Being a Witness at Restaurants

Whenever there is a big Christian conference you’ll read stories like this about how crappy a lot of people treat the wait staff at restaurants (look down to point #4). I understand that a lot of Christians are cheapskates, but there is simply no way to rationalize being rude to a server and then leaving a small tip with a fake million-dollar-bill tract. And to ambush them with a Way of the Master Gospel presentation is just icing on the cake. If your server was not a Christian, you can almost assure you have done nothing to bring her closer to God.

Can you imagine if Mormons came to your workplace, kept you from doing your job, and then expected you to make some kind of committment to join them? Would you be more apt to join them if they tricked you with fake money? What about some of their literature? Now imagine your finances depended on being nice to these people. Most people I know, including me, could not handle that, but just about every waiter and waitress you encounter faces that exact scenario every Sunday and Wednesday.

Now, I know a lot of people have different strategies for witnessing to servers at restaurants, but most of them are overly complicated. Here’s my system:

First, be extremely nice to your server. I mean really nice. Don’t assume every little problem is a personal slight to you, because, you know, it’s not. Treat restaurant staff the way you would like to be treated if you were working there. (If only there were a simple phrase to describe that, like The Bestest Rule or something.)

Second, give a generous tip. No, more than that. Take what you might ordinarily leave and double it. There, that’s better. You just made that college student’s day. If your waitress is a single mother, your tip was probably a big help.

Finally, do that because you’re a decent person, not because you want to trick them to come to your church. There’s nothing wrong with being nice, try it sometimes.

As always, remember that most of my posts are written exclusively for me.

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2 thoughts on “Being a Witness at Restaurants

  1. Michael Spencer wrote on this a couple of years ago, and entertained a host of comments and horror stories. The worst I can imagine is when a table of full of “Christians” eats a huge meal, has been served well, and then tells their server “We are not going to tip because we do not believe you should be working on Sunday.”

    Guess what: if you really believed that, you wouldn’t eat in restaurants on Sunday!

  2. There is a particular category of “jerk” (my inclination is to use a stronger word) that uses religion to justify being a terrible person. You have no idea why that server is working on a Sunday, but you aren’t going to make their situation better by refusing to tip. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

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