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Evangelism & All-Nighters – Brent Finchum & Dwight Willard

Reverb is not just your normal, run of the mill all nighter. We are talking thousands of students, professional sports, pizza and of course, evangelism.  Brian sets down with Brent Finchum and Dwight Willard to talk about Reverb is a great opportunity to get students under the hearing of the gospel who may never step foot in your church.

Dwight ran multiple Reverb events each year for about 20 years and now coordinates the event nationally. Brent is a guest speaker for at least one Reverb a year. They bring different perspectives to our discussion on Reverb.

Evangelism is not just an event. It is a lifestyle of sharing our faith wherever we go and energizing and equipping our students to do the same.

Reverb Positives (Dwight):

The key goal of Reverb is to provide opportunities for teens to share the gospel with their unsaved friends. Inviting their friends to Reverb is an easy first try for those hoping to begin evangelistic conversations. Teens can be confident they will have a good time and also hear a gospel presentation.
Word of Life also understands that not every time the gospel is heard every student is saved. Reverb could be in any position on your student’s journey to responding to the gospel.

The Gospel Presentation (Brent):

Word of Life would not do this event if the gospel were not presented. That is the importance with which the gospel presentation is approached. The presentation itself begins with sharing the truth of sin and then sharing the answer to sin in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
In selecting speakers, Word of Life does not prioritize whether a speaker is sensational, but on whether they can be trusted to clearly present the gospel.

As a youth leader, Why Bring My Students to this event?

Logistics: Leaders do not have to plan this event. All we ask is for registration, transportation, and some supervision. Leaders get the chance to have fun and be a part of what their kids are doing. Word of Life pours hundreds of hours into coordinating this giant event, making this something most churches could not reproduce on their own.

  • Availability: Reverb is not an event just for your kids, it is an event for your kids to invite their unsaved friends to. To emphasize this, any unchurched kid’s ticket will be half-priced.
  • Counseling: Right after the gospel presentation, for a short time while the speaker addresses the rest of the crowd, counseling is available. Word of Life is not under the illusion that everyone who raises their hand makes a decision for Christ, so we want talk to them. Students are asked to step forward and join a counselor in a conversation about the decision they made. This is the most important decision students will make, so we believe that not taking the time to talk with them about it would actually be harmful. Our counselors encourage the students who accepted Christ, answer their questions, or challenge them in their walk.

If interested, youth leaders may volunteer as counselors for the event in their area by contacting the local coordinator through the website ( Some training will be provided at the event.
Follow-up: During the counseling time, every student fills out a card with contact information and a description of the decision they made. We give those slips to the churches they came with and the leaders can follow up with them after the event.

Extended Opportunities: The Gospel is presented in the middle of the event. Leaders still have 6 hours to follow up on the message and extend the gospel presentation one-on-one.

Locations: Last year we had 10 Reverbs in 10 different cities with just under 1200 attending and just under 700 accepting Christ. There will be 12 locations this year, bringing Cleveland and Portland back, during the month of November.
Brent is involved with the Atlanta event (11/16) where the students love attending a minor league hockey game. Dwight is involved in the Springfield and Providence Reverbs where kids enjoy playing soccer, inflatables, Segway races and archery tag.

Last Thoughts:

Reverb nights have several different aspects. Not every kid is going to love all of it, but there is typically at least one part of it they really enjoy.

Reminder – When the gospel is clearly preached, God is in the business of changing lives. We are excited to do this event. The history is rich and God has blessed it.


Check with your Area Missionary or use the website: – where leaders can find information and get connected with their area event’s coordinator.

Or email us with questions.

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