The Secret For Remembering Names

This is the truth about remembering names: There is no secret for remembering names. I do have a system I follow, but there are no secrets attached and no proprietary information. Most of remembering names is simply wanting to and concentrating on people. I gave one of the foundational events of my life and ministry in an earlier post related to remembering names.

The goal is not remembering names; the goal is connecting to people and letting them know that they are cared for. Remembering names is a means to an end. With that as the foundation, here is what I do to remember people’s names.

The first and most important part of remembering names for me is simply to focus and listen. This is the part of the system where I am most prone to come up short. If you don’t concentrate on what the person says, nothing else can work for you. Therefore, for me everything is simply about listening and focusing on the person.

Second, I write down the person’s name as soon as possible. Writing the name down gives me something to study and think about before the next time I meet the person.

Over the years I have done this in a variety of ways. Since I am a pastor and meet most people on Sunday morning, I simply have a slip of paper in the front of my Bible. I immediately write the name on the paper. They usually see me doing this. Because I am a pastor, they don’t think me weird. In fact, most people want to be known.

Third, I review the names and try to put a face with the name. At times, I keep a legal pad on my desk with the names of new people I have met. Reviewing the names helps me remember and emphasize the person.

Let me tell you one thing I don’t do. I don’t do word association. For me, that means I have to remember two names.On rare occasions, someone’s name will call for easy association but most name association is double work,

Remembering names is hard work–at least for me, but it is invaluable in letting someone know they matter to God and they matter to you. It is worth the struggle.

If you would like to receive my daily posts, you can subscribe to at the top of the page. Simply type in your email address, and click subscribe. It’s free and easy. When you receive a return email, confirm your desire to subscribe by clicking on the link. is my ministry across the Internet. I would appreciate your subscribing and also forwarding this and other posts to your friends. Thank you!


Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

3 Responses

  1. Dr, Bailey,
    With all due respect, you MUST have a gift with this. The first time you met my husband and I you knew our names and my parents names. I remember how that struck me. The thoughts that rang in my mind were….this man is a true shepherd. Don’t get me wrong I am sure your blog tips could help me. I am terrible with names right now. But that was amazing.

  2. Great information which has stood the test of time. Now imagine after all that work; suddenly, it becomes irrelevant. You, however, can continue in the place where so much life has been spent serving the Lord and seeing His plans unfold: to sweep the floor. You are told God is an illusion and you are living in a dream world. You continue to sweep the floor. (God is not mocked, “church” people line up against you and steal His provisions away. One is reportedly building a 4500 sq. ft house in St. Francisville.) You are no longer a young man. Your union card will not enable you to provide for your family; anyway it will mean you will abandon Ministry where He placed you. God reminds you of Jeremiah. Your “brothers in Christ” say the problem lies with you. God reminds you of Job. Human nature has not changed, nor has God. 2 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Corinthians 9:19-27.

  3. Thank you for the reminder that remembering people’s names helps us to connect and to show them that they are important to me. That IS the first goal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *