I don’t know about most – but I am AWFUL at remembering names. Meredith, a girl in my last student ministry, was actually Kelsey. Oops. I think I called her Meredith for eight months….WITH HER CORRECTING ME EVERY SINGLE TIME! Names matter – and so we MUST know them. (I have a LOT more capital letters in this post than usual!)
Recently, I’ve been working with some students in a ministry who don’t know one another very well. So each week, we spend about 20 minutes or so just ‘meeting’ each other. For some students, it’s the very first time they have even spoken to one another. Last night, it occurred to me – we’re spending a lot of moments hearing about family, school, even favorite foods – but do they even know one another’s names?
Turns out some leaders assumed all the students knew the names of their ‘friends’ because the leaders all knew everyone. Most of the students knew the adult leader and the person sitting next to them – and no one else.
We tell students that Jesus loves them and knows them and wants a relationship with them. How does that translate when no one even knows their name?? Make space for students to TRULY meet one another. And make an effort to know their names….