What is in a Name…Tag…that is?

To tag or not to tag is usually a conversation reserved for my hunt’n buddies and we all know that tagging is required unless you want a visit from the friendly Game Warden.  And I’m a tagger!  Ethically I have to be.  Not only do I have a degree in Forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas (Axe’m Jacks), but I’m a hunter, fishermen, and lover of the outdoors.  So I am all about managing the herd, flock, covey, etc… 

So let’s talk about managing another herd and the question of whether to tag or not tag; volunteers that is.  Should volunteers wear name tags?  What message does it send? Why?  Who benefits from church members wearing name tags and the list of question goes on and on.  It is a discussion that I am often asked to answer and it is something that comes up in discussions with churches looking to better connect their membership with guests who attend. 


Should volunteers wear name tags?

Because we want to be like Wal-Mart – NO
Because we are trying to connect people – MAYBE
Because of security reasons on campus – YES

The real question becomes more about what is your desired outcome from asking volunteers to wear name tags?

As it pertains to Preschool, Children, and Youth – I say YES.  It provides not only an identification of your adult leadership, but also serves as a security measure for who are in and around your children and students.  You might also consider having them on lanyards with color code to identify age groups, years of service, and leadership roles.  Let your creativity soar here.  Make this something that is fun and non corporate looking.

As it pertains to traffic, greeters, ushers, healthcare providers, campus cleaning, welcome centers, ministry teams, hospitality teams, security, etc…  Maybe…it is really up to the individual church.  There has been much to say about the use of name tags with these type ministry areas in recent months.  In fact, in my discussion with Jim & Casper it came up when Casper said, “I had to make it by the gauntlet of greeters.”  It caused me to think…all our greeters have name tags…what if they didn’t wear name tags yet still served in that capacity…would it make a difference…would it have looked “less like they are required greeters”, “the hired happy people”, and more like they are just folks who are hanging out on the campus and love to make persons feel welcomed.

As it pertains to the pastoral team – I say maybe.  Members and guests need to put a name and face together but this doesn’t always need to happen through a name tag.

As for the rest of the volunteer herd…maybe not so much.  Here is the deal.  With younger emergent and missional churches we are finding less name tags and more persons on front line of relationship building. They are just people, who love Jesus on the front lines of bringing, connecting, training, sending, and glorifying.  No tags required.

I have to tell you I am leaning more toward no name tags outside of the preschool, children, and youth areas and more about just getting the right people in the right places around the campus and telling them to love on people…no tags required.

I’d love to hear your thoughts based on your “neck of the woods”.  (Interpretation – based on where you live in the United States and the context in which your church functions?)

Post a comment and let us hear from you.


  1. Jim Henderson says:


    Check out my friend Scott Ginsberg at

    He has been wearing a nametag everyday for 6 years and figures he has made over 100K new contacts as a result.

  2. Jim, thanks for touching base. Great web link to Scott. Can’t wait to hang with you guys in November in Seattle,Wa.

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