Developing strong relationships begins with learning names. At one point in my life learning names was so easy that I developed a reputation that is hard to live up to. Now sometimes people will introduce me to someone and say, “He will never forget your name.” I tremble a little when they say that. Allow me to share my secret. When you want to learn a name get it in written form as soon as possible. Look at the name and visualize the person as best as you can. Pray for them by name and ask God to help you remember their name when you see them again. Consider this prayer, “Lord you always were interested in one person at a time. I have just met (blank). Help me to remember them and to be able to call their name. Use me to encourage them and make them feel more special because I have taken the time to learn their name and am willing to be a blessing to them. Amen.” Once you have learned a name it is easier to add other information to your memory such as their line of work, their children’s names, where they are from and so on. I take great delight in being able to introduce people to one another and share such things as where they are from, details about their family, their line of work, where they went to college, and much more. As I do this I am building community. Community is a word used today to describe the necessity of interpersonal relationships that have some depth in an increasingly metropolitan society. It is possible in our day to live in a city of millions and not have a single relationship beyond a working relationship or neighborhood politeness. Churches have so much to offer people who need real relationships. In order to do this, it starts with a name. If I learn someone’s name, then I can point them to the one whose name is above all names. I can point them to Jesus. He not only wants us to come to Him, but also to come together.