Witnessing Stories

Waiters, Insects, and Gospel Tracts …

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Yesterday afternoon Sarah and I went out to eat for her birthday.

Our waiter was very friendly.

After we paid, as our server was about to walk away, I said, “Oh, wait—we have something for you.”

He came back and I handed him a “Good Person Comic”. I try to give waiters gospel tracts in person now rather than just leaving it on the table. It’s more personal and it often opens a door for conversation.

He stood there for a second looking at it and muttered something…. which I can’t remember. It wasn’t exactly unfriendly, but it prompted me to ask, “Do you get many of those in here?”

“Oh yeah—all the time,” he said.

“Really? So can I just ask you something—do you notice a difference in how much people tip when they give these out?”

“Yeah, it’s lower.”

“Really?” we asked.

“Do you think people think of the tract as part of the tip?!” Sarah asked.

“Yeah, it seems like they do,” he affirmed.

“That’s really sad.”

“You know the coolest one of those we’ve seen?” he lit up and laughed, “There were these cards with insects on the front. They were like baseball cards, but with insects! That was so cool,” he said.

We nodded and smiled, wondering if those were from us. Later that day, Sarah remembered being at that same restaurant with my grandparents a few weeks previously and leaving several insect animal card tracts. So we were glad to hear they were well received. (They almost always are. If you’re interested, see these “Creation Cards” [smile])

Our waiter also shared a story with us of his conversation with some people who were pushy about their beliefs and aggravated him.

“Well, different people have different motives,” we mentioned.

He agreed.

“For us,” we said, “we pass these out everywhere—and it’s not because we are trying to get people to our church or anything — it’s just because we believe it’s the truth. And for us, if we didn’t share it, it would be kind of like knowing the cure for cancer and not saying anything.”

“Yeah, that’s a good perspective to have,” he said.

Our waiter yesterday was not the only one who has told me that “people who leave tracts tip less.” I remember one waitress who told me she dislikes Sunday afternoons because of all the stingy Christians. And I’ve heard similar reports from other sources as well. Of course, it isn’t true across the board, and I’m sure servers who are already antagonistic towards Christianity are extra sensitive to this and may exaggerate the statistics they share. But whatever the case may be, if we are going to be imitators of God (Eph. 5:1), we must be generous!

Please do not read this and be discouraged about giving tracts to servers! Just remember to tip well with your tract.

Here are a few other suggestions:
1) Try to get to know your waiter/waitress. If we are friendly and enjoyable to serve, it lays a great foundation for then sharing about the Lord.
2) Try handing them a tract in person instead of leaving it on the table. Even better, give them something bigger like a DVD or book.
3) Pray for them even before you arrive at the restaurant.

I had prayed yesterday morning that we would be able to witness to our waiter at lunch. Although the talk with him wasn’t what I was expecting, I think it was beneficial. I think the gentle explanation with the tract was what that guy needed at that time.

9 comments

  1. Happy birthday, Sarah! God bless.

    Wow. That’s interesting and sad that tips are lower when people give out tracts. Definitely a good reminder that *everything* we do affects the effectiveness of our testimony. Great post, Grace. Thank you.

  2. I generally leave a tract behind (either I will or my sister) and occasionally we give it to the waitress. If we leave it on the table, we stick the money inside. 🙂
    Often we will write a note on the back of the tract, thanking them for their service and and leaving their name meaning and a verse to accompany their name.
    Often we will go out with our grandparents. Unfortunately, my grandpa has always been a low tipper. (Not in a mean way, he just always tips low!) But when I give a tract he nearly doubles the tip!
    Anyway- if I notice that the tip is low (no matter where we are) I generally chip in a few dollars 🙂
    Happy Birthday Sarah! I really enjoyed this post, Grace- I love your witnessing posts!

  3. Great post, Grace, I think you’re right on. I still love these witnessing stories, and yes, I still read your posts. 🙂 God bless!

  4. I love reading your posts…they are so encouraging!!!!

    Today I went to a gun show with some of the men in our church and we handed out tracts there. Some were eager to read them, others threw them away! It was amazing to see all the people that were there. It gave me a massive burning desire to reach them, but sadly I ran out of tracts!!

    Is Sarah still living at home? I noticed she’s not pictured with you and Stephen!

    Does Sarah have a blog too? If so what is the address?

    I’m inviting you to follow my blog 😀

    Serving HIM,
    Alisha

    http://www.alishainprogress.blogspot.com

  5. Thanks for your encouragement, Alisha!
    Haha, yes, Sarah is still living at home, she’s just not in the picture I have up right now. However, that pic really needs to be updated, so the next one will probably have her in it. 🙂
    That’s neat about the tracts you passed out at the gun show. Praise the Lord! I know the feeling of not having tracts and wishing we did. Thankfully prayer still works in those situations :).
    Sarah does not have a blog. I’ve told her she should get one. Maybe one day.
    Thanks for the invite to yours–I’ll check it out.
    God bless you!

  6. Awesome story! I worked at a restauraunt for a little while, Sundays were very busy days but we still got less tips and the people were sometimes unfriendly. It always made one guy really mad that all these people would come straight from church to a restauraunt where they couldn’t spare a couple dollars or even show common courtesy… It is sad but an excellent reminder to me about the importnance of smiling and making eye contact with people and a big tip makes a good impression!

  7. Grace,

    You did a great job with this blog post! Tips and tracts can be very influential with people at restuarants because we have an opportunity to be a burden or a blessing at that time. I know from experience, both from working and from eating at restaurants, that waiters and waitresses do remember a lot of their customers. We should want these people to know that we are generous givers, when we can be, so that our generosity gives glory to God (not to how “good” people think we are) and crediblity to our proclamation of the gospel. I just read an article online where a diner claiming to be a pastor tried to omit an automatic gratuity off his receipt at a restaurant, and one of the workers there uploaded the picture of the receipt to a social media page. People are watching what we do (and how we do what we do) everywhere we go! I’m glad to know that there are other believers out there who want to live godly lives with a good testimony!

    May God continue to bless you and your family as you labor in His service!

  8. I’d just like to pass on another way to help spread the gospel and it’s simply this:-

    Include a link to an online gospel tract (e.g. http://www.freecartoontract.com/animation) as part of your email signature.

    An email signature is a piece of customizable HTML or text that most email applications will allow you to add to all your outgoing emails. For example, it commonly contains name and contact details – but it could also (of course) contain a link to a gospel tract.

    For example, it might say something like, “p.s. you might like this gospel cartoon …” or “p.s. have you seen this?”.

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