Posted Sunday on Facebook by a friend who's a manager at a local restaurant: (Note: this guy's an actual friend in person; not just a facebook acquaintance.)
Attention all my fellow church goers. Please stop coming to lunch directly after church and acting like jerks to restaurant employees. It makes it extremely hard for me to witness to them! It is very difficult to convince someone that Jesus loves them when you show them zero Christ like love!
I have very little to add. (But I'll keep writing anyway...*smile*)
When we were newlyweds, Lisa worked in a restaurant. I'll skip a bunch of stories to land on the sad conclusion: Nobody wanted to work Sunday lunch, despite the fact that Sunday lunch was the busiest time the restaurant had every week. Why didn't people whose income depends on tips want to work on the busiest time of the week? Two reasons: 1) the folks fresh out of church were typically quite rude, and 2) the folks fresh out of church were--by a long way--the worst tipping crowd all week. And Jesus wept...
Ever wonder why it seems that people outside the church are increasingly hostile to the church? Go back & re-read my friend's remarks above, along with the previous paragraph about Lisa's coworkers.
Which leads me to a few requests of my fellow churchgoers, in addition to my friend's post above:
(1) By all means, be about the business of proclaiming the excellencies of Christ & the majesty of the Gospel!
(1a) Radical Idea: why not go way out of your way to smile & be nice & be helpful to your server & to the cashier & to the person seating you, even if something goes wrong with your order? Especially if something goes wrong with your order even?
(2) Do NOT leave a Gospel tract in lieu of a tip at a restaurant! Don't ever do this, but especially not if you've spent the last hour whining & complaining & being obnoxious to your server.
[Just in case anyone's wondering, I am VERY well aware that the Gospel is of infinitely greater value that a few bucks' tip. But to an unchurched nonbeliever, leaving anything instead of a tip = cheap. Ironically, flinging a Gospel tract at someone who's expecting some $$ can wind up damaging the cause of Christ rather than advancing it.]
(3) Tip generously!!
(Said the one whose wife was in the server biz years ago, and whose daughter is in that biz now)
Now your homework assignment: Go back to the top of this post & reread the part from my friend's facebook post; then let's all change the way we Christians are viewed (justifiably!) by those serving in the food service business, especially on Sundays.
In other words, let's connect the dots between what we sing & pray & hear in church and how we conduct ourselves out in public.
For the sake of the Gospel,
...practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice.
Matthew 23:3 (Jesus speaking in condemnation of the very religious priests of his day)
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (Paul speaking; does "whatever you do" include "eating lunch out on Sundays"?)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:16-17 (Paul speaking. Note the connection between worship/Bible study/etc. and "whatever you do." If your service to & magnification of the Lord ends when you leave church Sunday morning, then with all the love I can muster, you have missed some very significant points about the whole thing!)