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Last May, my dad retired as dean of the College of Christian Faith at Dallas Baptist University. During his twenty-one years there, he learned the name of every student in every one of his classes. As soon as he received his class roster, my dad would start memorizing the class list, looking at student ID pictures to help him put names to faces. He challenged himself to recite the entire list of ninety names from memory on the first day of class. And he did it, without fail, semester after semester.
Names are important. It’s typically the first thing you learn about someone, the first connecting point you share over a nametag or a handshake. But if we’re “bad” at remembering names, we make excuses like:
“I’m just not good with names.”
“It’s like I have a mental block when it comes to remembering names.”
“What’s in a name?”
Okay, maybe Shakespeare wasn’t making excuses but you get the idea.
Kids - Ministries - Connection - Names
If we want to make sure the kids in our ministries feel known, we have to understand that connection begins with learning their names.
When a kid sits across from them, do leaders look them in the eye and call them by name?
Do they pronounce those names correctly?
If not, why?
Order - Kid - Leader - Front - Order
In order for a kid to begin to trust the leader in front of them, in order for leaders’ words to get through, they have to make a connection. The most personal way to start is by learning a kid or student’s name.
Make sure every leader has an updated roster with their kids’ names, addresses, parents’ names, birthdays, and so forth. This takes some administrative work on your part but it’s key for leaders. Encourage leaders to make notes on their rosters to help them learn names more quickly.
Don’t underestimate the power...
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