By Sue Brage, Editor of Church Volunteer Daily.com.
It’s funny, now that I am moving I have met so many of my neighbors! At my garage sale I had people come over to “finally” introduce themselves (after three years of living in this neighborhood). I learned the names of people I had seen walking or working in the yard, yet had not taken the time to get to know. I also worked on the sale with a neighbor I vaguely knew, but now we’ve had coffee twice and are making plans to get together in my new town. Funny.
It’s not funny however, that many of us serve with people we know about as well as I obviously know my neighbors. I was in a meeting recently when the leader made the statement that we can’t assume that people know each other’s names. In some cases, children may be uncertain what their Sunday school teacher’s name is, especially if there is a lot of rotation in a classroom. Her point was that knowing and using people’s names creates the personal connections so vital to a healthy church (and, I would add, volunteer program).
This is a personal challenge for me. I love people and I make friends easily. I just don’t have a great memory for names. Unlike my husband who remembers the names and faces of the people on his paper route when he was 12! Oh well, this just means I need to work harder to remember, create clues to help me remember, and not be afraid to ask if I forget someone’s name. Truly, taking the time to learn someone’s name is a way of honoring that person. It communicates that you see them and value them as part of your community.
This week, make it a point to learn the names of three new people in your church, neighborhood, and even volunteer team. Watch how they respond when you take an interest in them personally…and then come back and tell us what you learned…
Sue Brage worked in nonprofit marketing and communications for more than nine years before joining Group Publishing as Online Publisher and Editor for Church Volunteer Daily.com. Her experience as a writer, editor, and volunteer coordinator (not to mention wife and mother) gives her a unique perspective and ability to encourage and help leaders. She has a big heart for people and great passion for helping others serve their churches and communities better. Follow Sue on Twitter and @SueB rage and @CVCDaily
~photo courtesy of Kristothae at Photobucket