Some of the more formative times in my life were when I worked as a server in the restaurant industry, and I believe God wants us to think about how we can better minister to servers. As guests, and more importantly as Christians, we have amazing opportunities to be salt and light to our world, including in our favorite restaurants. Here are five ways to minister to your servers:
- Ask and remember their name. Learning your servers' names shows that you value them. Most diners won't take the time to do that, which makes it that much more meaningful when it does happen. I always felt loved when someone remembered my name, and it also challenged me to remember theirs!
- Request them specifically. You can often request to sit in a specific server's section by asking the host or hostess. I loved when people asked for me to serve them. Because people took the time to get to know me on a regular basis, I felt like I was a part of their family. That meant a lot to a college student who lived eight hours from home.
- Tip well. "Well"—this is the key word. Unbelievers are showing up believers in the area of generosity. Servers see Sunday as one of the worst shifts to work because of poor tips, and that bothers me. We Christians have an opportunity to show that God has given us amazing, undeserved grace. What better way to demonstrate this than tipping your server well, even if he or she doesn't always deserve it?
- Ask how you might pray for them. It's a basic step, but a profound one. You may be the only person praying for them that day or even at all, for that matter. Also, if you regularly request their section and then ask their prayer concerns, you begin to learn how to better pray for them throughout the week. I recall only a handful of people who asked how they could pray for me, but it meant more than they knew.
- Be patient with them. There are times when servers will mess things up. Sometimes it may just be an off day, but often they may be struggling with something in their personal lives. Your patience and kindness will demonstrate grace to them. I still remember those who were patient with me, and it actually pushed me to serve them better!
What other ways have you ministered to servers? If you're a server, how might believers better serve you?
Trevor Forbis is a student at the College at Southeastern, where he is pursuing a B.A in philosophy. He is a member of Restoration Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina, while also completing the Pastoral Apprenticeship at The Summit Church.
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