Hospitality Evangelism
Name Tags at Worship

From the Open Files of:

NW Synod of Wisconsin Resource Center (715) 833-1153

Contributed by:

Rev. Peter Muschinske, Faith Lutheran, Marshfield WI

Hospitality Evangelism
Name Tags at Worship

Hospitality (still) matters. Yes, there are businesses, organizations and agencies that provide products and information, but not many seek out strangers and embrace them. Bishop Bvumbwe, who preached, presided at the Lord's table, taught and talked with us about the Church, made it very clear that he and his family savored our warmth and hospitality. He also appreciated the way we worshiped, and had compliments for our choir and organist. Worship, hospitality and "being together" (as at our potluck) are among the reasons that a faithful congregation of believers grows and thrives. It was no coincidence that we introduced name tags on the very Sunday that we welcomed the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi. On virtually every Sunday of the year we have guests among us… friends of members, people new to the community, those who have decided to "give church a try". While you may be well known (especially if a long time member), chances are you won't know every new member or visitor, neither will they know you. Name tags are just one way we might better welcome our guests. Here's another: Would you be willing to join a pool of people who would "visit visitors" and make a quick visit to those who have worshipped here on a Sunday?

Many of you have been members of small congregations, or even a member of Faith when it was smaller, or one of the predecessor congregations. My previous congregation worshipped around 50-60 on any given Sunday. We knew one another and recognized a visitor when he or she was there! Not so here. And no, we are not using name identification for the sake of Pastor and Mrs. Muschinske (though I admit to looking closely at those names I've been slow to remember). God says "I will never forget you! See, I have written (your name) on the palms of my hands…" (From Isaiah 49). God may have perfect memory, but it still makes good use of written names! "Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers…" the writer of Hebrews reminds us. We're trying not to forget. May we in Christ's body remember to care for and get to know one another, that we continue to grow in faith and love to God's glory.


Example of an Announcement for their bulletin:

Operation Name Tag We appreciate your patience in our pilot program to utilize name tags during our Sunday worship. Our apologies to those who did not get a preprinted card: our computer program requires your date of birth (!) in order to print out the name tag. If you prefer to keep that information "confidential" (though we will "forget" it as soon as it's entered into the data base) then you may certainly print your name by hand. Pin your name tag on before worship and return it to one of the boxes as you leave the Nave.


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