I was very angry about this story. A waitress had served a pastor and a party that was large enough that the restaurant had added a 18% gratuity. The pastor wrote on the bill “I give God 10% Why do you get 18″. The waitress hurt and angry took the bill and posted it on the internet. Unfortunately she did not block out the name on the bill. Now Applebees has fired her.
As a pastor I always considered it important to tip well. Usually 20%. Here is why.
1) Waiters and Waitresses do not make minimum wage. They rely on tips for their pay. Many of them are single parents. I know some waiters and waitresses who live in weekly rentals.
2) This isn’t a handout. Waiters and Waitresses work hard 40 hours a week.
3) Pastors are supposed to show empathy and sympathy. Tipping well is a way of doing that. Sometimes it is your only way of doing that. What a good example we can set by being good and kind, while another customer is yelling at the waitress/waiter because the kitchen messed something up.
4) Some pastors may worry about tipping well. It may make the church think they are too rich and need a pay cut. Which is more important? Appeasing the board or making God happy that you helped someone. Life is filled with these types of moral decisions. For my part I would choose to help people. If your church is a force of good, it will likely understand, even if some individuals don’t. If your church won’t understand….then you need to show them a better example.
5) Another worry for pastors is about money. I have heard so many pastors say they can’t afford to do things like tip well. I need that money for my retirement, is a common example I hear. I worry about my retirement as well, but that waitress or waiter likely doesn’t even have a retirement plan. Chances are most pastors make twice as much or more as a waiter or waitress.
6) Who is more important in God’s eyes? Pastors are not better people than waiters and waitresses.
7) Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Tipping well is just a another way of doing this. We try to teach people to be like Jesus. Sometimes we have to start with ourselves.
Bonus) This advice should apply to all Christians unless you make less than a waiter or waitress.