All About Geoff Maddock
Geoff began his work as the Tas/Vic Global Interaction state rep in early 2021. So it’s time we caught up with him!
What makes him tick? Read on . . .
Where were you born and what was it like growing up there?
I was born and grew up on a dairy farm near Yackandandah (North-eastern Victoria). My dad was the fourth generation Maddock in our valley, and it was in many ways, an idyllic rural upbringing. Riding motorbikes, trout fishing in creeks, shooting at rabbits, and learning how to care for animals and land.
My parents were also church planters and worked with ministries from bikers to prisoners. So our home was constantly visited by weird and wonderful city folk. Never a dull moment!
Tell us about your family?
My wife, Sherry, and I met in the USA studying in the same Missiology program (we studied together, fell in love, and married in 2000). She is from Atlanta, Georgia. We have an 18-year-old son named Isaac.
My mum and dad have been in ministry all their lives as pastors, counsellors, and chaplains. Dad served for over 50 years as a chaplain for Prison Fellowship in Victorian jails. Mum trained as a nurse then went on work as a chaplain at a cancer hospital.
My sister and her husband served as MAF missionaries for many years in Africa and PNG. My brother became a high school teacher and lives with his family in Queensland.
How did you become a Christian?
Gradually. Growing up as a child of pastors made me aware of the challenges and obvious blessings of Christian living. It was important to my parents that I didn’t simply inherit my faith but took it seriously and claimed it on my own terms.
I can name several key moments where my relationship with the Living God was instrumental, but I have no Damascus story. It some ways I think it is true that we are all becoming Christian, gradually, each day, as choose to follow Jesus.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
“It is better to inspire hope than to be admired”. From one of my brilliantly humble Seminary professors, A. H. Mathias Zahniser.
When people ask you how you spend your time, what do you say?
I spend it with people, one on one or in larger meetings sharing in the joy, surprise, and challenge of God’s love for the world.
AS “Geoff maddock, Global Interaction” you must have worked in overseas mission. Where did you go, and what did you do there?
I worked and lived in an historic African American neighbourhood in the city of Lexington, Kentucky. We lived and worked for 18 years, loving neighbours, seeking justice, practising kindness, and sharing in the blessing of God’s mission.
Much of our work was helping welcome and settle refugees alongside urban agriculture initiatives. We planted a missional community, and learned how to offer and receive hope and forgiveness. We started non-profits and helped people learn what the world feels and looks like across cultural, racial, socioeconomic and religions difference.
What is your role with GIA?
I am honoured to serve as the Global Interaction State Leader for Tasmania and Victoria. I love the opportunity to learn from our Baptist family in both states – how they are discovering mission as a way to grow in faithfulness and maturity, personally and collectively.
I’m especially inspired by the way Tasmanian Baptists are forging creative and innovative pathways in mission across the state. I came away from the May Assembly this year inspired and challenged. It is my privilege to help churches grow in missional imagination and practice across the street and across the world.
What excites you most about what you do?
I’m excited to see in very practical ways how the Gospel is a reality that travels across cultures and contexts and reveals God’s very particular love for all people and places. I’m thrilled to learn that the Christianity I am familiar with takes on new character and nuances, depending on the cultural context.
God made the world with such beautiful diversity. And then honours that diversity by ensuring that “all tribes, tongues, and languages” are part of our eternal future. What could be more exciting!
What challenges do you have as you do this work?
The challenges moving forward include being faithful to God’s mission. But also, re-aligning strategy to fit a radically and rapidly changing world. Change always comes with challenges, but we can be assured that the Gospel message is translatable.
Change always comes with challenges, but we can be assured that the Gospel message is translatable. Geoff Maddock, Global Interaction
How can we pray for you and your work?
Pray for me as I help churches recognise the mission opportunities in their own neighbourhoods. Mission is for each of us, in every place, as well as for particular people called to a specific context. There is a continued need to share our resources and energy to take on certain challenges. So I ask and pray for our organisation to have the wisdom to know what to prioritise.
Short and Sweet
I am looking forward to . . . travelling again after lockdowns in Victoria.
I am worried about . . . the asylum seekers detained in a hotel in our city
I am confident that . . . “grace abounds all the more”
I am joyful about . . . God’s love for the world continuing through God’s people
I would like to change . . . Australian policy on asylum seekers to reflect Christian values
I am at my best when . . . wandering around an unfamiliar city with my camera (I’m an avid photographer)
READ MORE IN THE NOV/DEC 2021 ADVANCE | STEP BY STEP