Religious institutions can use name tags to create a feeling of warmth and welcome among their congregations, to provide valuable information to the clergy and members, and to encourage conversation and friendship. Name tags need to be designed and used so that visitors are not singled out and members do not feel as if they are attending a business seminar. With simple modifications, religious institutions can use name tags to enhance lessons and spark productive conversation among their members.
Engage attendees from the moment they walk in the door. In small congregations, customize each name tag with a scripture or thought that the wearer can share during the lesson. While large congregations may have too many members for this, random name tags could include a thought. If it is common for some people to arrive early for the service, writing a brief thought that is relevant to the lesson on the bottom of each nametag might provide the wearer added time to ponder the material that will be covered. If the name tags are not going to be gathered at the end of the service, the wearer can use it as a reminder of what they learned that day.
Name tags can convey critical information other than the wearer’s name. This information can benefit the clergy, other members, and the wearer. If name tags are gathered at the end of the service, clergy can use them to track attendance. The clergy may wish to instruct members to write their first and last names on the tags so that they can monitor the attendance of specific individuals. Some religious institutions offer separate classes or lessons for young children. Name tags can be used to match children with the parents who pick them up. This can be done by writing the parent’s name on the child’s name tag and verified by showing identification. Individuals who hold special positions within the ministry should include their position on their name tag. This will help new members and visitors identify who holds what positions and help them feel more at ease in the congregation. The religious institution itself can provide valuable information to new members and visitors by pre-printing name tags with the institution’s address, phone number, web address, meeting times and other critical information. Wearers can take these name tags home and use them as a reference.
Build a community out of the congregation by encouraging friendship and conversation among members. Name tags can facilitate this interaction by serving as an icebreaker. Print a question on each name tag that relates to the sermon or lesson of the day. Encourage members to discuss the questions with those around them during social times before or after the service, or at designated times during the lesson. Sharing the answers to these questions will help members identify common ground and will help introduce new members or visitors to the more established members of the congregation. For a less-formal approach, encourage members to write a reference to a favorite scripture, character, or other religious symbol below their name. For example, a Christian church could instruct members to write the name of their favorite Bible character underneath their name on one Sunday and then ask all those who chose Noah to sit together, and all those who chose Moses to sit together, and so on. This could help diversify the membership and encourage new friendships.
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