Approachable and Available

Scott_1Scott Ginsberg has been wearing one of those stick-on name-tags that says “Hello My Name is Scott” for 1567 days and counting. That one act of defying the impersonal has led him into numerous conversations, and he now gives talks to business groups and churches on the art of approachability.

Scott has worn a name tag all day, every day since November 2, 2000 to encourage people to become friendlier and more approachable. He has been internationally recognized as the world’s foremost field expert on name tags by the Washington Post, CNN, The Associated Press, Headline News, USA Today and dozens of other media outlets.

The above quote comes from Off The Map, a site that I recently became acquainted with.  Months before coming across this site,  I read an earlier news story about Scott Ginsberg who wears a name tag–everywhere. Why?  He is working to improve approachability.  He believe that all of us need to work on creating "front porches." 

A front porch is any object or behavior that increases approachability.  A front porch creates comfort and reduces uncertainty.  A front porch breaks the ice.  A front porch empowers people to communicate.  A front porch builds rapport
Approachability is a two way street. And it all starts with that first step – either welcoming someone onto your front porch, or stepping onto their front porch. (See Scott Ginsberg)

Kind of silly?  Wondering why I would even post this?  OK–I realize that such a "front porch" can simply be a way to create a sales opportunity or to promote any other human agenda.  However, I do think that he is on to something that Christians really need to think about.

We live in a culture where we are busy–very busy.  We "mulit-task" and are often on the run.  In my part of the world, at most any part of the day or evening, one can see SUVs streaking across the city, a DVD player entertaining the kids, while mom talks on the telephone.  Meanwhile, many people are very lonely and in an effort to connect with someone, resort to late night chat rooms where they talk with strangers.

Jesus was always approachable and available to people.  No, I’m not about to suggest 24/7 nametags.  It does seems like Christians ought to make an effort to be more approachable and available to people.  Why?  Simply because people are valued by God.  Maybe a good beginning would be to start noticing people who are already in your world.  Work on people’s names.  Introduce yourself.  No After all, God has purposefully placed at least some of these people in your life.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “Approachable and Available

  1. Jim, that post really touches on something that has been on my mind for a while. Sometimes I feel unapproachable. Maybe it is my imagination … but I do think that people do not feel free to talk to me about things (except my close friends who know me). The name tag idea is novel … but what makes a person approachable / unapproachable? What lets people know that we would like to visit with them? Maybe I’ve been too busy and have let them know nonverbally that I really do not want to talk to them. Food for thought. Thanks.