Jan 17

What’s In a Name?

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I’ll be honest.  I’m not great with names.  If I don’t associate it with something immediately, it’s in one ear and out the other.  One Sunday morning last year, a 4th grade boy totally busted me on it.  

I hadn’t seen this kid in several months, but he was excited to be back in church.  He came bounding up to me before the program and said, “I remember you.  You’re Jason.” 

 ”Yeah, you’re right,”  I said and glanced down at his name tag to see who in the world he was. 

Before I could even read it, he slapped a hand over it and said, “What’s my name?”  I wanted to say, “Mr. Smarty-pants,”  but I just confessed and told him I didn’t remember. 

Have you ever had someone try to fake it when they don’t remember your name?  “Hey . . . you!”  It’s usually obvious and awkward.  We all want to be known and remembered. 

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”    As those charged with shepherding  kids and families, we start by simply getting to know them. 

If you’re scatter-brained like I am, I’d recommend keeping a journal.  The easiest way to do this is  just by typing it  into the notes feature on your cell phone.   Not a cell phone kind of leader?  Use good old-fashioned pen and paper. 

Record the name of the kids in your group or those you have conversations with from week-to-week.  Every time you learn something about one of the kids in your ministry, add it to the journal.  Glance over it right before church each week to refresh your memory.  This is especially great for following up with prayer requests or to ask about challenges kids have brought up in the group. 

A kid journal can also be a fantastic tool to use to help you specifically pray for your kids during the week.  Imagine walking in on the weekend to find out how God has answered your prayers for the kids in your group.  That’s major faith-building stuff for you and them.

A name is a great place to start, but it’s only the beginning as you make an intentional effort to really know the kids God sends your way.

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