- How many people can you call by name?
- Is it easy for you to recall a person whom you have not seen in a long time?
- How difficult is it for you to remember a person’s name whom you have just met?
- What if it is a name of an international and you even have trouble pronouncing correctly the first time you hear it?
I can guess what most of you are thinking: I can remember a face, but I have trouble with names. After I made that comment to a veteran pastor years ago, he was quick to respond, “That is just being lazy. You can remember names. Anyone can remember names. It just takes effort and lets people know that you care.”
These words have stuck with me over time as I struggle to remember names and to get a person’s face and name to connect for me. I still struggle but I have learned to put forth more effort.
Over the past couple of weeks, there have been lots of excitement on the college campuses of our state – new students arriving on campus for the first time and those returning after a summer break.
Campus ministers are playing the name game.
As we introduce ourselves to hundreds if not thousands of students, we see students whom we met previously but not talked to in a while. We scramble to get the names correct because each wants to be called by the correct name.
They want to be known and to be recognized. Freshmen want to know that they made an impression, and returning students want to know that they have not been forgotten.
Some students come from high schools and small towns where everyone knew their name. Others have always felt lost in the crowd and not well known.
Whatever the background, each can feel like a number with so many people at one institution and not many or any friends.
College students take notice when you can call them by name. It matters to them just as it matters to you.
Someone took the time to learn my name so I need to take my time to get to know theirs.
Our ministry on campus starts with the name of Christ and with the name of the student with whom we are conversing at any given moment.
Large events are wonderful, but the one-on-one interaction between those we meet on campus is powerful.
It comes down to a name.
The name of an individual is important, but the name of Christ is all important.
Please pray for us campus ministers and Christian college students on campus as we meet individuals, learn who they are and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
State Missionary Edwin Hocutt serves as Baptist Campus Minister at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Calhoun Community College. He may be contacted at (256) 837-9140, [email protected].