Remembering names is one of the most important things you can do when you are meeting guests on Sunday morning. I remember reading in college, Dale Carnegie's book, How to Win friends and Influence people ( a pretty manipulative title, I know!) and it had one point that I will never forget - A person's favorite sound is hearing their own name. Using a person's name provides a point of connection. It communicates care and that they matter. We shouldn't just remember names for self-serving reasons, but because every person we meet is special, they matter to God.
But on a Sunday morning, if you are anything like me by meeting a lot of new people, it can be difficult remmebering all the people you meet.
The key to remembering names isn't all that revolutionary. Paper and pen.
A Chinese proverb says that the faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory.
You can't rely on your memory. You got to keep a piece of paper, or small pad of paper, and a pen with you at all times. Just applying this simple rule, saved me at church yesterday.
Read Bob Hyatt's thoughts here about how he intentionally remembers visitors names.
Anyway, yesterday, we had an abundance of first-time visitors at our Sunday morning gathering...I'm really, really bad with names. I mean, really bad.
I usually have to ask people to remind me of their names 8 or 9 times...
But yesterday, I had a stroke of brilliance, a flash of ingenuity...I just wrote them down.
We had 7 first time visitors yesterday (not including some 4 or 5 relatives just visiting in town- I usually like to say "Hi" to them, by try not to spend too much time talking with out-of-towners). So, directly afterwards, when I got 2 seconds (all the time it took) I just wrote down their names.
In looking at the list now, I can clearly picture who each were. I'll look at it again later, but I have a feeling I now KNOW their names. This morning I even wrote a little note by each ("Came with Sean and Betsy","Went to lunch with Shawn and Laura", etc).
I'm telling you, the relief I feel at having something of a system to help remember names is incredible...Try it and tell me how it works for you! Or do any of you have other ideas for remembering visitor names?