October 21, 2014 | 1 p.m.
By Lauren Pareigat, Communications Specialist for College of Arts & Sciences
Adventurous. Whimsical. Light-hearted. Humble. Loving. Those are not the typical words one might use to describe a lawyer. But that is what Bethel University chapel attendees were saying about Bob Goff as they exited chapel on Homecoming Friday.
On October 3 the Faculty Convocation Committee and Campus Ministries co-sponsored Goff as the College of Arts & Sciences Homecoming Chapel speaker. Goff spoke to an audience of students, faculty and staff, alumni, and other guests in Benson Great Hall. Goff is the New York Times bestselling author of Love Does. He’s also a husband, father, lawyer, adjunct professor at Pepperdine Law School and Point Loma Nazarene University, and even Consul for the Republic of Uganda to the United States. Most importantly, he’s a Christ follower.
Goff shared many of his stories from Love Does and challenged the audience, but especially the students. “I want people to meet me and you and feel like they’ve just experienced heaven,” said Goff.
Jesus’ command to “remain in my love” from John 15:9 was the center of Goff’s message. He used personal experiences to illustrate several ways we can remain in God’s love. He challenged the audience to do some simple things like actively addressing each other by name and always answer the phone. He explained that his personal rule is to always answer his phone no matter where he is.
Goff also called the audience to remain in love by honoring each other, protecting each other, guarding our hearts, letting go of stuff, to love our enemies, and to quit trying to be cool. When he talked about letting go of stuff, Goff explained that every Thursday, he quits something. Recently, he walked into his law firm, Goff & Dewalt, LLP, and announced he was quitting. When his staff asked why, Goff responded, “It’s Thursday!”
Students had a chance to hear Goff again later that afternoon in The Underground. He picked up on his previous message and continued to challenge the students. He referenced the passages of Galatians 1:6 and 2 John 1:6, encouraging them to “live in grace and walk in love.”
Pointing back to his chapel message, he reminded students of the need to let go of things. He told them, “If it’s blocking your view of Jesus, don’t wait until Thursday.”
Goff modeled his earlier challenge to always answer the phone by stopping mid-sentence to pull out his ringing phone. The students were stunned to watch Goff cheerily greet the caller with “Hi, this is Bob!” He kept the call short by asking the person on the other end to call back because he was “talking with some friends right now.”
He finished his time telling the students of the legal work he’s done in Uganda. Goff has been putting witch doctors on trial for their killing rituals of small children. All of them have been sentenced to prison, where Goff visits them, shares the gospel with them, and loves them. He’s even started what he called a “witch doctor school” that provides literacy and education for these men who most people--even Goff himself--label as evil.
“Rules don’t apply to how extravagant your love can be,” Goff said.