Review: Love Does by Bob Goff

Jen Bradbury
Jul 26 · 5 min read

Over the past several years, I've had the privilege of compiling many of Youth Worker Journal's Roundtables. In order to compile these Roundtables, I must first solicit interviews from Christian “celebrities” - authors, pastors, and academics.

Since doing my first Roundtable in 2008, I've been amazed at how difficult it can sometimes be to track down these Christian “celebrities” - people who talk about living incarnationally and yet are oftentimes impossible to reach. 

As a result of this experience, I was blown away when my sister-in-law mentioned she'd finished reading Bob Goff's Love Does and noticed that Bob listed his phone number in the back of the book, saying “If you ever want to talk about any of the ideas in this book that ping you, give me a call.” 

Despite the fact that this book has received a ton of exceptional reviews, more than anything else, it was Bob's approachability that convinced me to read it.

I'm so glad I did.

From start to finish, I loved this book. It's filled with a captivating whimsy that stokes the imagination and inspires you to live out your faith because, after all, “love does”. Though there are many Christian books that attempt to do this, what differentiates Love Does from those is it's story-based, guilt-free approach. Rather than making you feel as though you're never good enough, Bob instead emphasizes grace, suggesting that “broken things, just like broken people, get used more; it's probably because God has more pieces to work with.”

Rather than appeal to obedience, Love Does makes you feel as though Bob is personally inviting you to join him in his capers and in the process, get to know Jesus better. I think maybe this appeals to me because in some way, it reflects how I imagine God himself inviting us to follow him in our adventure of faith. As Bob says, “I think a father's job, when it's done best, is to get down on both knees, lean over his children's lives, and whisper, 'Where do you want to go?' Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure.”

As a youth worker, I also loved this book for other reasons. I loved how it challenged me in my ministry to students. The chapter entitled, “Wow! What a hit!” reminded me of how important it is for us to see students as Christ does. After all, “The words people say to us not only have shelf life but have the ability to shape life.” What a responsibility and privilege we have then as youth workers!

Beyond it's challenge to me as a youth worker, however, Love Does is also a book students will resonate with. (In fact, I already have plans to use it for developing student leaders and mentoring kids one-on-one.) Students will love and appreciate Bob's authenticity and will, without a doubt, respond to his call to put their faith into action. According to Bob, “I think God's hope and plan of us is pretty simple to figure out. For those who resonate with formulas, here it is: Add your whole life, your loves, your passions, and your interests together with what God said He wants us to be about, and that's your answer. If you want to know the answer to the bigger question – what's God's plan for the whole world? - buckle up: It's us.”

As Bob reminds us throughout Love Does, we matter. We are God's kingdom workers – here and now.

I, for one, look forward to seeing our world transforms as more and more people begin to to capture Bob's (and Jesus') vision for how "love does".