. You can ask Marla, that’s definitely not the case. Sure, I’ve been blessed to not have to advertise, but I’m also not insane or would tell people that God doesn’t use advertising to spread His truth. I do believe that God will take care of you no matter what situation you or your organization are in.. If your heart is right.

To be continued tomorrow…