People are important to the Lord, and if they are important to him, they should be important to you and me. Addressing people by their name and showing genuine appreciation for their service are simple ways to show they’re valued. This speaks volumes about the One you represent. Never underestimate the power of simply being warm, pleasant, and polite.
Sometimes, being a good representative of the kingdom hinges on the simplest things, almost trivial. Let me give you an example from my own life.
I’ve had some of the most interesting conversations about spiritual matters with ordinary people who serve my table in restaurants. Since any contact with others is an opportunity to be an ambassador, I try to keep an eye open for what might turn out to be a “divine appointment.”
This is something you can do, too. Here are some ways to set the stage to engage them in a friendly way.
First, find out the server’s name.
This is simple if they’re wearing a name tag. If not, simply ask. If it’s a unique name or suggests some ethnic history, ask about it. It’s a friendly thing to do—even flattering—and will help you remember their name better.
Begin to use their name immediately. If you’re like me, it’s difficult to keep track of names, especially of people I encounter for the short duration of a quick meal. But there are a few things that help.
Just the conscious effort itself may be enough to help you remember. Another way is to associate something new with something old. When you tie the new thing to something you already know, the job is much easier. In my case, if the waiter’s name is Mike, I immediately think of Mike, my good friend and former tennis partner. That alone will temporarily fix the waiter’s name in my mind.