Helpful Tidbits for Organic Church Life                                     December 15, 2008
Kimball Asks, "Where's the Fruit?"
My Reflections
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While in college I supported myself as a server at Marie Callender's. And as sad as it sounds, none of us servers wanted to work Sunday afternoons because that's when the tips were brochurethe worst and the customers the most picky.
Although I loved Jesus then as much as I do now, I must admit, I loathed working Sunday afternoons because that's when the "church people" would come in droves. Whether I let my "guests" know I was a Christian or not, I still seemed to get the shaft 4 times out of 5. If I let them know I was a Christian, I'd usually end up with a scroogie tip. If I didn't I might end up with a couple quarters and a "Four Spiritual Laws" brochure. 

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION/TOPIC: The Kingdom impact of tipping
Organic Church Planting Tip #32: Tip 
Excerpt from
Tipping this holiday season may sound too fancy for your budget. But when you consider that many of the people you tip get anywhere from 8 to 68 percent of their income from tips, you may want to give these helpful folks a break and plan for an added service charge.
1. Waiter/Waitress
Base Pay per Hour: $4.60
Tips per Hour: $9.90
Percent of Total Hourly Income in Tips: 68%
Wow, nearly 70 percent of your waiter's income is based on that tip that you give. So, if you think that a bottle of wine would make a nice addition to your steak dinner, be ready to pay the service charge along with it. Typical tip: 15-20 percent of the bill, 20 percent at fine restaurants or if you have a large group.
2. Hairstylist
Base Pay per Hour: $9.90
Tips per Hour: $3.50
Percent of Total Hourly Income in Tips: 26%
Oh, if you could only get that perfect cut and color before those annual holiday get-togethers. You can! Just remember that your hairstylist relies on you to provide nearly 30 percent of their income. Typical tip: 15 percent of the total.
3. Van Driver
Base Pay per Hour: $10.20
Tips per Hour: $1.30
Percent of Total Hourly Income in Tips: 11%
Whether you're off to visit grandpa and grandma or are helping coordinate their arrival at your house, you will likely need to tip an airport or hotel van driver. Typical tip: $1 or more per bag, especially if they help you with your luggage.
4. Porter or Skycap
$2 per bag or more if the bags are heavy. $2 extra for curbside check-in is optional. If you arrive late and he helps you get to your flight on time, tip an extra $5-20.
Sources: Median base pay per hour, median tip per hour and percent of total hourly income in tips data are provided by Tipping data provided by The Original Tipping Page.
My Reflections
At first I tried to defend the "Christians" to my server friends, but after awhile I gave up. Trying to defend the inexcusable over and over was an exercise in futility, especially when it was so difficult to make ends meet.
I often tell my boys, "Before leaving college, you will work as a server for at least one year." I want this for my boys for at least two reasons. First, I want them to learn how to be gracious with those who often take advantage of their privileged status. Second, since they'll undoubtedly come in contact with the service industry nearly everyday of their lives, I want them to see firsthand the "fields ripe for harvest" (Jn 4:35).
In my younger days of church planting I can remember driving across town, spotting various empty lots, and thinking to myself, "That's a good spot for a church." I'd drive a little further, seeing a vacant storefront, and again I'd say, "That's a good spot for a church." Imagine that. I'd spot a vacant building and think "church." Crazy.
paneraToday, I don't look to vacant lots or buildings. Instead, I look for spots teaming with people: real live people! And I don't have to look far: Panera Bread (my current mission field), Starbucks, Chili's, Macaroni Grill, Togo's, Jamba Juice. And when I'm with these folks I don't, usually, start right in with the four spiritual laws. Instead, I'm nice...and I tip really well. Over the years, I've found people are far more apt to listen to the "good news" I have to offer when I haven't first given them the shaft.
Organic church planting tip #32? Tip well! I guarantee if you tip "immeasurably more than [your server could ever] ask or imagine," they just might be interested in a God "who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us...!" (Eph 3:20).
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table