Using someone's name is a powerful discipleship tool.
I am convinced that discipleship happens best in the context of relationship.
1. The Power of a Name
Have you ever had the experience of someone bursting with joy as they see you coming down the hall and they shout out your first name? Doesn't that just fill your tank with thanksgiving? It feels so good to be called by name.
Research shows that trust can be increased when you use someone's first name in regular conversation. What is in a Name? I think love, influence and community...
2. We All Want to be Known
We should know our small group students on a first name basis in our ministry. Knowing someone's name is a critical part of being in a relationship with that person. Everyone wants to be know.
Have you ever had someone say, "Hey....Buddy...! (?)" It is pretty interesting when someone doesn't know our name. Buddy. Champ. Pal. Brother. "Hey, Mister!" can be a dead give away that someone may not remember your first name. I have done it...so have you!
Yet when someone confidently shouts out your name, refers to your directly by your first name and addresses you personally - IT MATTERS.
3. Take Time - Learn Names!
It may seem like such a trivial matter, yet I tell you the truth, leveraging the relational power of simply using someones first name in a ministry context - matters. Take the time. Make it a personal challenge to use the first name of each student each and every week of ministry.
It will make a huge difference.