I start all my youth events with name activities. I draw a lot of them from Stanley Pollack’s Moving Beyond Icebreakers. Being known by name is a basic experience people should have in church, and youth ministry provides a socially acceptable way to goof around while learning peoples’ names. This one is probably my favorite.
I struggle with adults though. My default introduction when I greet a grown up at church whose name I don’t know has become, “I’m sure you’ve told me your name, but I forgot it.” People are readily understanding, but you can only do that so many times before it becomes insulting. After awhile, you just quit asking, or you whisper to a colleague, “What’s that guy’s name again?!” Sometimes they don’t know either.
Just to say: learning and remembering peoples’ names is something I can get better at.