A Night with Bob Goff

As a Californian, lawyer, and author, Bob Goff could hardly be considered “normal.” He lives and loves in radical, challenging ways, unafraid to be completely vulnerable, even when addressing an audience as large and diverse as the one on at Regent University on Feb. 5. 

Anticipation and excitement

Feb. 5, 2016 – This was a night I had been waiting for. Bob Goff was speaking in Regent’s chapel to a crowd consisting of both Regent students, as well as members of the local community. His book, “Love Does”, was very influential in my life, particularly when I was in high school. I knew it was going to be a good night.

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Bob Goff addresses a diverse audience at Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA, Feb. 5, 2016. (Kayla Phaneuf)


Bob Goff, a lawyer and humanitarian, is known for doing some crazy things. It’s all because he’s taken the opportunities God’s given him, and has shown people that love is an action.

Entering the Chapel, the room was already a quarter full despite the event wouldn’t commence for another 30 min. We were able to sit down a few rows from the front, and found some friends; I knew they were equally as excited. As we all talked, one asked me “did you bring your book for him to sign?”


I promptly ran back to the residence halls, flew into my room, grabbed my copy of “Love Does”, said good-bye to my confused roommate, and ran back to the Chapel.

I am proud to say it only took me ten minutes, which for me, is a great accomplishment.

Finally, the room filled with people from Regent as well as the community.

After a short time of praise and worship, and an introduction from Regent School of Law’s Dr. Jeffery A. Brauch, Goff came on stage with a laugh and a smile, standing over the audience with his arms spread wide.

“Can I just say, that [this] drummer plays like a boss!” said Goff. He motioned to the drummer, who began to play a beat, ending in an intense, rhythmic solo.


Goff takes a moment to laugh during his address at Regent University, Virginia Beach, Va, Feb. 5, 2016. (Kayla Phaneuf)

“See, I want to be a boss like him, so… I bought six dollar drumsticks, so I can look like a boss.” He held two drumsticks in front of him, like he was going to play. “But here’s the thing, do you want to look like a boss, or act like a boss? Does Jesus want you to look like a boss, or act like one?”

Goff’s stories

The whole night was predominantly one long stream of stories. Goff told funny ones, heartbreaking ones, and awkward ones. They ranged from throwing an inflatable large-mouth bass over a men’s conference, to dealing with the grief of having their beloved peace-making cabin burnt to the ground. He even gave an account of when he was accidently kidnapped by a twitter follower (he ended up fine). With each story, there came a lesson the Lord taught him through the experience.

There were many funny one-liners sprinkled amongst his talk as well:

“If I was going to write a book from the Bible, it would be 2 John. It’s thirteen verses but you get credit for a whole book.”

“If you get advice that rhymes, run.”

“It’s also the sixth verse of the book when it starts getting good. The first few are ‘hi, how are you, who begat you.’”

However, there was one story he told that truly encompassed the main theme of that night.


Bob Goff gestures with his hands to help make a point, Virginia Beach, VA, Feb. 5, 2016. (Kayla Phaneuf)


As a young man, Goff lived in San Diego, and surfed regularly. One day while he out, he tried to paddle out into the waves, but was continuously driven closer and closer to a set of cliffs. He was eventually smashed into them. A bystander saw his plight, and made his way down the cliff where Goff clung to the rock face. He then helped Goff climb back out.

Goff went on to say that he was glad the guy didn’t just shout Bible verses at him, but rather climbed down, and thus spoke with actions. Through this experience, Goff came to realize the truth of Scripture and the action of love. He returns to this cliff every Christmas Eve to remember the fateful day.

Love is more than words

Love has action; it’s what his book talks about, and was the focus point of his amazing stories.

At the end of his talk, he had everyone grab either a hand, arm, or shoulder (“anything that isn’t creepy”) of someone adjacent them. He then prayed over everyone in the room. As he closed, a bunch of us rushed to the front to try to talk with him. Clutching my copy of his book, I walked up, introduced myself and gave him a hug. As he signed my book, asked for his permission to field him a question.

“Of course you may” he said.

I asked, “Regent is all about Christian Leaders to change the world. What advice would you give to the younger generations who are trying to influence the world for Christ?”

He gave me a smile as he handed back my book. “Be picky about your friends. Surround yourself with men and women who will influence you, so that you can then influence others. Be choosey.”

I said thank you as the next person came up in line to say hi to Bob. Walking away, I looked at what he had signed in my book.

“Dear Danielle, do your work.”

Bob Goff has made his life his work, and his work, loving and encouraging others, and serving Christ. That is our work too, and so I leave you with the message he left me.

Do your work.

Danielle Crowley is a staff writer for The Daily Runner.